29 Jan

ReadWriteWeb – Quora Blocks Startup Search Engines

The popular startup question and answer service Quora only allows the largest search engines to index its site. As Gabe Rivera of Techmeme pointed out yesterday, its robots.txt file explicitly grants Google, Bing, Blekko and other big players access, but excludes everyone else. If large sites had these restrictions back when Google was starting, it might never have succeeded and we’d still be stuck with Altavista. As more publishers move to this whitelist approach, are they stifling innovation?

via ReadWriteWeb – Quora Blocks Startup Search Engines. This is an awful move by a startup to prevent other startups from being able to access data and gain the ability to search a site. As the argument goes, imagine if Google was blocked when it originally started?

03 Jan

Coding Horror – Trouble In the House of Google

People whose opinions I respect have all been echoing the same sentiment — Google, the once essential tool, is somehow losing its edge. The spammers, scrapers, and SEO’ed-to-the-hilt content farms are winning.

Like any sane person, I’m rooting for Google in this battle, and I’d love nothing more than for Google to tweak a few algorithmic knobs and make this entire blog entry moot. Still, this is the first time since 2000 that I can recall Google search quality ever declining, and it has inspired some rather heretical thoughts in me — are we seeing the first signs that algorithmic search has failed as a strategy? Is the next generation of search destined to be less algorithmic and more social?

It’s a scary thing to even entertain, but maybe gravity really is broken.

via Coding Horror – Trouble In the House of Google. I’m seeing this start cropping up as well where Google seems to be failing in filtering out spam or content farm sites.

30 Nov

BBC News – EU launches antitrust probe into alleged Google abuses

The European Commission has launched an investigation into Google after other search engines complained that the firm had abused its dominant position.

The EC will examine whether the world’s largest search engine penalised competing services in its results.

The probe follows complaints by firms including price comparison site Foundem and legal search engine ejustice.fr.

Google denies the allegations but said it would work with the Commission to "address any concerns".

Earlier this year the attorney general of Texas launched a similar investigation following complaints from firms including Foundem.

via BBC News – EU launches antitrust probe into alleged Google abuses. Not too shocked that Google is accused of abusing it’s power, that being said I actually would be shocked to see Google found guilty.