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I’m doing a talk at Gnomedex about how search continues to be part of our everyday lives -- and the issues that come with it, such as privacy. This post looks at some of those issues. I’m hoping to spark some discussion that will feed into my talk.
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from SportsGuy 2297 Days ago #
Votes: 0

SEs and real life - soft collision, but still a collision.I’ve found that working online (in general) has enabled me to reach out to all corners of the Earth to meet people - which I like to do.The engines have thus helped empower a slide in localized relationships for me, with a couple of exceptions.More than ever, when it comes to seeking info, I simply search.  I don’t call friends or family to ask advice.  I discuss it with my wife, then we search and read up on the results, forming a much broader - and hopefully, more worldly - view on the topic at hand.  Having started as mostly a novelty way of telling me I was right by looking for similar thinking, it’s now the way we vett things.A recent conversation with a real estate agent had them prattling on about how many listings they had in my neighborhood, and thus should have mine too.  A quick search online netted the facts.  They had only recently got their license, only recently started actually selling, and none of their current listings had been sold.  As well, they did not have a website of their own.Not a huge deal, I’ll grant you, but to me, a deadend.  If you don’t feel it’s worth having a website in your own marketing mix, how can I trust you’ll get the marking mix right for me to sell my home.  The fact is, I see engines as a non-interested 3rd party.  I ask the question, they fetch the answer.  I think, by-and-large, the main engines get it mostly right, but they all mess up from time to time.  Still, I’ll trust the technology over the friends I grew up with every time.  Still love the lads, but I’m guessing Google possess access to more experience on any given topic...save partying, that’s another matter completely!Now, though engines have managed to help me feel a bit more withdrawn from society (why call and talk to a human when you can read at your leisure??), specific instances come to mind when the engines have actually built new relationshsips.  No, this is not a plug for some online dating service...Upon deciding I wanted to buy a Volkswagen TDI, I went in search of an online community.  The engines dropped me smack dab into the largest TDI owners community online.  From there I not only learned new things, but met other local owners - we now all meet every month or so to work on our cars and have a couple of beer - great group of people, and a couple of the greatest friends ever as a result of that one search.Photography, same thing.  Jeeps and offroading, ditto.Many I know think it odd that I can form friendships via website I found by searching.  I say search engines allow for the finding of the groups with the most passion on a given topic.  ...and there’s a kind of safety in knowing you don’t really know anyone, really.  If you are an avatar, you can come and go as you please.  You can contribute or lurk as you want, with no overt pressure to find time to keep a relationship going.I watch my friends children interact with search engines.  Wth me, I learned it from day one when the engines came into being.  Still learning how best to use them today, in fact.  Those kids, though.  To them, it’s almost hard-wired to use search engines to learn things or find things.  I watched a friend last week reach for the yellow pages to look up a number.  His daughter chuckled and in a few seconds, was rattling off the number to the local pizza joint (as found by Google).  He just shrugged and picked up the phone.  I laughed a little and couldn’t help notice that a part of the future is here now, thanks to the engine’s ability to give us data when we want it.

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from onemanbandwidth 2297 Days ago #
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I wrote a blog article about an old frind of mine who came to visit me in China (I gave up my frequent flyer points to get him here) and he was soon after called into court. His ex-wife’s attornet Googled his name and got my article. They demanded more money from him for child support. The assumption was: if he had money enough to travel to China, he had more money to give to his ex. I am glad I had a paper trail.

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from MikeDammann 2297 Days ago #
Votes: 0

the same way life develops, search will. whatever people want to do in real life, is going to be imitated by algorithms and new social networks. The need to find likeminded people to connect with, information aboutthings of interest and anything to make your life easier (finding things faster and such).

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from toddmintz 2297 Days ago #
Votes: 0

http://www.semportland.com/announcements/your-google-portrait/This blog post I wrote a while back made the argument that a SERP paints an in-depth portrait of the thing/idea/person that is searched and this portrait has incredible power to shape how the public will view that thing/idea/person.  This makes online reputation management absolutely essential to everybody / every business and shows how critically damaging any transgressions can be to your personal / business prospects.  The scary thing about this is that your behavior can be beyond reproach but somebody else with an axe to grind or a ne’er do well with the same name can still affect your ORM and there is little you can do about it.

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from Jill 2297 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Great post, and great topic for a conference. For me, and I think many others, just having search at the end of their fingertips at anytime, any place, makes us smarter overall. There have been so many times I might be sitting at a bar or anywhere and someone asks a silly question about anything and I can just say...well...let’s see what Google says, or what Wikipedia says, and more recently, what my Twitter buds think!It’s truly amazing to be able to look up any fact or question and in an instant have information or an answer.

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from MattCutts 2297 Days ago #
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It might be fun to take 5 minutes and pose a hypothetical question like "Suppose you work at a search engine. Someone emails you and says that a web page has false or libelous information about them. Would you take the page down?" Then depending on how the audience goes, tweak the nature of the request. "Suppose the person wrote in and said that another site copied their article. How would you handle that?" It’s fun to have people consider such situations to understand the motivation for some search engine policies.P.S. Have a great vacation!

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from thejimgaudet 2297 Days ago #
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I think we need to have 2 ways to browse the internet. Most of us already do. I boot up into Ubuntu and have it setup for full anonymity, when I want to research parts of the net that I know people are trying to get my information.When I am doing standard research, and really want Google and others to "remember" me, then I just use Windows.I think computers now need a setting, like a noindex, nofollow, so that there is a way for people to not be monitored. But, anything public, should be public. That’s why we have news. Whether or not the news should be removed, I think that is a case by case issue. I mean, if Google caught a naked picture of my in my living room and put that on the net, it should be removed (that didn’t happen, by the way), but if is just your face, what’s the big deal.my 2cHey Sphinn (Just noticed that your Spell Checker doesn’t recognize Google as a word!)

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from seobook 2297 Days ago #
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As more hypertargeted publishing channels arise and we read more self reinforcing information how do we get beyond the walls of our own comfort zones and biases? Search engines rank whatever is linked to the most (at least to some degree) but they don’t have a subjective way to find the best information. This can lead to result diversity, but heavily skewed diversity with lots of issues at the edges but a limited amount of information in the middle. How does search overcome the dual polarizing effects of self reinforcing media consumption bias and the biased caused by link = vote?

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from JohnHGohde 2297 Days ago #
Votes: -5

I am a person who actually requested Google to remove libelous information about themselves, with less than satisfatory results. So, I returned kind with kind. There should be a time limit on all newsgroup postings. For example, anything over three years old should automatically be deleted 100%.I found the social security number of my deceased mother published online. How in the world, in this day and age can websites be allowed to publish social security numbers? That should be, if it is not already, a criminal offense.Michael Savage, radio talk show host, thinks that terroists are the people most likely to benefit from Google Maps, and I agree.

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from g1smd 2297 Days ago #
Votes: 3

***  There should be a time limit on all newsgroup postings. For example, anything over three years old should automatically be deleted 100%.  ***<div></div><div></div><div>No way.</div><div></div><div></div><div>That would be like an archive destroying all old books and newspapers and magazines ...   all that history would be lost forever.</div>

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from MikeDammann 2296 Days ago #
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I do believe that the link strategy works, regardless of ownership of material. You need to sometimes go with the popularity, and "real links" reflect those generally speaking. I personally believe that algorithmically Google has no responsibility to determine who owns something and who doesn’t, but when specific cases are brought to their attention, they need to use some common sense and ice the squatters for the sake of credibility.~ Mike Dammann

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from MikeDammann 2296 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"For example, anything over three years old should automatically be deleted 100%."John, I agree with that 100%Google has been playing it safe using old results as an indicator of authority, but old outdated results will not satisfy users who want news. It is a shame that I have searched for some competitive real estate related terms and come accross sites probably getting 500 uniques daily because of Google and having found out thru a phone call that the site owner died 2 years ago and his widow just keeps his site up because she wants to keep his work alive.

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from SportsGuy 2296 Days ago #
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Mike, while your example may be factual and in relation to the point, I think it’s also not representative of the vast majority of cases.  Sure, this one person kept this one site live for no good reason and G ranked it well, longer.  But really, in the bigger picture, the sites that rank don’t tend to fall into that example category.That said, in the real estate segment, there is still a lot of spamming going on, so it’s likely that vertical may show more odd results than some other categories.On this point, I have to say I’m on the side of NOT having the content expire.When viewed on scale, the engines do a decent job of returning what’s relevant to most people, most of the time.  Not sure that search - as a vehicle - is the be-all-to-end-all way of conveying information to the right person at the right time, but until a system exists that could support such targeting in real time, search is what we got.

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from Palatnik 2295 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think you can pinpoint SO MANY things as to how search has been made part of our daily lives, for most people anyway in business, etc.Search provides the most reliable and loyal resource of information in the world. When you’re looking for something, one of the first things you probably say is, "let me Google it." Purchasing a product, where to travel next, how to get over a break-up, all these different things that are part of our daily life...search has come to provide the information we need at any time...when we have no one to talk to, no one to ask. It is always there. As it has been on our computer for many years, now it is on our phones, where will it be next? You can bet it will probably be everywhere and anywhere. Search wil continue to improve as we mold it to what we need it to do for us.

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from frankschulteladbeck 2295 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Being in the real estate industry, I like looking at how users interact with my industry on the internet. Most people simply contact and use one Realtor, and they do not seem to check them out like SportsGuy mentioned he did above. For me that is the promise of Search in changing the way industries work. Currently most search inquiries seem to be directed to understanding how a sale or purchase of a home occurs, or some other data along those lines. Once consumers use it to their advantage in checking out a Realtor, an appraiser, mortgage firm, or home inspector like myself, we may find that the quality of service may improve, or at least the honesty associated with it. My hope is that search could begin to force the industry in that direction. (Well, maybe all industries in that direction). For that to happen, users have to want that information, and I do not see that happening on a larger scale yet. It will be interesting to see if the consumer develops search patterns which cause them to make smarter comparisons, or fact checking, and then hold their service providers accountable.

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from paisley 2295 Days ago #
Votes: 0

don’t forget to mention podcast optimization, etc.

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from yojpotter2 2295 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Things are really getting weirder and weider everyday.

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from SEOish 2294 Days ago #
Votes: 1

You have agreat subject to dive into, and I think that Matt Cutts has a great idea (look at search engine perspective) and from the "flavor" of your recent mentions of the search engines vs privacy issues I think that your mind is already headed in the direction of why do search engines do what they do and why do we care.I can’t remember the exact thing you said (or where you said it) but it was a comment like "whats the big deal if public info is public? Oh I rememebr now, "street view/houses/redacted". you were saying that essentially there is public things that search engines offer that some people are offended by, why? That was an interesting topic and you are a great person to do it because you got the whole level perspective thing, which many of us don’t have. I look forward to it.My perspective on search engines and privacy is that the biggest danger ahead and the thing we will hear the most complaints from is the social graph. A great example of this is You Tube video sharing. I think that alot of people might turn that on not knowing what they are doing and then be horrified that others now know that they like like watch poodle sex videos or something. Many sites are starting to offer such public sharing type of things, and will result in some way as being represented in search engines, which are basically just a representation of the web.Netfix too. You can share netflix on friendfeed. Would hate to see "Patrick Sexton just ordered "mutant teenage sex slaves" or even worse... "fried green tomatoes".What is being shared and how it is being shared is the next big search engine issue imo.

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from Silver 2294 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Here’s another couple of items in the category of interesting anecdotes related to how search and privacy intersect:Google Street View was recently attacked on the basis of it being a potential tool used by child predators. Google Street View happened to capture a guy passed out on a lawn after he’d been drowning his sorrows over the funeral of a friend.Data about Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia was removed from Google Maps when military conflict broke out in the area with Russia. This was ostensibly done so that Google Map data would not help either side in the conflict -- but mightn’t it also harm individuals trying to find escape routes from the areas? Is Google Maps so useful that East European militaries are depending upon it now, rather than their own maps?!? Did Sergey Brin’s Moscow origins play into the decision? Meanwhile, cyber attacks have been launched as well against Georgian websites, prompting many of them to move over to hosting on Google’s Blogger infrastructure, including official Georgian government sites.

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