Sunday, May 08, 2005

Google web accelerator - the future of search?

Many of you might have heard or perhaps even tested the new web accelerator from Google (GWA). It is a pretty good tool and so far two areas have been largely discussed:

  1. It makes browsing faster for users
  2. It can crash web-apps that don't conform to all standards. This can be a big problem because the GWA might accidentally delete users accounts. Here is a great discussion on what to do about it.
There is another less obvious reason why GWA might be a really big deal. To keep it's index fresh (blogs, user generated content, etc.) and to crawl more and more pages (the deep web) Google will need help. In fact, they need lots of help. They simply cannot add enough crawlers to both have a very fresh and a very deep index. That is why you see more and more specialized search sites (Feedster) etc.

So, what Google might be doing with GWA is enlist the masses to help them crawl. If millions of users start using GWA, this could give Google a big advantage to find out what pages people are surfing on, and what pages have changed / need to be re-indexed.

So, Google might actually be tapping into distributed computing as a competitive lever. That is a brilliant move. The other company that has succeeded with this is Skype. Perhaps Google is borrowing something from their playbook.

Here is a great article if you want to read more:
Google accelerates search

Blink It


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giggling Madly Here - PT Barnum Would Have Been Proud!

This is a great program for those users who don't know anything at all regarding how computers and/or the internet actually works, and who just want to experience the "feel good illusion" of (not really) increased speed by having this entirely useless acceleration program on their hard drive.

I always laugh out loud whenever anyone proudly exclaims: "The program 'says' I saved 6.9 hours, so I'm very satisfied!" Big deal; the program could also say: "You're now twice as good-looking" or perhaps even "Congratulations you’re a millionaire!" Without being able to verify any programs' "claims" (or better put 'assertions'); it is just that: A totally unverifiable assertion!

Still you've got to admire Google's chutzpa here! I'm guessing that it has to be the most hilarious bit of shell-game spyware ever invented by any company in the entire history of computer or Internet use and development.

Very clever really, when you consider that the trade off is that users "think" they're getting "increased" internet speed; in exchange for revealing exact the name of every single webpage that you ever visit from the moment that you install Google Web Accelerator until (hopefully) the moment you wise up and remove it.

After Google Web Accelerator is installed it does absolutely nothing to improve browsing. Also Google Web Accelerator collects copies of web pages, (including prefetched pages that you did not even visit), in the Google Web Accelerator cache on your computer.

All this does in effect; is collect and store a gazillion MB of temp files every time you use it for a session of surfing. Try using something like CCleaner after running Google Web Accelerator and browsing the internet for a few hours and see the results for yourself!

And Google gets to know the exact the name of every single webpage that you ever visit for products, news, banking, whatever! This is very valuable information to have; not only does Google know everything you click on, but you get absolutely nothing in return for this info.

Finally, Google admits on their own support page that any and all passwords, e-mail addresses etc. you enter in a web form (e. g. when purchasing an item online) will be funneled via their systems. If you enter personally identifiable information (such as an email address) onto a form on an unencrypted web page, the sites will send this information through Google.

Had he lived long enough to see this, P.T. Barnum; the person who coined the phrase: "A Sucker is Born Every Minute" would most certainly consider those who download, install and leave this program on their computers to be suckers indeed!

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is google web accelerator gone?
Google says it's not available now....

8:50 PM  
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3:26 PM  

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