Google Makes 50 Changes to Search, Pinterest Leaps to 3rd Among Networks and Consumer Privacy Debates Continue: News Summary

Internet news for the week of April 1 – 7, 2012

Google made 50 changes to how its search engine ranks and scores websites recently. Some noteworthy changes include anchor text changes, better indexing of Google Profile pages and freshness improvements as Phil Buckley at 1918 points out. Notably Google spent the week in the press with the public debut of Google glasses. The sci-fi augmented-reality glasses, aka Project Glass are a reality that have some already speculating about the brave new world the glasses represent.

Google: Project Glass +

Google co-founder Sergey Brin sports augmented reality glasses at a charity event yesterday. (Credit: Thomas Hawk)

It is fateful news as Google attempts to maintain both – high credibility in the public eye AND its advertising empire (an empire that brought in an estimated 35 billion compared to Facebook’s 3.7 billion in 2011 ad revenue). The increasingly ‘social network’ influenced changes to its search algorithm (including most recently and notably – Search plus Your World) have, however, had some – even brand faithfuls – sharpening their proverbial pitchforks. Lately, some technologists have been asking if the search giant is or will be violating it’s ‘don’t be evil’ motto as it seeks to protect its future against consumer data advantages it may be losing to Facebook. (Note: this debate has been going on for quite some time. It’s a tough motto to keep).

You can see a demo video of Google glasses here.

Pinterest Joins Facebook and Twitter

Photo curation site Pinterest has been in the news lately as comScore puts the network in 3rd place (in amount of traffic) behind Facebook and Twitter, surpassing LinkedIn and Google Plus. Spin-offs of the hugely popular site continue to arrive in droves (much like daily deal sites did in the wake of GroupOn and LivingSocial). Pinterest did make noteworthy profile design changes recently, and continues to be a hit in the predominately female market.

Consumer Data & Internet Privacy Debates

The Wall St. Journal's interactive graph highlights 100 popular Facebook apps and the personal information they track

Interesting debates around the Selling of You (i.e. Consumer Data) continue to emerge. Even former funnyman turned US Senator Al Franken has gotten involved having brought to surface popular concerns with Internet privacy among social networks and search engines. Search engine expert, and Chief Editor of Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan however – says, not so quick Mr. Franken.

In a Debunking of Al Franken *sharp* rebuttal, Mr. Sullivan points out various issues with the Senator’s arguments (comparing credit card companies, retail stores and other ‘offline’ entities that not only gather and leverage hords of data about consumers, but that also provide consumers with no way of erasing data the way the search engines and social networks do). All said and done, both men seems to agree that privacy on the Internet, among other related issues, still needs to be monitored and addressed with judicious and economic acumen.

More News from April 1 – 7 (or thereabouts):

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