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Blogging: When It's Not a Good Idea
Blogging can be a bad idea. Business blogs are not the answer to everything. I'll bet you never thought you would read those sentiments on this blog...

Motorola Debuts First Ever Nano Emissive Flat Screen Display
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FTD.com And ProFlowers.com Capitalize On Mother’s Day Search Engine Marketing
On the heels of Mother's Day, WebTrends Inc., the web analytics market share leader, today unveiled results from its WebPosition Ranking study of how five "grower fresh" flower sites are using Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing strategies to attract visitors who were looking for Mother's Day gifts...

Microsoft’s Doom: Open Source
Microsoft may be in trouble. Right now, Windows dominates the PC market and it has for a while but Linux has developed its following that following may grow if the British government has its way...

Napster Nabs Ringtone Market
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We Don’t Need No Windows Updates

British school kids may see changes to their computer desktops in school, should a new study have significant impact...

Mozilla Makes Firefox Security Advisory
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From War Zone To Web, Navy Keeps Soldiers In Touch
Members of the armed forces serving overseas turn to Internet services supported by a Naval branch...

Windows Server 2003 R2 Update Released
Improvements touted by Microsoft include better identity and access management, and more UNIX interoperability...

FCC; Hollywood Flagged Down
The US Circuit Court of Appeals shook its finger at the Federal Communications Commission for trying to enact new anti-piracy regulations...

Electronic Bloodhound Sniffs Out Cash
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Grokker.com Bring Visuals To Yahoo Search
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Turn Down That iPod
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Jason Miller

Is there a conspiracy deep in the belly of the Internet beast? Are corporate entities secretly driving the information available to you-subtly stroking toward a global political opinion matching their own agenda? Maybe they are. Maybe they're not.

Do search engines carry over personal and political biases of the developers? How would a company be impacted if they in fact did let their personal beliefs bleed over into the daily search engine operation? Discuss at WebProWorld.

For the unwitting, it is largely assumed that this info-universe is under the tight, objective thumb of algorithms, a mathematical surety of neutrality.

But in the world outside, humans prove craftier than processors, and find ways to outsmart search engines. Add some advertising, and the pure waters of objectivity become a cloudy, bleach-white mess.

The icy truth is that neither humans nor search engines are perfect, and eschewed SERPs seem a hard to control inevitability.

Google wields the type of power that transforms vocabularies. It has become its own part of speech.

Need information on Montana militias? Google it.

Though militias be found, sponsored links to firearms dealers that can help you join, are not. For Google, Yahoo, and other search engines, gun retailers are persona non grata.

That leads to a lot of questions.

If search engines are selective about their advertising, are they selective about other things? Are search results slanted? Is Google liberal or conservative? Why are porn ads okay and gun ads not?

Recently, the subject has been broached on many sites, conservative and liberal, insisting that Google is slanted in favor of the other side. But how can it be both?

It may just be a matter of perception.

By some accounts, paying an SEO to increase keyword relevance is essentially the same as paid inclusion. The routes are different, but the end is the same-paying to be listed #1. Is that perspective or truth? Is it just semantic gaming?

Get Started now On An Easy Website Cashflow Program: Click Here

Google recently found controversy regarding the site, "JewWatch," an anti-Semitic page, which came up first ranked when users typed in the word, "Jew."

After a wave of outrage, Google explained the result was not by choice but by relevance, and would not "tweak" the results by banning the site.

The Jewish community responded by "googlebombing" the Internet. A googlebomb involves setting up a large number of websites, all of them with a link to a chosen site. The purpose is to get Google to list that site first.

As a result, JewWatch was replaced as the number one ranked result.

Google was also accused of driving certain viewpoints during the 2004 election. An emotionally charged election, the Internet was flooded with news, opinion editorials, and campaign ads, and Google was called out for favoring Bush.

One especially damning example was the banishment of ads for the "Deck of Bush" playing cards, citing 54 reasons President Bush shouldn't be reelected.

Google stated that their policy "does not permit the advertisement of websites that contain language that advocates against an individual, group, or organization."

Deck of Bush co-creator Jerry Vasilatos responded by saying that "their definition…is completely contradictory, because they are allowing ad campaigns for products and items supportive of President Bush as well as items critical of Senator John Kerry."

On August 24th, users who clicked on the John Kerry link in Google news came up with front-page link titles like these:

· The imploding John Kerry
· John Kerry's Resume (Part V) At Worst, Treasonous Behavior
· Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Expose John Kerry's Lies
· Krazy John Kerry
· John Kerry is Definitely "Unfit for Command"
· I'm John Kerry And I Approve This Flip-Flop

This doesn't bode well for a case of objective news, especially when, according to J.D. Lasica, links for Bush seemed balanced.

Though it appears from these examples that Google leans a bit to the right, another source says Google is rank with liberal bias.

Tom Delay fans at Rightmarch.com protested Google's censoring an ad that was a verbatim copy, aside from changing the name of Tom Delay to Nancy Pelosi, of a DNC advertisement.

But it seems far-fetched that Google is both liberal and conservative at once.

Gun advocates, though, insist search engines are, indeed, slanted. Gunmuse.com's creator, Donny Lairson, says "search engines are silently pushing their political views with their search."

While that may be true, it seems especially hard to prove.

Regarding denial of online gambling ads, David Krane, of Google said, "this change was made as a part of Google's ongoing commitment to…ensure that we provide the best search and advertising experience to our users."

Legality is also an issue, as online gambling is illegal in California.

But are porn site ads an enhancement of user experience? Isn't viewing by minors illegal in ALL states?

While selective advertising is an obvious editorial process by Google, the question must be asked about how news articles are selected. Is there editorial freedom there, too?

Krishna Bharat, chief scientist for Google News, said, "The ranking and prominence of stories are based on several factors: How many publications are writing about a topic; how recent the articles are; the size of the story; and the frequency of the search term within the article…

"The algorithms do not understand which sources are right-leaning or left-leaning. They're apolitical."

It may prove a difficult task to prove the political slant of search engines. With a few exceptions, most results seem to be user (i.e. people) originated. And people are the least likely to display any type of stoic impartiality.

But algorithms, though good at math, aren't as creative as humans with agendas

In cyberspace or real space, Mom's advice to "consider the source" is always a wise proposition.

About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Articles: 18,018 Contributing Authors: 2,542
Tuesday May 10, 2005
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Personalize Your Google Search

By Mark Fleming

When you search with Google, it sees you as any other Google user. It has no idea what your interests are. Therefore, for the same search words Google will deliver the same results to you and everyone else in the world searching with the same language and country selections.

But, what if I told you that Google can provide search results based on your interests? Are you a sports fan, a technology enthusiast, a gourmet chef? You can make sure Google knows this and have it tailor your search accordingly. Many words can have many meanings and if Google knows your interests it can give more emphasis to pages that are more likely to work for you.

No, Google is not a mind reader; you have to tell it what your interests are. And you have to use a different Google search page that is in beta in the Google Labs. It's called Google Personalized Search. To check it out, open up a Google Personalized browser window by clicking this link.

Read the Full Article

About the Author:
Mark Fleming is the founder of a new blog called Google Tutor & Advisor. Google Tutor & Advisor offers in-depth Tips, Techniques and Advice for Google Users.

Visit Google Tutor & Advisor ...

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Rafael Robinson

Help a member convert his website...

Our post today comes from emils. He wants to convert his non-English directory to an English informational website. A couple of concerns pop-up for him with this question, he's curious if anyone has had any luck with this and if his results will change in the SERP's? Think you can help emils out? Tell us your thoughts at WebProWorld.

|| Rafael||


Changing a Websites Purpose

By emils

I have a regional, non-english directory that has a PR5 and a few hundreds backlinks towards it. Now I have been thinking about this for a while. I intend to change the website's content and purpose completely, from being a non-english directory to an english informational website with good content, but obviously on a completely different topic.

Question is, has anyone tried something like this, and how well did the website perform? What would be the results that I may expect, in your opinion. I am concerned that many of the existing links will have very different keywords in anchor text. Will these still count as to giving my site better results in SERPs?

I will be also moving the website to an US based server for IP localization reasons...

  ...Click to read more
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