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Google Personalized Homepage Linked in Onebox  (View post)

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
13 years ago4,037 views

"Don't be portal"

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I don't think it's a portal if it's not presenting you with all the choices at once. If it's relevant to your search, it's not cluttering up your day-to-day interface.

And I think that saying Google shouldn't include links to their services on a results page when they're relevant would be like saying that YouTube should also link to videos from competing services' websites and not just their own. As long as Google's not altering the order of actual search results to promote their services, I don't think they're breaking their neutrality of results promise. Sure, it makes it harder for competitors, but that's exactly the point. I didn't come to Google because I wanted to use a competitor, and if I don't appreciate their integration I'm free to use any other service I want.

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Interestingly, there's been talk of Google Video (as opposed to YouTube) integrating results from 3rd parties.

In fact they already include YouTube along with the Google Video results.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

"As long as Google's not altering the order of actual search results to promote their services"

How can we know for sure, that they (goog's) are *not* altering the order / results ?

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

/pd, they do explicitly state it (google.com/support/bin/answer. ...):

Sites' positions in our search results are determined automatically based on a number of factors, which are explained in more detail at google.com/technology/index.ht ... We don't manually assign keywords to sites, nor do we manipulate the ranking of any site in our search results.

Of course it's possible they're lying so we can't absolutely know for sure, but basically I'm saying their neutrality claims (in my mind) apply to not artificially/manually manipulating the order of search results. By that definition, providing OneBoxes and linking to their services don't break the neutrality promise.

I guess we could know for sure if one of us gets hired to the web search team!! :)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> I didn't come to Google because I wanted to use a competitor

I go to Google all the time to find other, non-Google sites. In fact Google proudly claims:

"Google may be the only company in the world whose stated goal is to have users leave its website as quickly as possible."
google.com/corporate/tenthings ...

This is not to say that the weather gadget is irrelevant, or not what I'm looking for. But I may well be interested in other gadgets from other providers. Whatever the case may be, it boils down to the "are oneboxes suppoed to be neutral/ are they part of the search result" discussion again. Let me quote:

Google claims* they are “not using an editorial viewpoint” in search results, adding elsewhere** “nor do we manipulate search results by hand”, arguing they “believe strongly in allowing the democracy of the web to determine the inclusion and ranking of sites”, and explaining*** that “Google’s complex, automated methods make human tampering with our results extremely difficult.”

* google.com/support/bin/answer. ...
** google.com/support/bin/answer. ...
*** google.com/technology/index.ht ...

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Apparently, it's hard to understand that Google has never linked to 3rd parties in OneBox results unless they didn't offer the same features. Netvibes offers the same features as IG, so there's no reason to link to it. Google Finance is still inferior to Yahoo Finance, so they link to Yahoo Finance and other sites in the OneBox. (Patent search seems to be an exception.)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Not in the finance plus box Ionut, where they just link to Google Finance (search for "google" and see the plus). Your argument also doesn't hold true for the Checkbox link in the shopping onebox, because PayPal is used by more people at this time:


blogoscoped.com/files/google-c ...



And by the way: "not using an editorial viewpoint" means just that, to not use editors to figure out which service is better and which is worse. Or do you seriously believe that *Google Inc* is free of conflict of interest in deciding whether Yahoo or Google Finance is the better product?

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> Whatever the case may be, it boils down to the "are oneboxes suppoed to be neutral/ are they part of the search result" discussion again.

Yep, if only Google would be clear and put it to rest :)

Just a note though, when they mention not using an editorial viewpoint it is specifically in the context of ordering search results:

-- "One side effect of not using an editorial viewpoint to determine the ranking of results is that anomalies occasionally occur."

Hashim [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

there's no more Google magic. It's a large company now and not everyone plays by the original Googly rules.

With that said, I've enjoyed Yahoo's "onebox" results for years. I search for domains on Yahoo, and boom – it shows me that Yahoo has a domain service. Now there's no need for me to check out other services because I trust Yahoo more.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> Just a note though, when they mention not
> using an editorial viewpoint it is specifically in
> the context of ordering search results:

Yes, but we're back to the same discussion: what constitues the "search result"? We all seem to agree on what's an "organic" result vs a "onebox" result, but there are some differences in opinion as to what's a "search result".

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #


Philipp, bang on target.. what is the difference ??

Btw, a search for any ticker symbol will always show the onebox results (+) for google finance.. so even if Y!Fiance has been on the block longer and therefore should be more credibly ranked.. Google is still pushing their service(s) on the Results pages..

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> what is the difference ??

Well, I think Google's search results aren't as neutral as possible*. No scoop or major scandal, just a simple observation, as we need to keep this in mind when analyzing their + their competitor's moves, and IMO noteworthy because of Google's older bold claims which are somewhat contradictory (that's why I don't find this really noteworthy when it comes to Yahoo or YouTube results and such, because I don't see them having made such bold claims about sending the user away as fast as possible, or having completely non-editoed search results and so on).

*They never were neutral because they are based on human-made algorithms, but we have reason to believe that organic results are "as neutral as possible" from an engineering point of view; in other words, Google engineers would never (hopefully) introduce algorithms which give preference to Google Checkout or the Google Personalized Homepage. However, this – slightly – happens in oneboxes.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Another reason:

The link to Google Personalized Homepage on google.com is the same as the new link from weather box. Why link to Google IG on the homepage when My Yahoo is more popular and Netvibes is better?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I think the fact that Google IG is linked from the Google homepage (when you're logged in) is precisely the reason *why* Google IG is so popular. (I think Google IG is also a cool product, but so is Netvibes.) And there's nothing wrong with that either – Google can link to whatever of their products they want from their homepage...

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

yeah, how will Google link the gadget to another hompy.. e.g like Ionut sez MyYahoo or netvibes ??

the only way is to have some sort of OpenID schematics in play.. which links my gmail account to my open ID profile , that has enough meta-data to indicate where the gadget or information is to be parsed into..!!

......as if-- that will ever happen!! Major Collaboration across all properties

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> Yes, but we're back to the same discussion: what constitues the "search result"? We all seem to agree on what's an "organic" result vs a "onebox" result, but there are some differences in opinion as to what's a "search result".

What I meant was in that specific instance since they talked about ranking of results, that use of "search results" was referring to just organic results since the OneBox always appears at the top. There wouldn't be a question of ordering the OneBox.

But we haven't even mentioned the new plusboxes, which blur the whole organic/onebox/search result discussion even more.

At any rate, without any additional clarification from Google I'm giving up trying to figure it out. :)

Martin Sickinger [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

The really cool thing about this is, that you get this onebox now in Germany too. For example "wetter berlin" on google.de now shows the weather there. So this seems to be more than just adding a link.

RandyJones [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Looks Like Dallas is in trouble!
Phoenix might end up blowing them all away.
  
PHX vs. Det. Hmmm..Could be interesting?

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I prefer Pageflakes to Netvibes. Anyone with me? Netvibes is too cluttered

MaryAnne [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

I'm not quite understanding what all
this is supposed to be about?
Must be me or something...

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