Google Street View UK is up and running

Street View UK seems to be running. A couple of twitters and blogs are saying that it might go down shortly because of some problems with the face blurring software.

I firstfound it this morning have a quick scan of some of the usual blogs i read first thing in the morning while having my coffee.

Lets see if you can find your self or some wierd captures.

street view UK

street view UK

Cuil Search Engine nose dives like a Sopwith Camel with one wing and no propeller

 

About as cool as a steaming pile of ……
To be honest I still see what all the hype was about!
Cuil fails to impress as it launches and then nose dives like a Sopwith Camel with one wing and no propeller.

Google killer? So far the only thing this new search engine has killed is my time writing this blog. A disastrous launch topped with a ridiculous budget and a sad attempt to replicate Googles working environment. Muffins and strawberries on desks, BBQ every Friday and a personal trainer for each employee still won’t live up to the Googleplex.

Sometimes it’s just not enough to hype up a new product! I will admit they did a damn good job hyping up the new search engine to all the right channels but what they delivered was as about a appetising as a bowl of Cornflakes with 3 week old milk, could have been good with the right milk but this one just left you with a foul taste in your mouth.

A confession of corrupted search results with certain common phrases throwing up some nasty porn images. Completely irrelevant results and a naff tool bar.

Ok they might have the biggest index of 120 billion pages but it means diddly squat if it is 120 billion pages of complete and utter pig swill. Size really won’t matter in this case if they can’t get the right pages to show for the right search phrase.

Come on Cuil! You are going to need the comeback of all comebacks to be able to get back from this one.
Good luck!

Google Page Rank Fixation?

The Page Rank fixation?

Google V yoda

Google V yoda

 

 

Google’s own words are, “We use more than 200 signals, including our patented PageRank™ algorithm, to examine the entire link structure of the web and determine which pages are most important. We then conduct hypertext-matching analysis to determine which pages are relevant to the specific search being conducted. By combining overall importance and query-specific relevance, we’re able to put the most relevant and reliable results first.”

Now most Search Engine Optimisers will fixate on the word PageRank.  OK, maybe not most but I certainly know a few that have done and I’m sure that there will be many more that still will. Never mind the rumblings out on the net that Google might be losing the PageRank patent.

There it is in black and white! Google’s own words, We use more than 200 signals, including our patented PageRank™” The optimal words being more than 200 and including. I swear if I hear one more optimiser say, “But look at their PageRank, its 5, why are they not being found for the right keywords?”  I’m going to snap and beat the living daylights out of every optimiser with that attitude with a dead fish, most likely a salmon or maybe a trout. Yes in fact I think I will use the trout.

The PageRank is just 1 of more than 200 different signals the bot will look at to decide whether your page is relevant or not. One of the worst sales punch lines out there is when they play on this bloated fixation of Page Rank and know that it has something to do with the relevance of an inbound link and then play on their fears, or in most cases lack of knowledge and then con them into buying a ridiculous link strategy promising them 2000 links for X amount.

Buying links is at least not a fallacy and Google DO frown upon it. Fact!
Using hidden text on a page, BAD!
Keyword stuffing on a page, BAD!
Hidden text on a page, BAD!
Cyber Hoaxing, doorway pages, web page cloaking, redirect Hijacking and so on all BAD BAD BAD!

It’s all common sense. If you think it’s bad, it generally is. For all those would be Search Engine Optimising customers out there, if you have an inkling of suspicion that it’s bad, ask for a second opinion.

The basics of what I’m trying to get at, is that the major search engines will not concentrate on one specific ranking factor. They will look at a lot of specific factors, join them up and use what is called an algorithm and then decide.

There are however some common factors that every search engine optimiser will know and use. Well put it this way, if they do not consider these important they should be put in a small capsule and launched into the outer reaches of space.

Factor No 1 –Meta tags – Page titles. Need to be unique and relevant to the content of the page.
Factor No 2 – Meta tags – Description. Also need to be unique and rich in keywords and deliver the right message without keyword stuffing as this is what the potential client will read on the search engine.
Factor No 3 – I consider this to be one of the most important factors, page content. If your web site has no relevant content then the search engine simply cannot make an educated guess as to what your page is truly about. Remember it takes more than 200 different signals together to decide your importance.
Factor No 4 – This factor is another very important one but a very time consuming factor; back linking. Quality human generated back links can be a gold mine of importance to your site. Careful consideration needs to be placed on where and how your place articles or blogs out there. Simply posting content on any forum, blog site or article site can be damaging as the search engines use these as a reference for the importance of your site.

Once again I will quote Google on what they consider to be true.

1.       Focus on the user and all else will follow

2.       It’s best to do one thing really, really well.

3.       Fast is better than slow.

4.       Democracy on the web works.

5.       You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.

6.       You can make money without doing evil.

7.       There’s always more information out there.

8.       The need for information crosses all borders.

9.       You can be serious without a suit.

10.   Great just isn’t good enough.

Bic launch a Mobile Phone

I know this is a slight break away from the usual blog I put on, this article popped across my screen this morning and made me chortle (laugh)

 

Bic Phone

 

Bic has teamed-up with Orange France to launch the Bic Phone, which comes with a ready-charged battery and an hour’s free calls. The SIM card will already be in place, so all you have to do is switch it on.

Once your free time’s up, Mobicarte pre-pay airtime cards can be used to keep the phone topped up. Alcatel manufactures the handset, and the device’s telephone number is included in the packaging.

Don’t expect too many features though, because Bic states that the phone’s only designed for making calls and sending text messages. But users can choose between a “Citrus Orange” or “Lime Green” body colour.

The Bic phone will be available in France from 7 August and will cost €49 (£39/$80). A UK release date or price hasn’t been given.

On a similar note I have just bought myself a new mobile. This could be the Dogs dangly bits of mobiles. HTC Touch Diamond. All though it was supposed to come with the default TouchFlo 3D already installed instead of the standard windows 6.1. It’s still one hell of a phone. I will be doing a blog shortly on the ins and outs of this new phone as I am guessing there will be other users with the same problems.

HTC touch Diamond

HTC touch Diamond

 

 

A StreetCar Named Google: Google Street View Scrutinised Over Privacy Laws in UK

Google Cam car
Google Street View, the online mapping website that has angered campaigners for privacy, faces being referred to the Information Commissioner if it is made available in Britain.

The website, which has already caused controversy in America, builds up panoramas of cities using Google camera cars, which photograph life on the streets. The tool, which matches real world photos to mapped locations, has drawn fire from some privacy campaigners.

In America, people have been photographed in potentially tricky positions.

One man appeared to be climbing a fence, while two men in San Francisco appeared to be gazing at a woman as she bent over.

An ambulance driver was seen stopping and eating a sandwich.

In the UK, Privacy International said the tool could breach data protection laws if people’s faces were shown.
Google has said it is using face blurring technology to preserve the privacy of individuals photographed.

“In our view they need a person’s consent if they make use of a person’s face for commercial ends,” Simon Davies, of Privacy International told BBC News.

Street View has already been launched in the US and includes photos of streets in major American cities. Photographing of areas in the UK, including London, is believed to have started last week.

Mr Davies has written to Google asking for details of the face-blurring technology, saying he would ask the UK Information Commissioner to intervene if he did not receive a satisfactory response.

He told BBC News that he was concerned that Google’s technology would not work.
Google’s senior privacy counsel Jane Horvath has responded saying that the technology had already been deployed.

She wrote: “We actually launched this technology publicly in early May, when we refreshed our imagery in Manhattan, New York.

“Since then we have applied face blurring to all new imagery launches in the US, including a major launch in June.”

Google has said it plans to launch Street View in a “few European countries” but did not give any more details.

In a statement, a Google spokesperson added: “We think this type of privacy-enabling technology is the best way of meeting the challenge of continuing to respect people’s expectation of privacy, while not stifling the development of new products and services that everyone can enjoy and benefit from.”

A few photos are starting appear on Flicker from people that have spotted the Google cam car
Here is one such photo i cam accross today. from nwfb on FlickerGoogle Cam car

KISS technology

A new page has been added to deal with the universal annoyance of bad web site usability.
Click here to read the start of my new page and stay tuned for more updates on KISS technology

Rogue spider attacks. Will it hurt to ban a whole continent?

A Google Groups thread has a webmaster who has been receiving a lot of rogue spider attacks from the Africa region. He wants to go as far as ban the whole continent of Africa. But he is concerned that by doing so, he will also hurt his Google rankings.
It is actually not all that uncommon for network administrators to block specific regions of web traffic. In fact, I believe my office blocks the Asia and Africa regions from entering our network (not this site, but my office network). We pretty much banned that whole region, because we have no reason to allow those regions in (in most cases, but things have come up).
Would blocking the whole Africa hurt this guys search rankings in Google?

Read the rest of this Article at Search Engine Round Table