Google Chrome is the most popular browser in the world. Chrome routinely leads the pack in features for security and usability, most recently helping to drive the adoption of HTTPS. But when it comes to privacy, specifically protecting users from tracking, most of its rivals leave it in the dust….

Source: Google Chrome’s Users Take a Back Seat to Its Bottom Line | Electronic Frontier Foundation

This is a very well written article from EFF.

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The video below is of interest to SEO’s, webmaster’s trying to create their own informational websites, and the Indieweb.  The video, featuring Rand Fishkin, is 32 minutes long but packs a lot of current information.  I agree with Rand through the first 2/3rds of the video where he is making his case. I disagree with his conclusions in the last third because I’m not an SEO, I don’t have clients that are trying to sell things and I’m not trying to sell things.

via The Future of SEO is on the SERP | BrightonSEO 2018 – YouTube

Why this matters to:

  1. The Indieweb: Rand touches upon the social network silos, and how they are increasingly not linking out. They want to keep your content within their walled gardens.  Google is now doing this too, especially in mobile search.  This is not by accident but by design.  This is why I keep hammering away that Google is one of the the bad silos that the Indieweb should be concerned about, especially with Google controlling 90% of search traffic.  When the social network silos implode we will still be left with Google as the Gatekeeper.
  2. To Content Websites and Webmasters: we see in the video, that on the mobile SERP, Google is just posting their own information or information scraped from our sites and reused as their own without providing any click through links to the originators. eg. weather, celebrity news, sports, travel and tourism, food and dining via Google maps, accommodation etc. and its growing.  Commercial content websites which rely on ads to pay the bills are not getting many ad impressions if Google borrows their content or or otherwise fails to provide click through traffic.  As Rand points out the tacit agreement with search engines (I call it the Search Contract) is that in return for providing content and letting search engine crawlers use our bandwidth to index our sites, the search engines supply traffic.
  3. Commerce Websites: This is where Rand and I part ways.  His conclusions are probably realistic if you are trying to market a product because Google, the social networks and Amazon are all putting you in a squeeze play.  It’s the money making sites that hire SEO’s and good SEO’s have to do what is in their client’s best interest.  In this instance you have to play the game, when your business depends upon sales, it is probably not the best time to launch an anti-Google crusade.

Conclusions

Watch the video, you will learn something even if you are not an SEO and don’t care about search engines.  Rand’s presentation and the slides are telling.  Or at least watch the first 2/3rds until he gets to the recommendations for SEO’s.

It explains why I think decentralized search is so important for the Indieweb and the general health of the web and why we need guerrilla search solutions.

robots.txt

BTW Rand mentions one clear solution for content sites early on:  if, over time Google is not sending you traffic, bar Googlebot via robots.txt.  Give Bing and the smaller search engines an exclusive, if they are smart enough to take it.  If Google is not sending traffic you are not out anything.  I say this as someone who has just launched a web directory.  I don’t know how Google treats web directories anymore and I guess I will find out.  But if after a year or two, I’m not getting any traffic or appear to be penalized by Google, I have no problem barring Googlebot from the site.

 

This was also posted to
/en/indieweb.

 

Also on:

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Like: How to Sanction Google for their Aggressive Behavior | Michael Martinez

 

An excellent list above.  Yandex Metrica is a good free replacement for Google Analytics.

A couple ideas of my own:

  1. Use this WordPress Plugin.  Because you can.
  2. Use robots.txt to exclude only Google from a small but good quality part of your content.  Give the other search engines an exclusive.

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#search engines #social networks #silos #indieweb

I hear a lot of people wanting the social network silos (mainly Facebook and Twitter) to go away.  I too want them to go. Eventually.  But before they do, I want to examine some things in this little essay.

Some Good Things that the Silos Did

Search: Facebook and Twitter punched a hole in the Google search monopoly.  Before these social networks, Google and Google alone dictated what you would find on the Web. And you did the finding through Google.  With, first Twitter and later Facebook, suddenly you didn’t need Google to find stuff on the Web.  Suddenly a little obscure website could become famous without or in spite of Google.  If you really sit down and think about it, that is no small thing.

Moreover, that hole in Google (plus Google’s bad record on privacy) gave smaller search engines just enough breathing room to try and become established (ie. Duckduckgo, Qwant, Mojeek.)

Web Advertising:  Again, before Facebook and Twitter, Google had a lock on both search advertising and display advertising.  Facebook in particular opened that up. Suddenly, sellers had an alternative place for ad campaigns besides something owned by Google.  If you are not selling stuff this means nothing to you, but if you are in business, large or small, it means a lot.

Traffic:  Posting on Facebook and Twitter can drive a lot of traffic to your website or blog.  Syndication (crossposting) is just another way of posting.  I’m convinced that a whole new generation has grown up that really does not remember the times before Facebook, Twitter and the other social network silos.  I can see it by their actions and inactions.  They don’t know how to get traffic besides syndicating to Facebook and Twitter.  What happens if those two cut off syndication?  What  happens if everybody leaves FB and Twitter so nobody reads your posts?

See, right now as a blogger, I don’t really need Google traffic.  I have Indieweb webmentions, Twitter and other social networks for traffic.  But if Twitter goes down or walls itself off, it is going to be lean pickings for visitors.

My biggest fear, is that if Facebook and Twitter suddenly crumble, we will go right back to having Google control everything.  By that I mean Google will control both traffic and discovery on the Web.

Yes it won’t be quite as all pervasive as it was before, at least as long as Bing sticks around and does not jump the shark.  Indieweb stuff is good but still a tiny niche (heck blogs are a small niche).  Smart things are being worked on, experimented with, new kinds of automated directories, new innovative webrings, – all discovery tools but they are not ready yet, that and nobody among the public know how to use them.  Things like RSS, which is a good source of repeat traffic, are experiencing a revival, but again this is just a small segment.  Given time I think RSS will be big but it ain’t there yet.

Google is a silo too. And I can tell you Google is part of what sucked all the fun out of Web 1.0.  Facebook and Twitter were not even around.  It was Google. And living under Google dominance is no fun.  Right now the Facebooks and the Twitters are still around so word can spread without Google.  It’s a rare opportunity but you better hurry.

Seriously, if FB and Twitter unravel quickly, how do we counter the Google silo?  Ideas?

 

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Source: Official Blogger Blog: It’s spring cleaning time for Blogger

I’ve been reading a lot of “places to host your blog” type articles. Most have added a note of caution about Google abandoning services.  It looks like a mixed bag. Improvements are being made to Blogger but at the same time some features are being discontinued.

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From the archives: Android is open—except for all the good parts.

Source: Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary | Ars Technica

When you read this you will know why the EU imposed sanctions on Google.

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I have a Nokia 6.1 (US 2018) phone running AndroidOne. No complaints except the camera locks up every once in awhile, but I’m not a big camera user.

So I’m in my car, pulling out of my neighborhood onto a highway.  My phone is in my shirt pocket.  Suddenly the phone starts playing a sorta doo wop tune over the speaker, a tune I’d never heard before. Then it went to voice over, it was a commercial!  I know it said something about Google and maybe it said something about Wifi.  I, of course, was busy, fumbling, trying to get the phone out of my pocket. But I’m fricking driving on a highway. I manage to thumb the lock screen on and see some notification saying something like “Dave’s open wifi network” or words to that effect.  But I’m fricken driving so I can’t PIN unlock the phone.  Then the commercial is over, the speaker goes dead and the notification disappears from the lock screen.

WTF just happened?

That’s the first time something like that has ever happened to me.  The Nokia does have a FM radio receiver built in but I’ve never used it.  I got no repeat of the incident, in that area, on the way home.

I did a full antivirus scan and a full malware scan that evening, two different programs, neither found anything.

I’m just putting it down to the freakishness of radio waves – wifi is really just radio waves.  But it was strange.

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You’ve heard it a million times. You’ve probably blogged about it enough until you’re sick to your stomach. PageRank is based on citation statistics. Every document gets a “…

Bookmarked: Math Union Study Devalues Citation Statistics (and PageRank) – SEO Theory

Quality: the thing that a human editor, particularly an expert human editor, can measure that Google cannot.

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