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Google

  • Gmail Labs rolls out ‘Got the Wrong Bob?’

    Last year, Google launched Labs as a forum within Google's free online email product, Gmail, for delivering useful -- and maybe not so useful -- experimental features. A number of these fell into a category Google likes to call "embarrassment-reducers", or features that save you from future regret. Now, Google has announced an additional embarrassment-reducer. Maybe you've received an email from a stranger asking: "Are you sure you meant to send this to...

  • Google Buzz: Just too much noise?

    So we have another social/microblogging/lifestreaming service, called Google Buzz. It is, without doubt, Google's boldest social play yet. Despite dominating pretty much all the key areas of the internet, it's no secret that social is one area that has eluded the search giant so far. Orkut, its social network, has largely failed to catch the world's imagination (although apparently it's big in Brazil). Google latitude came and went. Many, myself included, have yet...

  • Google sends out the cars for Street View SA

    At last: Google today announced that it will begin imagery collection in South Africa for the Street View feature in its Google Maps. In the coming weeks Google, using Toyota Prius models, will begin driving around South Africa and taking photographs of locations, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and Durban. Street View is a hugely popular feature of Google Maps that is already available in more than 100 metropolitan areas around...

  • 10 questions for new Google SA head: Stephen Newton

    New Google SA Head Stephen Newton (Credit: FM Tech). Stephen Newton is the country's new Google head. He's an American who has been living in the UK. He's now based in Johannesburg, heading up the local Google office. He studied as a lawyer, has previously been the GM of Hitwise UK, a Vice President at Double Click, and then Google EMEA Head of Analytics & Commerce. Newton describes South Africa as "Africa’s entrepreneurial...

  • Big Idea: How online publishers can rival Google

    Quite sometime ago I did a rather entrepreneurial proposal to the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) about a new, non-profit industry-focused search engine and advertising network to rival Google. I know what you're thinking, apart from the general nuttiness of the idea itself: I must be crazy approaching a "newspaper" body? But the idea around approaching an organisation such as WAN and others, was that they're an important umbrella industry bodies for...

  • Is SEO evil?

    It's an old debate, but always worth a good discussion: The Digital Edge podcast by Jarred Cinman and Saul Kropman is tackling the topic of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It's a contentious topic, around which there is still discussion, and a bit of obfuscation. The podcast sensationally interviews two "anonymous SEO practitioners" to see how they use their knowledge in an "unscrupulous manner" to promote the likes of online casinos and even remove...

  • "SA companies beat internet giant to the pinch"

    Um, received this rather surreal press release yesterday. Not sure I would have sent this out as a piece of public relations, myself. It's likely that Google will respond, either with a polite phonecall or a legal letter. Or in all likelihood, they just won't care. Be interesting to see how it plays out. After chatting to a Googler here, they pointed out that the same thing is also happening in Germany. Check...

  • Google Chrome first impressions: Fast, clean & not evil

    Downloaded it a few minutes ago and gave it a test run. Noticed a few minor rendering glitches here and there on some sites, probably due to non-standard coding -- but most sites looked perfect. It's a basic browser with only core functionality, which I guess focuses on what needs to be done best: Browsing. Some will find the lack of features an issue. Others will like the clean, minimalist look geared...

  • Google News secrets "exposed"

    Many publishers that have signed up to Google News, probably now the world's largest news aggregator, have instantly (ie results within a day) doubled their traffic. We are not talking about traffic off a low base either. That is how important Google news is as a traffic provider to organisations. So, it's with interest that I read on the Google News blog about some of the theories surrounding ranking on Google news....

  • The Douglas Merrill defection from Google, and the South African connection

    Well, well, well. It turns out that Douglas Merrill, former Google CIO, is heading off to struggling record group, EMI. It was barely two months ago that he was out here to sell the newly launched Google South Africa to the local media. Merrill received quite a bit of criticism from bloggers at the launch for being guarded. He generally came across as flat during the presentation. Now we know why. Also -- it...

  • Google not against ACAP, says CEO Eric Schmidt

    The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) has now issued a press release that "welcomes Google CEO Eric Schmidt's statement supporting the aim of the Automated Content Access Protocol (ACAP)". If this confuses you, then you are probably not alone. It was under a week ago, that WAN released a terse statement calling on Google "to respect the rights of content creators and embrace ACAP". It criticised Google for acting in "its own commercial self-interest"...

  • World's publishers face off against Google: It's getting ugly

    I had a feeling this would be the end result. At first there was co-operation and pleasantries exchanged between the media publishers and Google, and then it all went sour. Online publishers and newspapers appear to be heading for a face-off with search engine behemoth, Google. On Thursday, online publishers and print media in the guise of the powerful World Association of Newspapers (WAN) issued a rather terse statement, calling on Google...

  • Google SA meets the media

    Google this morning held their first ever local press briefing, from their new headquarters at Dimension Data's Campus. They brought out a heavy-hitter from Mountain View, Vice President of Engineering Douglas Merrill, to talk about the Google mission here and on the continent. Both Merrill and country head Stafford Maisie spoke passionately about the role of mobile and search and what it means for this country. It's not the first Google event we...

  • Cool Larry and Sergey Google presentation

    Spotted this interesting Google video on Stafford Masie's blog (the new local Google head). It's a relaxed, informal talk at TED on Google's philosophies around running their business and their various labs projects, with some mention of Orkut, Google News and other projects. (South Africa also gets a mention in it). It's worth a watch... var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • SA sites caught up in Google PageRank 'carnage'

    About a month ago, Google's latest pagerank updates saw a number of major international news sites, A-list bloggers and local sites have their rankings slashed. There was speculation in the international blogosphere that Google's move had to do with the legitimate practice of sites selling paid links, however this is unconfirmed as Google has yet to comment on the move. Pagerank is the formula Google uses to determine the order in which search...