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What is Google Up to these Days?
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Original Post featured on ASK Enquiro

Ever wonder just what goes on at the Googplex?  I have been fortunate enough to get a tour and have been to the GooglePlex on a couple of different occassions.  It is a pretty cool environment, which actually reminds me a lot of our very own environment here at Enquiro.  In fact there are a number of similarities between Enquiro and Google.  One thing that we are big on here at Enquiro is continuous improvement.  We are always looking to improve our engine (not to be confused with search engine).  Google is no different.  The folks at Google are always looking to improve their service and product offerings.  After all, it is not easy to effectively sort the world’s information.

So what goes on at Google?  What’s in the secret sauce?  What are they going to come up with next?  How will they change Search from what we know it to be today?  Well the fact is, your guess is as good as mine, but we do know that Google continues to refine and tweak their business as they follow their mantra to “do no evil”.

Earlier this week, Google’s Matt Cutts, released a brief video discussing the fact that Google likely makes a change per day to the search algorithm. They don’t necessarily release those changes each day, but they will release them in batches.  Every day, can you image?  This is probably why they continue to be North America’s most popular search engine well popular based on market share.  The point is Google is always up to something.  They do not settle for complancency, in fact Google promotes change, creativity and innovation.  If you think about it, this is how they have become one of the world’s most recognized and popular brands.

So let’s take a look at some of the cool things about Google that have come out in the past week or so.

20 Things That Google is Up To
  1. Google hired goats to cut the lawn - according to Google, more than 200 goats from California Grazing have once again arrived at Google’s Mountain View headquarters where they’ll stay for over a week chomping away on grassy goodness. 
  2. Google Webmaster Tools Now Showing Clickthrough Data - big news for search marketers as this data provides some great insight into what people actually click on from a natural search perspective.  Google previously just reported the average position at which your site’s pages appeared in the search results for a particular query. Now you can click on a given search query in the Top search queries report to see a breakdown of the number of impressions and the amount of clickthrough for each position that your site’s pages appeared at in the search results associated with that query. Impressions are the number of times that your site’s pages appeared in the search results for the query. Clickthrough is the number of times searchers clicked on that query’s search results to visit a page from your site.
  3. Google Holds an Atmosphere Conference to talk cloud computing - Atmosphere 2010 featured a range of luminaries and thought leaders – including senior Google executives, technology innovators, and industry analysts – providing input on the cloud and the issues shaping IT today. http://www.google.com/events/atmosphere2010/
  4. Google announced the Google Product Reviews Program – at the Bazaarvoice Social Commerce Summit, Google Product Director Sameer Samat announced the Google Product Reviews Program. Through the program, we will begin featuring full-length product reviews and user ratings from participating retailers and manufacturers wherever it will help users with their shopping, including in our search results and advertising programs.  Sound interesting?  Read more here: http://www.google.com/intl/en_us/products/reviews.html
  5. Forbes communicated that the Google Guys are amongst the greenest billionaires on the planet.  In fact, through Google’s charitable foundation, Google.org, the billionaire duo of Larry Page and Sergey Brin has committed $100 million in grants to nonprofits and investments in companies ranging from solar energy to development of plug-in electric vehicle technologies.
  6. Google to Impose on Salesforce? – according to reports from businessinsider.com, Google may be looking to impose on Salesforce territory.  “Within roughly 3 1/2 years, Google Apps has amassed 25 million users and more than 2 million businesses. In contrast, it took Salesforce.com 10 years to reach 2 million users and 72,000 businesses.”  Google’s Marketplace announcement a few weeks back
  7. Matt Cutts from Google recently posted his presentation from SMX West where he discussed, Google’s SEO audit that it did on itself.
  8. Google launched a new feature in real-time search that gives you the ability to search and replay the public archive of tweets on Twitter. While real-time search usually focuses on what’s happening now, our new feature is helpful for viewing the history of what happened in the past and how people reacted to a particular topic on Twitter.
  9. Google Adds Buzz, Localized Suggest To Maps - Google Buzz has been available on Maps for mobile devices, but now Google has made it possible to access Buzz on Maps for the PC. In addition Google is rolling out localized Search Suggest for Maps in more places around the world.
  10. Bloomberg News is reporting that Google is in discussions on what could be a $1 billion buyout of ITA Software, a company that provides reservation/information systems used by many well-known travel industry companies.  “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information, and ITA does that for travel,” said Henry Harteveldt, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in San Francisco.
  11. Google has decided to change the name of what was called the “Google Local Business Center” to “Google Places.” The rationale, according to the press release, is to better connect Google Place Pages with the place where local business information is claimed, entered and enhanced because millions of people use Google to find local businesses each and every day. http://sites.google.com/a/pressatgoogle.com/googleplaces/press-release
  12. Google responded to reports suggesting that a consumer advocacy group thinks the government should break up Google.
  13. Google Buys Stealth Hardware Startup Agnilux - in yet another acquisition.
  14. Google shared information on the crawling of XML sitemaps in that “Google’s Sitemaps crawler usually reacts to the update frequency of your Sitemap files.” Note that if you find that Google is crawling your sites too frequently, you can also set the crawl rate in Webmaster Tools for those sites.
  15. Google’s Virtual Keyboard Now In Search Bar- this is something cool as Google is deploying their virtual keyboards on the search results pages for their non-English based search portals.
  16. Google has begun leveraging recently acquired social search startup Aardvark, using it for Help Support. The service allows you to ask questions and get responses almost immediately from other users who are knowledgeable about the topic at hand.
  17. Google announced updates that will help you read and write foreign scripts with Google Transliteration and Script Converter.  – http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/helping-you-read-and-write-foreign.html
  18. Google launched a new Government Requests tool to give people information about the requests for user data or content removal we receive from government agencies around the world. They are using data from July-December, 2009, and plan to update the data in 6-month increments.
  19. Google unveiled Rich Snippets for recipes – Rich Snippets are the brief annotations you see beneath search results that summarize what’s on a webpage. In addition to Rich Snippets for reviews, people, video and events, this week Google unveiled a new Rich Snippets format for recipes.
  20. Google sheds some light on using a trailing slash or not….
We could go on an on, but you get the point.  Google is busy and continues to make improvements in all facets of their service and product offering.  So what did your organization accomplish in the past week?

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posted by Jody @ Sunday, April 25, 2010  
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