Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, September 4, 2003

Around the Web in 70 Images

Querying Google Images for the numbers 1 to 70; enjoy the random result.

Around the Web in 70 Images

Google Censorship

What’s the “Google Death Penalty“? If a site is completely excluded from SERPs. Some are asking Google Inc. to remove copyright-breaking material from the index in accordance with the Federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act. (And there’s other reasons why material might be illegal – like racial pamphlets in Germany. Or requests issued by the Scientology.) Some countries are even taking responsibility away by completely censoring Google (like China did).
See who’s targetted at Google and the DMCA. It’s all about search ethics. Should Google censor? If so, should they enforce Geolocation to provide country-based censorship (they did for a while)? I believe a link to illegal content is not illegal itself. That’s morals; e.g. German law decided differently.

Entering "White Pride" yields different results in US-Google and Censored Google Germany.

If you want to know if results are hidden from you, consult the sites excluded from or list (from October 2002). I find this very disturbing. What if I want to research racial websites online?
I’m located in Germany. By default, Google is cheating me: they hide popular websites from me without telling me. As soon as I go to the US-version of Google, I get the unfiltered results (at least when it comes to most Nazi-sites).

Google is opening the flood-gates for abuse. Their terms of service are stating their results are automatized and algorithmic:

“The sites displayed as search results or linked to by Google Services are developed by people over whom Google exercises no control. The search results that appear from Google’s indices are indexed by Google’s automated machinery and computers, and Google cannot and does not screen the sites before including them in the indices from which such automated search results are gathered. A search using Google Services may produce search results and links to sites that some people find objectionable, inappropriate, or offensive”
– Google Inc., Terms of Service: Linked Content

But there’s human intervention, which in reverse must mean Google Inc carries human responsibility for all sites they do not censor. Which also might mean, as time goes by, more and more sites are hidden from users.

Sites might be popular for the wrong reasons (certainly the case when it comes to racial hatred), but that’s not important to me. What’s important to me is an unblurred and direct view onto reality. One Web under Google.

Philosophical Questions

RoySpencer: If I’m not in Google, do I really exist?
Glengara: You’re like The Holy Spirit, people may believe you exist, but they can’t prove it.”
Best Practices Search Engine Forum, 03-09-2003

Mat_bastian: My wife was visiting one of my sites, she found an ad she was interested in and clicked on that bugger. I freaked and risked divorce by snapping at her. Told her I will be at risked of being kicked out of the program due to fraudulant clicks. (...)

Well, should I be worried?”
My wife clicked an ad! (WebmasterWorld), August 8, 2003

Recall Searches Through Past

Recall Beta is a new full text search engine developed by Anna Patterson of Stanford University. It’s crawling through the past as archived in the Internet Archive WayBack Machine – from 1996 onwards – digging out lost pages. The “CobWeb search” indexed 11,094,924,000 pages (using 1/2 Petabyte of storage in a 312 machines cluster).

Also interesting is their word popularity peak graph, somewhat similar to my Centuryshare calculator.


For an interesting Best-Of collection of early web sites, see the Internet Archive’s Web Pioneers. You can see sites like Amazon or IMDB like they were online in the mid-90s. Or the White House:

“The White House joined the internet revolution at an early date, but neglected to register the domain Now, (an adult site) gets more than ten times as much traffic as That’s the first amendment for you.”
Web Pioneers

The DMOZ Conspiracy

A possible DMOZ Open Directory/ Scientology conspiracy is discussed in newsgroup (DMOZ is the data used by Google Directory and similar services, and a link in the directory also causes a lot of backlinks to appear to a given site.)

From: "rfgdxm/Robert F. Golaszewski" Subject: Re: DMOZ.ORG editors selling spots in Open Directory to Scientologists, DMOZ not interested? Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2003 14:56:08 -0400 Message-ID: <3f563920$0$153$> Lines: 65
ptsc wrote:
> From email sent to > > Note that the claims made by may be false and fraudulent, > and > that they may in fact have no editors. However, the pattern > of various Scientologists who share a "mini link farm" with the SEO > company also having entries on seems rather convenient. > > I have received no response from whatsoever, so I consider > that an invitation to publicize the issue further, starting here. > > --- > > A company is advertising that they can get their customers > better search ranking because their staff are dmoz editors. I know > there has been previous > difficulty with this sort of thing. > > This is the claim by the search engine optimizers: > > > > This is their claim: > > "We are editors for the Open Directory Project ( which helps > to get our submitted sites listed in one week instead of waiting up > to 6 months. Getting listed in the ODP has a very strong influence > on all search engines immediately. The cost of the Basic Web > Marketing Package is $497.00."
I don't see that at the URL you provided. However, I did find that in the Google cache: webmarketing.htm+%22We+are+editors+for+the+Open+Directory+ Project%22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 "This package includes going through your site and optimizing 5 pages for the title, keywords, meta tag descriptions, and proper linking strategies within your site on the other pages. We make sure your site is submitted to the top internet search engines. The search engines we submit to are Yahoo, Google, Inktomi (supplies results for MSN and AOL), Open Directory Project (helps rankings in all search engines),, Alta Vista, Ask Jeeves and Teoma. These search engines supply 95% of all internet searches. The other 5% are not worth the effort. The cost of submitting to Inktomi is included. We are editors for the Open Directory Project ( which helps to get our submitted sites listed in one week instead of waiting up to 6 months. Getting listed in the ODP has a very strong influence on all search engines immediately. The cost of the Basic Web Marketing Package is $497.00. "Results: This package has produced 2-5 times the traffic to a website and more in a few cases. The bottom line is that if you are not listed in the search engines, people won't be able to find you. This marketing action should be a minimum for any web site that wants traffic." May I make an observation: just because someone claims on a website they are a corrupt ODP editor doesn't mean they really are. Did it ever occur to you they might be lying about this? I'd think if there are corrupt ODP editors, they wouldn't broadcast this fact.



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