Category Archives: google

Why Google Buzz will work, sort of

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

"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 […]

Google's link-tracking looks pretty evil, I'd say

Ok been meaning to blog about this for a while now, but today is the day. It’s been bugging me. Some months ago, I noticed that the links in my Google search results would occasionally change to become long, convoluted fruit salads instead of the actual web address of the site the link was pointing […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

First Google South Africa networking session kicks off

The new Google country head Stafford Masie held an informal get together and networking session for about 60 or so local internet players on Monday afternoon. He said the briefing was off the record, but later made exceptions for bloggers. It was a good session — the first ever held by the new Google South […]

Google have stars in their eyes

So Google is not satisfied with world domination, but wants to rule the universe too. Hey, even space shuttles need search engines. Ok, at a stretch. So it transpires that the new version of Google Earth now comes with sky imagery or a “virtual telescope”, as Google calls it. As the official Google Earth blog […]

The Search Wars: Can the Wikipedia boss take on Google?

Jimmy Wales, the Wikipedia boss, has now detailed how he plans to take on Google, the search behemoth. Google is so good and so powerful, you get the feeling that competitors are at a bit of a loss on how exactly to take the search giant on. Even Microsoft, which has never run away from […]

New Google head for South Africa

South Africa has a new Google boss. Stafford Masie, the former head of Novell South Africa and a relative unknown outside IT circles, has been appointed the new South Africa Google head, reports ITWeb and Mail & Guardian Online. It’s taken them a while to find the person. The job has been advertised for over […]

Google joins fray to fight global internet censorship

Via an AP story on Wired.com Google, which hasn’t in the past got too involved in government affairs and advocacy issues, is now joining the fight against the rise of web censorship worldwide. This is an interesting departure, because surely this will inevitably put Google on a collision course with the Chinese government? In the […]