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Google

  • 5 reasons why you should kill Buzz

    Within a week of launching Google Buzz, I killed it. Despite my love of the threaded commenting, unlimited by character count and the opportunity it presented to discover new and interesting people, I killed it dead. This is why... Reason #1: The twits made me do it You know who I mean. Those people who saw a really cool tool for sharing and discussing the golden nuggets they found scattered across the interwebs AND THEN PLUGGED TWITTER INTO IT. As my mum says: "A place for everything, and everything in its place." If I wanted a social sharing service that aggregated...

  • The quest for the perfect search result

    When Google launched its search engine a little more than a decade ago, the internet contained less than a billion individual pages. Today, the web grows by several billion pages each day - pages that are ever-more complex, dynamic, and interactive. While organising this information grows more challenging, users' expectations only rise: today people expect the right answer immediately, in the first result and in the language of their choice. People want to be told if there are things about their search that they failed to consider. Don't just tell me what I think I need to know, tell me if you know something that I don't know I need to...

  • Google’s new China approach

    Google has taken the bold step of ceasing to censor their search services — Google Search, Google News, and Google Images — on their China presence, Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where the search giant is now offering "uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong". "We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services," says the search leader. Google says it will be "carefully...

  • Google rolls out real-time search in South Africa

    Google on Friday announced that the real-time search features it rolled out internationally last year will now be available on its South African search results. In December last year, the search giant introduced a string of new search innovations on Google.com, bringing their results to life with a dynamic stream of real-time content. After conducting a search, users can see live updates from people on popular sites like Twitter, MySpace and FriendFeed, including headlines from news reports and blog posts published just seconds before. When they are relevant, Google ranks these latest results to show the freshest information...

  • Google releases new Chrome beta

    Google on Tuesday launched a new beta version of its Chrome browser, which includes a number of new innovations including additional privacy controls for users and seamless integration of translation functionality. Google says the beta release gives users even greater choice and control over their privacy as they browse the web. In addition to Chrome's existing incognito mode -- a handy way to browse the web without leaving traces of website visits or a download history on your computer -- users now have even more in-depth control over their privacy settings in the new "Content Settings" section of Chrome's...

  • Google pedals South Africa

    Google have released new footage of their Street View trikes capturing images of key parts of South Africa, including recently completed Fifa World Cup stadium, Moses Mabhida in Durban. Google Street View trikes arrived in the country in November last year, when they started collecting imagery of historic landmarks, heritage sites, scenic panoramas and sports venues. The search engine giant teamed up with South African tourism authorities to compile a list...

  • Google Fast Flips it

    Google, via Google Labs, reckon they have launched an "innovative service" for reading articles called Google Fast Flip. Fast Flip is an experiment with Google's publishing partners designed to innovate how people discover and consume media. According to Google, it combines some of the best qualities of print and the Web, letting you "flip" through pages online as quickly as flipping through a magazine. The service is filled with news, feature stories,...

  • Teleport your data with Google’s DataLiberation.org

    Google has launched a new website it says helps consumers and businesses "free" data from online products. Apparently, highlighting a commitment to user choice, Google has announced a new website, http://www.dataliberation.org , which provides information on how people can export and import their data quickly and easily from a growing number of Google products for use between Google's products and those of competitors. The website is managed by Google's Data Liberation Front team,...

  • 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...