Keep Trying

Monday, May 12, 2003

Google is Good

I love Google as a search tool, but I have always been a little skeptical about Google the company. I guess they have the right to save the IP address and specific request of every search, but it certainly raises some privacy concerns. Their growing power (30% of all searches) and their right to ban whomever they wish from their search indices is also a little troublesome.

When they got into the News business, some more concerns came to light. It seemed that about one third of the pages that I viewed had an article about Israel - usually from sources that are consistently hostile and worse. So I had two pleasant surprises last week. First it was disclosed (see Meryl and Charles) that Google had dropped Indy Media from its news feeds.

The second surprise took more time to develop. A number of weeks ago I had emailed Google asking why the Jerusalem Post was not included as a News Source. First they sent me an email which told me how important I was to them and how they try to answer each email personally. A few days later I received an email telling me about some technical issues they were working out with the Washington Post. I sent back a polite email alerting them to the fact that I had inquired about the Jerusalem Post not the Washington Post. About two weeks later they informed me that they were working with the Jerusalem Post and that their registration-required feature was an issue.

Thanks Google. Now about that privacy policy.