Google is Cracking the “Invisible Web”

It was announced on Friday via the Google Webmaster Central Blog that the search engine has been experimenting with crawling through html forms in order to more fully index sites.

The search engine is filling out forms on a “small number of particularly useful sites” in order to bring forth the content that is populated by these forms and index these results.

EU Commission and Google Disagree on User Data

The Article 29 Working Party, an EU commission formed around the concept of defining the data protection rights of individuals, published a report last Friday stating that search services have no need to keep personal data beyond a six month period.

Google, whose company policy is an 18 month retention of such data, defended this practice as a necessity for constant improvement of search results.

The group of data protection commissioners that comprise the Article 29 Working found that computer Web addresses and cookie monitoring are personal information that search services should do more to protect.

“It is the opinion of the Working Party that search engines in their role as collectors of user data have so far insufficiently explained the nature and purpose of their operations to the users of their services,” the report states.

The Truths and Myths of Google News as a Reputation Management Tool

By David Snyder.

Much has been made around the Web about the “Truth and Myth” post by Software Engineer Andy Golding on the Google News blog. There have been quite a few posts written about how the ideas discussed by Golding relate to publishers, SEOs, and PR professionals.

What about the social media marketer and corporate reputation manager?

Many people, who have not found the value of great reputation management tools such as Trackur, utilize Google News Alerts to find out what is being said about their company on the web. The question is, how does this recent post effect how these professionals obtain and utilize information?

Among the myths and truths discussed a few are of significant importance to those that monitor and repair reputation.

Facebook May Enter the Middle Kingdom

By David Snyder.

Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong billionaire and CEO of telecommunications conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, has increased his investment in Facebook in excess of $100 million.

Li announced the investment in Facebook during Hutchison’s earnings call on Thursday.

Li shared his opinions on Facebook on during an earnings press conference for Hutchinson:

“Facebook is doing very well, and we could have some synergy between the 3G services of Hutchison and Facebook, so the customers could use Facebook on mobile phones.”

Li invested $60 million in Facebook last December giving him a 0.4% stake in the $15 billion company. Li’s initial investment in Facebook came less than two months after Microsoft threw $240 million into the company. The exact amount of Li’s second investment not known, he did however leave the door open for further investments in the social network.

Google is Bleeding Executives

By David Snyder

Google has had a tough March.

First it lost Sheryl Sandburg, a pre IPO executive largely credited with making Google the sponsored ad cash cow it is today.

Now it has lost Ethan Beard, its former director of social media.

Beard will be joining Facebook as the site’s director of Business Development.

He told Tech Crunch:

“Yes, I can confirm that I have resigned from Google and will be going to work for Facebook.

I think Facebook is great for a variety of reasons: the company has an innovative product with amazing growth, the team they have assembled is first rate, and the business is at a very exciting time in its development. I am excited to join Facebook at a time and in a role where I can have a significant impact on its core business and bottom line.”

New York Bill Could Cripple Google et al’s Personal Data Collection

By David Snyder

A New York assemblyman has put together a bill that if passed will make it a punishable offense for certain Web companies to collect personal information about their users for advertising purposes without their consent. Richard L. Brodsky, the assemblyman who sponsored the bill, stated, “Should these companies be able to sell or use what’s essentially private data without permission? The easy answer is absolutely not.”

Such a law would be the first of its kind in the United States, setting a precedent that will undoubtedly shake companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, whose sponsored search platforms rely on such information.

If passed users would have to give explicit permission for companies to be able to utilize their personal data, such as search patterns.

Microsoft Launches adCenterCommunity.com

By David Snyder

Microsoft launched a new adCenter community Monday. The new community replaces the adCenter blog and forums with product specific blogs, categorized user forums, multimedia distribution, and user profiles.

adcenter community

This new SEM resource can be found at adcentercommunity.com.

The community offers advice on adCenter advertising, the adCenter API, and adCenter analytics.

In her welcoming blog post Carolyn Miller, a Microsoft Program Manager and blogger, stated:

“We’ve tried to build a community portal that encourages interaction so that not only can you get information, updates and assistance from Microsoft employees, but also from each other, as some of the most knowledgeable users of our products and services are our customers.”