Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Interesting iGoogle Ad

I saw this ad on YouTube and like it very much:

The promotion tag line till the last says: "Create your iGoogle homepage! Start now!"

Monday, October 29, 2007

Shortest Google Domain Ever

Google China launched the shortest Google domain ever - which they say in their blog is for those who don't understand much about English or Google or when geeks type 'wwww' or 'gooogle'. So they decided to keep it simple.

Is Google going to own all "g" domains, how about "" or "". :P

Related Posts:
Google Beats Baidu in Blind Test - Google China on its way to success
Google Life Search (生活搜索) - Search for localized results for China

Sunday, October 28, 2007

PageRank Updated: Massive Drops

Google's search engine secret sauce, the PageRank algorithm, finally gets an update after 6 months since its last update. Normally, PageRank updates every 3 months. There have been reports about a massive drop in sites that are widely known to be selling text links which Google identifies as manipulating search engine results. There have also been reports that YouTube's PageRank drops to 3.

Side note: You will now receive a confirmation if you submit spam or paid links report in Webmaster Tools which says:

Thank you for submitting a spam report for this site: [submitted URL]

We take the quality of our results very seriously, and we thoroughly investigate every report of deceptive practices and take appropriate action when we uncover genuine abuse. In especially egregious cases, we will remove spammy websites from our index immediately, so they don't show up in search results at all. At a minimum, we'll use the data from each spam report to improve our site ranking and filtering algorithms, which, over time, should increase the quality of our results.

We appreciate your taking the time to help us improve our service for your fellow users around the world. By helping us eliminate spam, you're saving millions of people time, effort and energy.

Friday, October 26, 2007

SearchMash Goes Flashy

SearchMash, the experimental site operated by Google to test new searching experience, had a recent upgrade. Instead of the previous simple HTML version, they launched a flash version which is very unlike Google's usual practice of keeping things simple. However, SearchMash is still kept ad-free. The new interface is a complete makeover adding more interactive elements.
Here is how it looks like when you search for 'iPhone':
SearchMash implements Snap Shots preview technology so that a preview is shown on the right (which is called the 'preview area') together with site information as well as other typical functions such as search within site and go to cache page. You may navigate the results by clicking on them, using the arrow keys on your keyboard, or by scrolling. To open a result, you will have to double-click. And when you open a result, SearchMash follows you by adding a frame at the top:
To go to image results, simply click on the 'Image' tab and without loading the entire page, only the search result section would reload. You will still get a preview of the site that hosts the image as well as the size (width and height) and file name:
And just like web search, you will have to double-click the image to open results. For video results, I personally think it is the most useful and user-friendly. Instead of a preview, you can actually watch videos hosted on YouTube or Google Video on the right using the embedded player without leaving the results. Useful information about the video such as the title, author, duration and description are also shown. Similarly, you navigate by either clicking, using arrow keys or scrolling:
SearchMash brings Google Maps right into the search results. They kept the familiar interface and everything works exactly the same expect it is much faster and interactive:
SearchMash also provides more specific searches such as Wikipedia and blog search. You can see them by clicking on the "More" menu. You can view your search history, change your search preferences in the menu on the left.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

YouTube Hong Kong

YouTube launches a customized version for Hong Kong which is also the first localized YouTube in Asia. There are a few channels from partnering organizations such as RTHK, ATV and Hong Kong Tourism Council. One of the founders of YouTube who was born in Taiwan, Steve Chen, said they chose Hong Kong to be the first Asian city to a localized YouTube mainly because the music and filming industry are of very high standard. He noted that the Taiwan version would launch later today (18 Oct). Here's the promotional video for the launch:

Friday, October 12, 2007

In Memory of Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti, (October 12, 1935 – September 6, 2007) was a celebrated Italian tenor in operatic music. ... By the mid-1970s, the tenor became known worldwide, famed for the brilliance and beauty of his tone, especially into the upper register. His "high C" became one of his trademarks.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Google Continues to Top in Global Search

Chart of Search Engine Market Share August 2007According to comScore, Google continues to top global search charts with 37.1 billion searches in August dominating over 60% of the worldwide market.

More Related News

Good News for Gmail Users

Haochi from Googlified dug into the source code of Gmail's homepage and found that the storage estimation has been updated. The new entries indicates that the storage will be:

  1. 2912MB by October 11, 2007 midnight Google time
  2. 4.2GB by the 23rd this month
  3. 6GB by January 4th next year
  4. 42GB by the year of 2038
  5. and 2.70266701 × 1072 TB* by 1/2/3456 7:00
Though I doubt the possibility of getting TBs in Gmail ... I still think that getting 42GB is possible. The spontaneous update for paid storage might be a prove:
  • The previous rates were:
    6 GB ($20.00 USD per year)
    25 GB ($75.00 USD per year)
    100 GB ($250.00 USD per year)
    250 GB ($500.00 USD per year)
  • Now they are:
    10 GB ($20.00 USD per year)
    40 GB ($75.00 USD per year)
    150 GB ($250.00 USD per year)
    400 GB ($500.00 USD per year)
Let's wait and see ...

Update: The counter update is confirmed in the Official Gmail Blog and that they are really aiming at infinity + 1! Look at the counter: It's speeding now!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

AdSense Video Units

AdSense offers yet another form of advertisement - videos. A typical video unit consists of a customized embeddable player with an image banner at the top. Inline-text ads would pop up at the bottom of the video. Users have to manually click to 'shrink' the ad (it doesn't completely disappear, a link still exists).

Currently, only videos from selected content providers could be chosen as to ensure the quality of the content. The revenue would be shared among the content provider, publisher and Google. Here's a video unit sample (you can view it live here):
AdSense Video UnitTo set up a video unit, go to "AdSense Setup" tab in your AdSense account. Click "video units" and you would be redirected to YouTube to customize your player as well as selecting content providers.

I personally quite like the idea because the embedded videos can be manually selected, so it would be highly relevant to the website itself. Also, video are more vivid and could convey messages in a very short period of time.

AdSense Help Center

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Google Desktop Gadgets in iGoogle

With Google Desktop 5.5 Beta, you could run Desktop gadgets in your iGoogle homepage. To add a Desktop gadget to your iGoogle homepage, just do so like you normally would when adding a iGoogle gadget by search browsing the iGoogle Content Directory. I think they should put all Desktop gadgets in a "Desktop Gadgets" tab.

On a side note: Google wants to secure its market share by asking users (even those who are using Google as default) if they would like their default search engine to be Google. And this means, I will get this 'warning':

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sputnik - 50th Anniversary

50 years ago (i.e. October 4, 1957) the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world's first artificial satellite about the size of a basketball, weighed only 183 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. ... While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race.

[Source: NASA History Division]

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Google Apps Premium Offers Message Recovery

PostiniGoogle AppsAfter Google's recent acquisition of Postini, they are rolling out policy management and message recovery by Postini to Premier Edition administrators at no additional charge.

Here are some description from their product description page:

Policy management lets administrators implement rules for how messages are handled based on the sender, recipient, attachments or content of the message:
  • Messages can be selectively tracked, routed for review or blocked according to company or regulatory compliance guidelines. For example, emails with specific keywords can be prevented from being sent to external recipients, or groups of users can be entirely prevented from sending external email.
  • Configurable spam and virus filtering lets organizations add custom filtering rules, complementing the spam and virus protection already included in Gmail.
Message recovery allows you to search for mail across your whole domain and recover deleted emails on a 90-day rolling basis.
Premier Edition administrators can activate these new features from the Google Apps control panel.

It would be great if message recovery is available for normal Gmail users. ;)

Google Photos Blog

Yte another new Google blog. As its name and logo suggests, they will be posting feature updates, photography tips, and some of their favorite photo albums.

One sentence I particularly like from the first post: "Picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes there's still more to say." :P

[Via Googlified]