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About Nathan Weinberg

Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

Visit the InsideGoogle blog.

Yahoo Sumo Wrestling

For Earth Day, Yahoo encouraged their employees to help conservation, to drop their usage of non-renewable resources by 20%.

Google Responds to Viacom
Google has released its official response to Viacom’s billion dollar lawsuit against its YouTube property, saying that Viacom is threatening the way everyone exchanges information on the internet. Google’s claim is that Viacom’s lawsuit completely ignores the DMCA, and as a result threatens to unravel it and introduce all sorts of chaos for websites and service providers.

Google Has About 900 Millionaires, Some Leaving
The Guardian has an article about rich Google employees leaving, and they say a report quoted Google as having as many as 900 millionaires. Considering that Google has 12,238 employees (as of March 31), and had only 6,790 employees a year ago, that’s a pretty significant percentage.

Google Personalized Homepage Gets A Name: iGoogle
Google has finally given its personalized homepage a name, calling it what many people had suspected the name was all along: iGoogle. Google had a whole Personalization Workshop in Mountain View yesterday, and Google Blogoscoped had someone on the scene for the whole thing.

Some details:

Google Losing Homepage Preferences
Google has apparently lost the personalized homepage preferences of hundreds of users, if not more. Ari commented on this at 8:53 this morning, and over 150 people have posted as having the problem on Google Groups since 6:45 am.

Getting Google to Work with Opera
Last December, I posted about a user script for Opera that got several Google services to actually work in the wonderful Opera browser, and its a good time for an update. The script is new as of March 14, fixing Spreadsheets, Calendar, Picasa Web Albums, and Docs.

Google and Ads That Profit from Tragedies
The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, and many other news organization web sites have bought keyword ads for terms related to the Virginia Tech tragedy.

CBS To Distribute Content On MSN and Others

CBS has announced it will be distributing free and paid video content with a variety of partners, including MSN, Joost, and AOL, like it currently does on Google’s YouTube and iTunes. Some of the content will be ad-supported, others will be the sales of TV episodes.

Demo of Google’s Powerpoint-like Tool
Tonic Systems has a demo of their TonicPoint presentations software, the software Google has just purchased to become its presentations software. Enjoy!

Microsoft Fine-Tunes Branding

Microsoft is making several subtle and smart moves to improve its inconsistent and unimaginative branding schemes:

Has Google Crossed the Line?
As I just posted on the InsideMicrosoft blog, Microsoft has issued a statement suggesting the government get involved regarding Google’s purchase off DoubleClick, and be concerned that Google is building a competition-averse monopoly. As reported at Paid Content, Yahoo and AT&T are also raising concerns (all tried to buy DoubleClick and were vastly outbid by Google), especially about the fact that combined, Google and DoubleClick will own 80% of publisher advertising services.

SES – SEO Through Blogs and Feeds

cross-posted with InsideMicrosoft

SES – Meet the Search Ad Networks
Cross-posted with InsideMicrosoft

Help Nathan Weinberg Find His Camera at SES

So, I was pretty much enjoying SES, seeing lots of familiar faces, including Barry Schwartz, Mike McDonald of WebProNews, and laughing in the background as Rand Fishkin interviewed Google’s Vanessa Fox. I even got to meet Tamar Weinberg, who was acting as part of Barry’s army covering almost every session on the schedule.

Sitting Around at SES NY
Just sitting around at Search Engine Strategies New York, waiting for my food to arrive (I’ve got a special meal) or 1:30 to come, whichever is first. If you’re here, Twitter me, call me (212.380.7127), or just yell out my name (”hey, Superman!”).

Google Down for 7 Minutes This Year
Pingdom has done an accounting of the uptime of the top 20 websites on the internet (according to Alexa). Their results show that Google has suffered a mere 7 minutes of downtime thus far in 2007, or 0.00540123332% downtime, and can thus boast uptime of an impressive 99.9945988%.

Google Makes Creating Map Collections Easier
Google has added a new feature to Google Maps called MyMaps, which makes it possible, with no programming experience, to create a map with detail. You can place pushpins by just right-clicking on the map, write descriptions on them, even add HTML to include pictures, and save the whole thing to send to a friend. It even had drawing tools for drawing lines or complex areas. I did a simple mashup, listing some favorite places in New York, in a matter of minutes:

Microsoft Stops Filling Search Boxes

MSN UK was running an experiment where they pre-filled the search box with “of the day” popular terms, such as “Apprentice BBC” or “Cricket World Cup”, hoping it would prompt users to take advantage of the search box a little more. Well, after a few days, the experiment has been retired and dubbed a bad idea.

Google Maps Reverts To Pre-Katrina Images for NO
Google is coming under criticism for rolling back satellite imagery of New Orleans, replacing the images of post-Katrina New Orleans with older, pre-hurricane photos that show the city in a much cleaner condition than is the reality. In this article by The Age, Google says it is only offering the best images it has, and that there are many factors that went into the change:

Yahoo Does Infinity in Theory AND Practice
Two years ago this Sunday, Google introduced two gigabytes of email storage for Gmail, with the amount of storage ticking up slowly, what they called their “Infinity + 1″ system. The idea was that since the counter went up continuously, you really had near-infinite storage. It was a great idea, except for one thing: Infinity + 1 implies better than inifinity, but it’s not.

The “How to Beat Google” Series
Rich Skrenta is running a series on his blog called How To Beat Google, detailing the strategies needed to defeat Google in the marketplace, and consequently, showing exactly what Google’s competitors are doing wrong. The advice includes:

Google Reaches Out To Presidential Campaigns
Google is holding lectures giving tips to political and advocacy group consultants, showing them how to better use all of Google’s services in managing their messages. According to the Los Angeles Times, Google packed 80 consultants into a lecture hall earlier this month, and conducted an hourlong seminar showing:

SES NY: Almost Here
We are now under two weeks away from Search Engine Strategies New York, the premier search industry event in my backyard, and boy am I excited. Search Engine Roundtable is planning a huge amount of coverage, planning to liveblog about 80% of all sessions.

Google Spreadsheets Updated
Google Spreadsheets has been updated, a minor release bumping the version number to 1.2.0i. The update fixes these issues:

  • spreadsheets not loading quick enough
  • spreadsheets not loading
  • disconnect error messages (and if you are disconnected, you will be reconnected automatically)