Posts Tagged 'search engine'

*Facebook challenges Google’s Dominance on the Online Advertising Sector

This post is intended to sum up an article on WIRED (Great Wall of Facebook: The Social Network’s Plan to Dominate the Internet — and Keep Google Out) I’ve just read this morning. The article is excellent, but in my opinion the editor Fred Voegelstein handles quite a lot of issues in just one article. Given that the piece pretty much concerns itself with the very topic of my PdH, I’d like to comment on it. As you will see, the post below contains quite personal and vague thoughts. I thought about rewriting it in a more objective style, but apart from – hopefully –reporting on my research as objectively as possible, I’d like to also use this blog to express my personal opinions. Thus, please allow me to share my thought on the matter with you. For the sake of brevity I left out information that contradicts my line of argumentation. Please feel provoked and comment on my entry.

It is all about the MONEY. And, with the exception of some music and porn-sites[!], money is mainly made on the web through advertising.

So, money on the web comes from ADVERTISING.
The more information the advertiser has about the user, the more precisely the ad can be tailored to meet the users’ interests. Perfect advertising is not perceived as advertising, but as welcome information.

There are two kinds of advertising: BRANDING and ONLINE RETAILING. “Online retailing” aims at guiding a potential customer to an online-shop; Say you type “Flight Edinburgh” into a search engine – together with your search results you will receive an ad informing you about cheap flights by XY-air to Edinburgh. That is the work of Google AdWords.

Branding does what IP is all about. Reputation. A good trademark is a “lighthouse withstanding the data tsunami“. Branding means investing into the reputation/goodwill of a product/trade mark.

Google made 4 billion USD through its Keyword Advertising service last year. But offline brand advertising accounted globally for 500 billions USD[!] last year.

Google does ONLINE RETAILING, but Facebook could do BRANDING much better. Google lists and indexes everything it finds on the web. However, the 850 million photos and more than 8 million videos uploaded onto Facebook by its 200 million users
Its plan reads as follows: first attract as many users as possible, then let them interact with each other, which creates an incredible wealth of (personal) information. This Facebook then uses (MONTERAIZES) to deliver you perfectly tailored advertising.
cannot be indexed by Google. Why? Because Facebook wants to become the new Google.

While whole governments go ridiculously crazy about Google trying to e.g. digitalize their phonebooks etc. (a very poor example that just sprung to my mind), 200 million people (that means one out of every five internet users) show little hesitation about sharing even their most personal data on Facebook. And while data protection fanatics are torturing Google representatives at every turn with their weirdest paranoid/conspiracy fantasies (e.g. very sad example: the annual SUMA e.V. Conference in Berlin, Europe), Facebook, more or less unnoticed, is on the fast lane.

Facebook, who is in a strategic alliance with Mircosoft will soon launch Facebook Search. This will enable users to search one another’s feeds [even of users who are not your friends]. Facebook’s reported goal is to replace Google. But with one big difference: Google’s results are based on the data available on the web; Facebooks results are based on information people shared online under a false impression of confidentiality.

*Does Google AdWord’s Trademark Policy impair Freedom of Speech?

Joris van Hoboken posted the link to a CNet article by Chris Soghoian which describes how the AdWord’s trademark policy stopped displaying ads on Google in which informed users, who searched on Google for Brandt Hershman, a  state senator in Indiana, that this senator had received money from a well known brand (AT&T). Soghojan obviously dislikes Hershman and searched for a way to communicate to the public that the senator had received money from corporations (there are public lists about that issue in the US) which might have influenced him in his decisions…etc. Fair enough!

Picture 2

Sample Side-Ad created by Austrotrabant

Two more examples:

  • A labor rights group that wished to place an ad stating that “Wal-Mart [let’s say “Schlecker” here] forbids its employees from unionizing,” whenever someone searched for the phrase “minimum wage.”
  • A public-interest group that wished to place an ad stating that “The RIAA [let’s say Sony Music, AKM, AUSTROMECHANA, etc.] has filed over 30,000 lawsuits against Internet users, many of whom were children, elderly, or even dead,” whenever a Google user searched for the words “file sharing.”

When reading the article I was wondering what the situation would be like in Austria for such a case… I haven’t reached a conclusion yet… but I really think that is an interesting idea especially as Google AdWords is a private entity and thus under no obligation to enter into a contract with me. Secondly I’ve invested 99,9% of all my research time thinking “into the other direction”, (trademark law, law of unfair competition) so that I find this view onto things really, really interesting.

* What does a search engine look like from inside?

One of the things users most like about Google is its quickness. Just enter a query into the search mask and a second later you will receive the results etc. Have you ever wondered what the technique “behind the search mask” looks like?

Here is a litte movie which Google published on this topic. Nothing spectacular but indeed worth to see it.

*Trust in Search Engines

-Users blame themselves, not the search engine if they are unable to find something on the internet.
Even if some evil scientist have actually reversed the order of the search results.

– 92% of search engine users are confident with their research capabilities.
Place a monkey in front of a computer and he will also able to come up with “some” search results on Google.-

– Search engines are attaining the status & trust of public institutions such as the government, hospitals etc.
Just keep in mind the censoring Google carries out. Yes, the search for the terms “Tiananmen square massacre” -brings up pretty much identical search results on Goolge Images in .at and .cn …. but jut for the fun of it… just enter only the term “Tiananmen” and compare the results 😉


Literature:
Fallows, Search Engine Users – Internet searchers are confident, satisfied and thrusting – but they are also unaware and naive (02.04.2009) 27; Fries, Suchverhalten im Internet VDM Müller Verlag (2007), Saarbrücken 72; Pan/Hembrooke/Joachims/Lorigo/Gay/Granka, In Google We Trust: Users’ Decision on Rank, Position, and Relevance, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 2007, 12/3 (02.04.2009).


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