Hey Google, Here is How You Can Make Google News Spam Free

Google has been removing publishers from Google News index for vague reasons because of new policy reviews. This was confirmed by a recent tweet from @mattcutts where he said:

@AuctionBytes I’ll mention this. The news folks are actually starting a nice crackdown on low-quality/spammy news sources.

So what is low-quality and spammy according to Google? Search Engine Land has an answer for that where they got an update from a Google News spokesperson who said “Yes, we recently removed a number of websites from Google News that we determined were not following Google’s quality guidelines”

Google News Spam

So what exactly are those quality guidelines? According to several forum posts on the Google News forum, quality websites are those who write original content. And what is original content? A post on a site which does not reference anyone else through links or otherwise. So sites which link to other sources provide low-quality news?

Google News Spam Gaming Websites

In my experience, one of the biggest spamming in news occurs for trending topics in Google search. Several hundred websites follow these trends and then post accordingly about them. Now the problem here is not those websites, it is with Google who display “Google News listings” above organic listings in Google search results.

Anyone with a bit of brain can game Google and write original pieces of news without attributing anyone and get tons of traffic. The throw in your face news results acts like a tonic for spammy publishers to push content and game the system.

I have been counting thousands of sites which do this everyday along with posting duplicate content on the same topic to get on top of the listings once they have been forced down by another site. This was a known fact but was more in news after CNET and Search Engine Land wrote about it.

This is one of the biggest reasons why sites which are originally good become spammy after they have tasted the traffic dose from Google. My one and only suggestion to Google is to not display Google News results in search results. Give everyone a level playing field and you will automatically see less spam in your index.

Of course, Google wants to do all the real-time fancy stuff too, so just display the Google News results there or post a link to the Google News search or provide it as an option, that too opt-in and not opt-out.

Once Google does this, we will all see less spam in the index. Removing websites from listings is just a way of telling publishers that we control the internet and will do as we want without caring about you. Sadly that is the attitude Google has right now.

Android Market Gets ‘Related’ Tab

Yesterday, when we posted the video of Android 2.3 Gingerbread UI exposed through Voice Search, many of you must have noticed a new tab in the Android Market. Since the video was in some alien language (at least for me), I could not understand what that new tab in Android Market is for.

Well, just now I was using my sister’s HTC Legend and opened up the Market to update a few applications that I noticed a new tab. The new Related’ tab shows users applications which are similar to the current application the user is viewing.

2010-12-03 23.08.41

However, when I checked the Android Market on my phone (Samsung Galaxy S) I did not find the new Related’ tab. Ironically, the Legend runs on Android 2.1 while the Galaxy S is running on Android 2.2. Hopefully, Google will roll out this new tab’ feature soon to all Android devices.

Update: Looks like Google is slowly rolling out the ‘Related’ tab to all Android devices. I just got the “Related’ tab in my Samsung Galaxy S.

2010: The Year Of Acquisitions For Google, Oracle and IBM

The year 2010 has seen a rapid change in the way people approach and use their computers, technology the Internet. Social networks had a growth boost and controversial political events framed the future of many companies in certain geographical regions of the world. However, 2010 has sure been an extremely successful time for acquisitions. Almost every tech-giant out there was on an acquisition spree. While some made the acquisitions for obvious reasons like controlling IP and killing competition, others made it to make use of the acquisitions as resources for development.

tech-companies-acquisitions

As you can see in this graph, the acquisition spree rose twice, once around April and another time around August. The August rise is completely dominated by Google, which took six companies. IBM has also maintained a consistent acquisition drive throughout the year.

tech-companies-acquisitions

The most notable acquisition spree was that of Google. It acquired a total of 25 companies in this term of 11 months. IBM lagged behind as the second one with 14 companies added under its banner.

Oracle had just acquired Sun Microsystems and started abusing its IP against the Google Android (Dalvik) implementation of Java VM technologies. The acquisition of Sun Microsystems brought a huge payload of IP for Oracle to abuse. HP acquired Palm and saved it from dying a sad death. Microsoft was busy with its latest Kinect toy and acquired Canesta, Inc. that deals in 3D sensing. AOL acquired TechCrunch and others players like Cisco were in the acquisition game too.

Counting by numbers, this puts roughly 70 acquisitions by companies that rather form the top notch of the tech industry. Just last year, this number was at 33, which is even less than 50% of what is happening this year. Surprisingly, the figure stood at around 55 in 2008 with IBM and Microsoft making 14 and 16 acquisitions each.

This shows that the void created during the recession has started an overdrive and the next year should be quite good for the IT industry.

(Stats via Wikipedia)

Android 2.3 Gingerbread UI Previewed in Google Voice Search Video

All over the world, Android lovers are impatiently waiting for Google to release the next version of Android Gingerbread a.k.a Android 2.3. Google had earlier promised that Android 2.3 will bring it a UI over haul. However, with some leaked pictures of Nexus S running Android 2.3 it was pretty clear that Google will only be tweaking the UI instead of giving it a major over haul.

Now, while everyone impatiently waits to see what all UI changes Android 2.3 incorporates, Google released a video of Android 2.3 in action way back on November 23.

The big G posted a video on YouTube through their GoogleinHK account giving a walk through of Google’s new Voice Search on iOS and Android. The Android device in the video runs on Android 2.3.

Below is the video I am talking about :

Android 2.3 UI Changes Exposed

The video clearly gives us more than a sneak peek’ of the UI changes Gingerbread will have – Black notification bar, updated and more polished icons, new drop down menu, 3D app drawer and new animations.

The 3D app drawer looks exactly like the 3D app drawer in Launcher Pro a popular replacement Home Launcher app in the Android ecosystem.

(Source)

Download Official Google Reader App for Android

Google has finally released an official app for . The Google Reader Android app supports multiple account, synching preferences, subscription features and search among other things.

Google Reader Android App Google Reader Android Send To

Google Reader for Android also allows users to change settings to allow using the volume keys for previous and next items in your list and also includes a "send" feature which integrates with other apps on your phone, so that you can quickly share items in , or .

You can download the new Google Reader Android app from the Android market or use the QR code below to quickly download it.

google_reader_android_qr_code

European Union Launches Antitrust Investigation against Google, Google Responds

GoogleGoogle’s “Do no Evil” mantra has come under the scanner over the past few years as it has evolved from a search company to a technology giant. Now, the European Union has launched an antitrust investigation against Google to examine allegations that it gives unfair preference to its services over services from other (vertical) search providers. Foundem, (Microsoft-owned) Ciao, Justice.fr are the competitors who complained to the EU.

The European Union intends to analyses several aspects, including search engine results page rank of third party services, the possibility of advertisements from competition being blocked for certain keywords, and also whether it is possible to export advertising campaign data to competing platforms.

Google has defended its policies in a blog article. “At Google, we’ve always focused on putting the user first by providing the best possible answers as quickly as possible”, emphasized the search engine giant.

If Google is found to have engaged in anti-competitive behavior, then it might be in serious trouble as the European Union tends to be extremely serious about ensuring free and fair competition. Nevertheless, in my opinion, it’s unlikely that Google would have purposefully violated EU norms. They have been under scrutiny over the recent past, and they had to know that something like this is in the pipe. It would have been foolish to risk stringent regulations and massive fines by baiting the European Union.

Google Translate Beatbox Rocks, Listen and Rock

If you haven’t heard it yet you should do it at-least once. It’s a fascinating way to understand how a computer can do something as good as a human being.

Google Translate apparently dishes out music in a beatbox format when you try to convert "pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk bschk pv bschk bschk pv kkkkkkkkkk bschk" from German to German, however the fun is only when you hit the Listen button

Don’t believe me? Go ahead to this link and hit the listen button then. Have fun.

Well you can have more fun with beatbox, try this out "pvz zkz pvz pvz zkz pvz zkz kzz zkz pvz pvz pvz zkz pvz zkz zkz pzkz pzkz pvzkpkzvpvzkz kkkkkkz bsch "

Pictures Of Nexus S Running Gingerbread Emerge

Nexus_SSome mysterious guy over at XDA has managed to get his hands on the upcoming Nexus S from Samsung/Google. He has posted some pictures of the device as well as the screenshots of the device running Android 2.3.   The pictures of the handset are quite blurry but nevertheless, the pictures still show the curvy design of the handset. The back of the handset looks very similar to the Galaxy S.

The source says that the Nexus S sports a 4-inch Super-AMOLED (Perhaps S-AMLOLED2?) with WVGA resolution. Along with this, the camera of the phone is capable of recording videos in 720p resolution. The source also confirmed that the Nexus S will pack an ARM v7 CPU. He did not mention whether it packs a dual-core CPU or a single core one.

Also, there is no word on the internal memory and the amount of RAM the handset will come packed with. Hopefully, Eric Schmidt will announce the Nexus S along with Android 2.3 in the upcoming few weeks.

Google To Add Content Ratings To Android Market

According to a blog post by Tim Bray, on the Android Developers blog, Google is planning to add content ratings to every application on the Android Market.

Starting next week, developers will have to specify a content rating for the applications they submit to the Android Market. All existing applications will have to be updated with the content rating information in a specified time frame, failing which a default rating of Mature will be added to the application.

Developers will be able to choose from four content rating levels – “All, Pre-teen, Teen, & Mature”. This upgrade to the Android Market will coincide with the launch of Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Apple has supported content ratings on the iPhone App Store since the launch of iOS 3.0.

For more details about content ratings on Android Market, check out this Android Market help post.

via Android Developers Blog

Motorola Defy To Get Android 2.2 Update In Q2, 2011

Motorola has today announced that their rugged and water resistant Android handset the Motorola Defy – will get its Android 2.2 love for sure. The only downside is that Motorola is expected to roll out the update in the second quarter of the next year i.e. sometime in Q2 of 2011. Sadly, the company also announced that the Motorola Milestone XT720 won’t get an update to Android 2.2 at all and will remain stuck with Android 2.1 forever.

Motorola_Defy

Here is the official announcement from Motorola :

Today we can confirm that in EMEA we plan to upgrade Motorola DEFY to Android 2.2 (FroYo) in the second quarter of next year and that Milestone XT720 will remain on Android 2.1. Anyone looking for information about this and updates for other regions should go to our forum.

Hopefully, Motorola won’t delay the Android 2.2 update for the Defy to Q3. If my memory serves me right, no manufacturer has been able to roll out the Froyo update for their handset on their scheduled date.

(Source)