Pages with tag Google

As Google commercializes YouTube, individual "creators" may be squeezed out

When YouTube launched all those years ago, before Google bought YouTube, it was a video service allowing anyone to upload videos about anything they wanted. Cat videos, a guy with a light saber, another mouthing words to a popular Romanian song, more cat videos, the FAIL videos, a girl sharing with us a fake scripted life, and on and on. We all built up a cycle of activity around YouTube. Some people just posted whatever, for example the people trying out stunts, yelling "watch this", then falling flat on their face or worse. That genre has evolved to where people filming extreme stunts sometimes fall to their death while filming the stunt. Others made a business for themselves, for example the Grow Your Greens guy taught many people about gardening while clearly earning lots of revenue from advertising running opposite his videos.

Maybe it's one of those it's too good to last deals, but lots of people used YouTube as a platform for launching careers in independently produced video commentary on whatever they want to say. Lately there are signs that Google is moving towards making big money deals with big incumbent entertainment studios. At the moment the independent producers still have a place at the table, but the commercial content from mainstream media is encroaching.

Are we on a slippery slope where YouTube won't have any space for individual content creators?

Google search ranking and YouTube monetization changes - demoting fake news while harming legitimate sources

Fake News constitutes a war on Truth, in that the more fake news is bandied about, the more confused we all are, making our collective decisions worse than they should be. The election of our dear President Donald Trump is an example of a horrible collective decision based on fake news. Other examples include the continued dependence on harmful fossil fuel consumption, and the fake news campaigns combatting the truth that fossil fuels poison everything around us, causes climate change, etc. To combat Fake News, Google, Facebook, and other search engines or social media websites, are working on their ranking algorithms to detect and supress fake news. Unfortunately many legitimate news sources are being harmed in the process.

Google is the 8-million-pound-gorilla in both search engines and online video. As cool as DuckDuckGo is, it doesn't bring as many organic search visitors as does Google's search engine. Website publishers, online authors, and video content creators alike are all dependent on Google's search ranking algorithms to bring visitors. For years Google has been fighting against spammers (a form of fake news) by tweaking its search results algorithms. Those tweaks have dramatic results on search traffic going to a given website, or viewing a given video, or the advertising revenue from a video. Hopefully it's having the desired effect, in that fake news sites are losing prominence. Indications are that several prominent legitimate news sources are being harmed either from lost traffic or lost ad revenue.

Google starting to purge free Google Apps for Domain accounts?

Back in the day, Google offered an amazingly free service called "Google Apps for your Domain". The service bundled together GMAIL, Google Drive/Docs/etc, and many other Google services, into an account branded with the domain name of your choice. If that sounds familiar, Google calls the service "G Suite" today, and it is currently offered only at a fee. For a fee you can attach a long list of Google services to your own domain, and have Google-managed email and document storage/editing, and more. Before this was called G Suite, it was called Google Apps, and there was a free tier of service. Anyone with a domain could hook it up to this service and get the same long list of Google services attached to the domain. I did this with all the domains I owned at the time, and therefore have maybe a dozen of these Google Apps for a Domain accounts. Despite transitioning it to a payola service, Google has promised all along the free accounts would remain free. But that doesn't mean Google isn't trying to sneak around the edges to close those free accounts.

Google's AMP technology makes spear-phishing sites look legit

Those pesky Russian Hackers may be using Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to make spear-phishing attack, or fake news, websites look like legitimate sites. According to Salon, Google has known about this problem for over a year and done nothing.

A couple years ago Google created Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to speed up internet browsing on mobile devices. The AMP standard defines a limited set of JavaScript, CSS and HTML technologies that are known to behave well on a low bandwidth memory constrained device like a cell phone. In part AMP is a response to the overly bloated nonsense occuring on most websites with autoplaying video and animated advertising that pops up and annoys people.

Salon claims that Russian spear-phishing attacks targeting journalists critical of Russia lead to pages using AMP techniques, making them look legitimate. What makes it worse is that Google serves AMP pages from google.com domains, hence an AMP spear-phishing page portraying itself as a Google alert will look legitimate because it is on a google.com domain.

Google's Chrome to start blocking ads of some non-Google ad services

Google makes a lot of money off of Internet advertising. Advertising services are Google's main income stream off which they've built a humongous business. There are lots of crappy abusive advertising practices on the Internet, and Google plans to change Chrome to block some of that advertising. It's important therefore to question whether Google's plan to block some advertising is legitimate.

Introducing Google Gnome (4/1/2017) After Google's success with the Google Home AI robot, Google is taking it a step further. The Google Gnome is designed to be used outdoors to finally implement the Smart Yard. Its functionality covers outdoors activities in the yard like turning the lawn hose on and off, or telling you wind direction and speed. The smart yard has finally arrived -- Meet Google Gnome. See how Gnome can transform your yard.
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