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Google News

I am terrible about taking the time to watch the news or read a newspaper, but i do make an effort to stay up to date through google news. I realized recently that I have no idea where Google gets their news from. I always simply trusted Google. Thus, today I began my quest to know the source of my news.

To begin, I went to the about Google News page to find how Google defined themselves as a news provider. This was very helpful. “Google News is a computer-generated news site that aggregates headlines from more than 4,500 English-language news sources worldwide, groups similar stories together and displays them according to each reader’s personalized interests.”

google-news-logoNow that I new Google News wasn’t simply reproducing news from CNN or FOX I wanted to know how they filtered there 4,500 sources and decide which news stories to display. As I dove deeper I found that Google’s News articles are selected and ranked by computers that evaluate, among other things, how often and on what sites a story appears online.

The same way Google gives out page rank and determines which sites are most relevant for organic search is driving what news we read. There is, however, a personalization element that changes things up. Users of Google News are offered links to several articles on every story, so one can first decide what subject are of interest and then select which publishers’ accounts of each story is preferred.

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My concern is that although Google News apparently uses a democratic methodology of determining news, is that the media as a whole is not democratically controlled. News stories that make it into google by there ranking system of relevancy may be relevant by standards of controlled and biased news. The demographic that mostly uses the internet for their source of news is simply going to be spoon fed the majority opinion with little opposing view.

Google should look to better filter results by offering a the most relevant articles of  not only the majority view that is most viewed, but also the opposing perspective. This to me means relevancy.

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What's an i-Google Homepage?

Lots of people use google.com as their homepage, but what many people don’t realize is that they can get the same google.com, but better. i-Google is a customizable homepage that allows users to to have almost anything they want or could imagine. It’s free, it’s organized, it’s convenient, and it’s worth checking out.

Here’s a snapshot of my i-Google homepage…

i-google

The picture is kind of overwhelming so here’s a basic breakdown of some i-Google features.

  • Customizable Tabs
  • Customizable Background Themes and Colors
  • Helpful Gadgets
  • SEO Tools
  • RSS Blog Readers
  • Games
  • Videos
  • Pictures
  • Instant Messaging
  • E-mail
  • Facebook, Myspace, and Linked-In Site Access
  • AND SO MUCH MORE THAT I HAVEN’T HAD ENOUGH TIME TO EXPLORE!

i-Google is not only driven by developers and businesses trying to build their brands and web presence, but is mainly user driven. If you check out the thousands of add-ons  available for your homepage, you will realize that the main creators of tools and the sweet applications are made by average internet users.

These applications feature familiar internet activities like youtube videos, popular games, pictures, music, celebrities, news, sports and helpful online tools. It can be designed for whatever interest you could possibly want. Even if i-Google doesn’t have your niche you can make it yourself and design your own gadgets.

Searching for all of the gadgets is easy, just like you would expect from google. It is no different than searching thorugh google’s traditional search engine. Even organization and usability are easy. Simply click and drag how you want the applications to appear on the page. The site is intuitive to use.

There is a lot to gain from i-Google. It has the potential to be the ultimate one stop online homepage. You may even call it the Wal-Mart of homepages. Try it out. You won’t be disappointed.

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Google's Prey: List of Acquisitions by Google

Here is a great list of acquisitions that Google has made over the years.Google In Legos

Google has built a veritable empire with its many acquisitions. And like Microsoft before them, have come under attack for building a “monopoly”.

The search giant is supposed to be going into the cell phone biz soon too. What do you think will come of that and what new businesses will Google be leaping into?

Photo by: keso
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#2 and #3 trying to bolster up against #1?

As of this past December, Google led the market in online searches with 58% market share while #2 and #3, Yahoo! and MSN, respectively, held a 33% share. Thus, last Friday Microsoft revealed a deal to Yahoo! that CEO Steve Ballmer claims would make a stronger #2 to fight Google’s potential monopoly. The bid was made at $31/share or $44.6 billion (one of the biggest internet mergers to date, second only to AOL/Time Warner). At this point, there is also discussion that Yahoo! CEO Jeff Yang has been in contact with Google CEO Eric Schmidt, regarding a different agreement in which Yahoo would retain its indepedence (A Yahoo! / Google merger, however, would likely violate many of the antitrust laws) but share revenues with Google over search ads. Google executives are not hesitant to say that they like the status quo and may fear Microsoft becoming too strong.

As of right now, it seems unlikely that Yahoo! will accept this deal, but many are failing to comment other than to say that they are reviewing the offer and it might take a good deal of time.

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