Search News

Are Google and Verizon Teaming Up to Take Down Net Neutrality?

One of the most amazing aspects of the internet is that, by and large, all traffic and content is treated equally. This concept is known as net neutrality, and it governs intent usage in the US. Frankly, it’s somewhat baffling that the US government and large corporations haven’t been successful in garnering more power over what takes place on the internet, but courts have been reluctant to rule in favor of regulation. But according to a report today in The New York Times, Google and Verizon have a deal in the pipeline that could change net neutrality as we know it.

The Times reports that Google and Verizon are finalizing a deal to institute a tiered service model, which would allow Verizon to stream content from some companies more quickly—for a price of course. This would allow large sites, those that need lightening-fast speed like Facebook, YouTube, to receive priority treatment. If the deal takes place, it has the potential to lead to higher service costs for internet users.

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Managing Your Company’s Reputation on Google Place Pages

It’s an inescapable fact of modern business that the public’s impression of your company will be shaped in large part by what they find about you on the search engines, particularly if you are a small business. A couple of negative reviews or a few people venting on a Ripoff Report can deter customers from your business for months or even years to come. Up until recently, many of the channels for voicing your opinion were catered to the consumer, but Google is looking to even the playing field for those on the business side of things.

This problem has been an acute concern for locally based businesses in particular—such as restaurants and service companies—that pop up in a section of Google Maps known as Place Pages. Essentially, this works as an online directory, complete with directions, reviews and details about the company. Traditionally, customers have been able to post reviews and comments at will, but there has never been a formal avenue for a response from the company. Google recently announced that businesses will be able to respond to these comments, offering an opportunity to manage their public image.

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Do Search Engines Need Government Regulation?

Google has spent years developing and honing their search engine algorithm to bring people the most relevant information on the web. And these efforts have been well rewarded. The name Google is now synonymous with internet-based searches, with the transitive verb “to google” now officially part of the Oxford English Dictionary. Most of us probably think of search engines as pragmatic tools which we use on a daily basis, but the fact of the matter is that search engines are a lucrative business, and Google is dominating the market with almost two-thirds of all internet searches.

In the past week—beginning with an editorial in the New York Times—there has been much debate as to whether or not the government should provide some sort of regulation over search engines. The article in the Times points out that when Google started they were a purely informational resource, providing an objective view of the web’s most relevant sites. Over the years, however, Google’s enterprises have expanded vastly, with maps, shopping, paid advertisements, email and litanies of other auxiliary projects. While business expansion is obviously a good thing, Google now has an incentive to promote their services above their competitors—which is a definite conflict of interest when, ostensibly, you’re managing an objective site.

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Setting Up Your Online Business for Search Engine Success

An increasing number of budding entrepreneurs are turning to the internet as the catalyst for their business endeavors. Many recognize the low startup costs, minimal overhead and instant access to a global market and dive into an internet business headfirst, not taking the time to research their options thoroughly. Just as with a brick-and-mortar store, it’s imperative to do your due diligence to conceive a marketable product with adequate levels of supply and demand, establish a breakeven point and determine if you have the time, money and perseverance required to make your business a success.

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Getting to Know Search Engine Algorithms

Anyone looking to rank highly in the search engines needs to know a little bit about algorithms. I know, this sounds like some sort of esoteric calculus equation used exclusively by astrophysicists, but it is actually the heart of all search engines. Although there is some discrepancy as to the precise definition of an algorithm, it’s basically a method for solving problems using a precise sequence of instructions. Flowcharts provide a good analogy.

When you go through a flowchart, you are asked a series of questions and eventually led to some resolution. This is essentially of microcosm of an algorithm. Each search engine uses dozens of “signals” to comprise their algorithm, including variables such as a website’s speed, content and inbound links. As you can imagine, sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo! are constantly updating, augmenting and refining the signals used in their algorithms to ensure users are presented with the most pertinent information.

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iPhone 4 and Other Highlights from the WWDC

Apples’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference has traditionally served as a platform to showcase the latest innovations the company has developed, and this year was no different. Steve Jobs, Apple’s Chief Executive, provided the main attraction via his keynote speech, which featured the new iPhone 4 that will be going on sale later this month. As one of Apple’s marquee products, the media, software developers and consumers have anxiously been awaiting an opportunity to see the latest edition of the iPhone in action.

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Facebook Expounds Privacy Policy Changes

It took all of two days for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to make good on his promise of simplifying Facebook’s privacy settings. Unlike many companies who have come under public scrutiny as of late—BP, Goldman Sachs and Toyota, just to name a few—Facebook moved quickly and decisively to address the concerns of their constituency. The new settings were unveiled at a presentation held today at the company’s headquarters and will provide users with what the company had originally intended: a straightforward, user-friendly means for Facebook members to control the dissemination of their personal information. The changes will take a couple of weeks to be implemented, but here is a brief overview of what you can expect:

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‘Your Jeans Store’ Denotes iePlexus Web Marketing as Wise Spending

No matter her age, size or preferred taste in clothing, every woman is familiar with the struggle to find the perfect-fitting jeans. While some consider this notion a fairytale and others believe it’s about attainable as a four-leaf clover, nearly all women – even those who have stumbled upon occasional luck – share the frustration of chasing this dream.

“I had never heard of Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and then, one day, a friend who lives in Australia called me up to see if I could find her a pair and ship them overseas,” said Lee Ann Singleton.

It was the summer of 2008 and, although Singleton discovered she wasn’t able to grant this wish due to international distribution laws (specific to the brand), the request did spark a curiosity that led her to purchase a pair of her own to find out what, exactly, made them worth all the trouble to track down.

“Before I was introduced to NYDJ, I had to try on every pair of jeans prior to purchasing them because my size seemed to vary from store to store. But after slipping into my first pair of NYDJ, I was enlightened by the exhilarating reality that: Jeans can fit!” Singleton said.

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Google Introduces The Chrome Web Store for PC Apps

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, tech companies have inundated Apple with praise over the last decade. The iPod has inspired a litany of similar MP3 players, while the iPhone has forced competitors to rethink the concept of the cell phone entirely. One aspect of Apple’s business structure that has remained exclusive is their App Store for the iPhone and the iPad, until now that is.

Earlier today, Google unveiled  a new online marketplace where consumers can purchase games, magazines and online applications via the Google Chrome web browser. The Chrome Web Store, which is slated for debut later this year, will feature both free and paid applications. According to news sources, the store will operate in a similar fashion as the Apple and Android App Stores, except the applications will be for your personal computer.

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Major University Abandons Gmail Service

The 30,000 staff members at the University of California Davis are no longer using Gmail as their e-mail provider. The university had been testing Google’s e-mail service since August 2009, in hopes to eventually roll it out to the entire campus population. However, university officials say that the e-mail service isn’t secure or private enough to meet their standards.

Quite a few staff members had privacy concerns, many of which stemmed from Google Buzz, the social network embedded within Gmail. In a letter from the university to Google, school officials wrote that the staff members “expressed concerns that our campus’ commitment to protecting the privacy of their communications is not demonstrated by Google and that the appropriate safeguards are neither in place at this time nor planned for in the near future.” (more…)