About Philipp Lenssen

Philipp Lenssen from Germany, author of Google Apps Hacks, shares his views & news on the search industry in the daily Google Blogoscoped.
Paid Links Economy

Measuring the quality of an ad system

Many bloggers and other website owners around the world aren’t selling their content these days, they’re financing their site with advertising. Almost every ad system seems to be a compromise. You can measure this compromise across different parameters: is the ad relevant? Is it unobtrusive? Is it disclosed? Is the product or service advertised fair to users? Is the ad directly influencing search engine rankings? Is the ad creating a conflict of interest? Is the ad obfuscating the voice of the website owner?

Google Ads Tracking Mouse-Overs

Jacopo of MarketingRoutes emails this:

Looking at DoubleClick’s Past
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Google News Archive search is a nice way to recap coverage of a person or company throughout the years. Here are bits and pieces of past DoubleClick coverage.

Google Announces Developer Day for May

Google announced they’ll be holding a worldwide developer day on May 31st, 2007 (you can sign-up now).

Google Censors China Olympics Criticism

The motto of next year’s Olympic games in China is “one world, one dream.” Online, the world is actually split up into several countries, each with their own limited view, made possible through national censorship of the web.

Google and AFP Agreement

Huh? AFP and Google are friends again. As you may remember, AFP – Agence France-Presse, who employ 1,000s of journalists, and who have been caught plagiarizing Wikipediasued Google over the use of their headlines and thumbnails in Google News.

Matt Cutts on Chinese SEO

Zac interviewed Google’s Matt Cutts with a focus on Chinese SEO issues (the interview’s available in Chinese as well).

Usability and Mode Errors

What’s a mode error or a modal error? In usability speak, that’s when the user confuses the mode they’re currently in, causing a wrong or ineffective action. For example, when I click on a contact’s note on my Windows Mobile OS (which has a very low overall usability), and I open up the keyboard to enter a note with my stylus pen, I can’t – I’m in read-only mode (indicated by the lack of a blinking text cursor inside the note field). Only after I hit “edit” at the bottom will I switch to edit mode to be able to enter something. I committed a “mode error.

Google on Server Maintenance

Bill Koslosky on his blog reports on a Google talk on the subject of server maintenance*, given by Google’s Luiz Barroso (pictured):

Scaling a Tag Cloud

Like many of you I’m using tag clouds (or related navigation concepts) on a couple of sites, like CoverBrowser.com.

Sometimes I run into the problem of scaling the cloud, when the page is about to get too large and complicated to serve as an overview.

Google IME Caught Plagiarizing

Google has been caught copying some of its competitor’s data for the recent release of their Chinese Input Method Editor (a desktop tool to convert Pinyin characters into Chinese characters).

YouTube Censorship in Thailand

Reuters writes:

Google Introduces My Maps

Google introduced a new feature to Google Maps: My Maps. The My Maps tab can be found at the left-hand side, and allows you to quickly create your own placemarks with information (including photos) as well as your own lines and shapes to mark areas. You can then share these maps with others on the web through a special link.

Turkish Google Users Want Special Logo

A “national Google campaign” from Turkey is jealous of special logos some countries get (“Such as 4th of july logo for Americans” or “Australia New Zealand Army Corps … day logo for the martyr in Gallipoli for the Australians”) and demands customized logos from Google Turkey “on our nations special days.

CRM for the Google Homepage

CRM for Google (CRM means Customer Relationship Management) is a set of gadgets for your personalized Google homepage that allows you to do things like track tasks, manage contacts, add notes, or create appointments.

Google Maps API Supports GeoRSS, KML

Google Maps now supports the GeoRSS file format, and the Google Maps API now allows you to add geographic data in the form of KML files to your mashups, the official Google Maps API blog reports. Frank Taylor of the unofficial Google Earth blog throws in some caveats:

Baidu’s Image Search

Asian search competitor Baidu is funny. When you use their image search engine and click on a thumbnail, they’ll open a new page on their server which displays the large version of the image, with an additional link to the source page… an interesting interpretation of “fair use.” (There’s some sort of copyright notice on the page’s footer, though automatic translation programs fail to get the precise point across… part of it sounds like “This picture may be copyrighted.”)

Google’s New Mobile Variant

Google released a new mobile search engine additional to their existing mobile search.

SEO Spam Case Study

ShopFactory.com (by Steffan Klein & Michael Veith, according to the About page) is a system to help you create online shops.

Google Announces Trendalyzer Acquisition

Google just announced they’ve acquired Gapminder’s Trendalyzer, a software that (quote Gapminder) “unveils the beauty of statistics by converting boring numbers into enjoyable interactive animations.”

Yu: Yahoo Betrays Husband

Wired reports on the story of Wang Xiaoning, an internet writer who was jailed partly due to information Yahoo passed on to the Chinese government, and the story of his wife, who now entered the US to hold Yahoo accountable for their complicity. Five years ago, this is what happened:

Google Shows Backlinks Text

This is pretty cool for webmasters – Google now offers you to see the most popular link text pointing to your site. Just go to your Google Webmaster Tools -> Statistics -> Page analysis.

Google Talk Gadget Comes to Town

There’s a new (and official) personalized homepage gadget in town: Google Talk. It’s quite nice, and after a quick trial I have to say I prefer this to both desktop Google Talk, as well as Gmail’s Google Chat alternative.

Rumors of Google Phone

The “Google Phone” is a totally unverified but interesting rumor. Someone at a mobile phone forum claims he was exposed to information on a potential Google Phone via a paid-survey website. Garett Rogers has a copy of the screenshot and some of the specs this user saw. Garett quotes from the design specs which were visible on the screenshot: