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The Man Who (Really) Makes Google Tick

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the ominous-ticking dept.

Google 250

An anonymous reader writes "Like his friends Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Craig Silverstein abandoned his PhD studies at Stanford to become employee No.1 and technology director at Google. While building the search engine in a garage, never in his wildest dreams did he think Google would become what it is today. Not only is it the envy of software giant Microsoft, Google continues to redefine the technology market with its creativity and tenacity. In this in-depth interview, Silverstein discusses a wide range of issues including the backlash against Gmail among privacy advocates, the company's cultural changes and its shifting reliance on PageRank."

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If you want to know more... (4, Funny)

AnonymousDivinity (778696) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113502)

If you want to know more about this guy, just google him :)

Re:If you want to know more... (1)

BlindSpy (772849) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113653)

What was this "backlash" against Gmail? The privacy issue?

Re:If you want to know more... (3, Funny)

Talez (468021) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113807)

Indeed. I googled and I found out he was a liar and a theif!

In fact its pigeons [google.com] that make google tick!

As opposed to the men.. (-1, Troll)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113505)

.. who falsely make google tick?

Taco-snotting: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113511)

Harmless recreation or insidious communist plot?

Re:Taco-snotting: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113559)

A little from column "A" and a little from column "B".

The problem I see with Gmail privacy (4, Interesting)

Jonathan Pater (778749) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113515)

Is not having all your personal information in the hands of Google. I don't feel that Google is the threat here. They've proved time after time to be an honest company. I'm more worried about some crazy new law (Patriot Act anyone?) giving the Government / Other corporations instant access to this online archive of some of our most private information.

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (5, Insightful)

ckswift (700993) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113555)

Email never has and never will be a secure form a communication. Nothing is currently stopping the government from snooping on your email from other mail providers (e.g. yahoo, msn, aol). If you truly care about the privacy of your email, you really should be encrypting it.

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (5, Insightful)

CptSparrow (759491) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113588)

Yes, but the other providers aren't archiving your messages, and providing a nifty interface to search and sort them. If they want to read my mail, they're gonna have to work at least a little bit for it!

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (4, Informative)

xandroid (680978) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113619)

That's never gonna stop anyone who really wants to read your old mail.

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (5, Interesting)

CptSparrow (759491) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113727)

Oh, certainly not. And like someone else has already said, if you're really that concerned, you need to be using encryption. Even at that, if the government _really_ wanted my mail, they would come to my house, take my boxen and extract the key. But at least if they have to work a little, I can feel like my tax dollars are at work.

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (5, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113611)

Nothing is currently stopping the government from snooping on your email from other mail providers (e.g. yahoo, msn, aol)

It's not all about the Government. If you have an archive of e-mail stored on a machine that you don't control it can be subpoenaed by lawyers in any type of suit against you. Of course they can also subpoena it if you do control it but random Hard Drive failures and accidental deletions have been known to happen... The point being that if it resides on hardware you own you have options -- with Gmail or Yahoo you have none other then to bend over and hope you deleted anything that could harm you.

Encryption really doesn't play into this as far as I'm concerned. I'm far more worried about the divorse lawyer or the ex-employee with an axe to grind then I am about the Government. Encryption is useless if you don't have a good records-retention policy backing it up. Besides, what's to stop them from subpoenaing your private PGP key?

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (2, Insightful)

hotroge (603593) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113664)

The point being that if it resides on hardware you own you have options -- with Gmail or Yahoo you have none other then to bend over and hope you deleted anything that could harm you.

Is anything ever really deleted? My guess is google would keep the email stored somewhere, but I'm not paranoid...

US: Protection by the fifth amendment (2, Insightful)

jpu8086 (682572) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113690)

At least in the US, a good lawyer can make a case that the PGP will self-incriminate [findlaw.com] based on the fifth amendment.

I dont know about the other parts of the world.

Re:US: Protection by the fifth amendment (4, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113704)

At least in the US, a good lawyer can make a case that the PGP will self-incriminate based on the fifth amendment.

That doesn't mean jack-sqaut in a civil suit which is what I was mostly worrying about in my parent post. They can subpenoa just about anything and everything.

You have less rights in a civil case and the burden of proof is much lower.

Re:US: Protection by the fifth amendment (1)

jpu8086 (682572) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113785)

Ah, you didnt specify civil vs. criminal. =)

I don't agree (2, Interesting)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113790)

Nothing is currently stopping the government from snooping on your email from other mail providers (e.g. yahoo, msn, aol).
That's not quite correct. There is a fundamental thing stopping the governments from snooping right now: practicality.

They can't practically do a full search across everyone's email for a particular keyword. To do so, the providers need to offer this kind of service, which they haven't been built to do (data persistence, indexing etc.). Alternatively, the FBI/CIA could just install snooping boxes at network hubs, but again this isn't practical for realtime searches given the volume of mail going around the world every day.

On the other hand, Gmail is (the first system yet) specifically designed to make searching across its datastore as easy as searching the web. Now, for the first time, large scale email snooping is practical. The FBI/CIA can just get a special privilege account from Google, with the ability to search everyone's email for keywords just like we do now when searching the web.

Laws don't mean much if enforcing them is impractical. Gmail and similar systems if they catch on make new laws practical.

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (5, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113584)

Is not having all your personal information in the hands of Google. I don't feel that Google is the threat here. They've proved time after time to be an honest company. I'm more worried about some crazy new law (Patriot Act anyone?) giving the Government / Other corporations instant access to this online archive of some of our most private information.

You've just summed up in one short paragraph why I refuse to use webmail as anything other then a spam bucket to register on websites. Sorry, but I'd agree with the tin-foil hat people on this occasion -- I just don't like the idea of my e-mail floating out there on a Hard Drive that I don't control.

It's not even all about the Government. What happens if you get divorced or sued and they subpoena Google for your e-mail? At least (God Forbid) if you have control over it you can dispose of it. Hell I'd worry more about this scenario then the Government -- at least the Government needs probable cause and has to prove their case against you. Quite frankly lawyers scare the hell out of me if they aren't working for me -- and even then they still scare me some.

The only advantage to webmail is having an e-mail address that never changes. If your like me and bounce around ISPs a lot then register your own domain and get an el-cheapo webhoster that provides you with e-mail. I've been doing this for the last six years and it works out quite nicely -- I never have to change my e-mail address. More importantly I can create spam buckets at will and have control over my address and the software behind it.

Not that any of this is going to stop me from getting a gmail account with my favorite username once it goes live. Be nice to have a big name webmail account that doesn't have a bunch of numbers in it :)

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113632)

I'm a lawyer.

Boo!

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (2, Informative)

HoneyBunchesOfGoats (619017) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113663)

Isn't destruction of subpoenad evidence a crime?

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113676)

Isn't destruction of subpoenad evidence a crime?

Well duh. Try proving it though. If you are being sued by some jerk with an axe to grind who is only out to get rich off your insurance company would you not delete e-mails that might be helpful towards this end?

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (1)

L0stm4n (322418) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113681)

> Not that any of this is going to stop me from getting a gmail account with my favorite username once it goes live. Be nice to have a big name webmail account that doesn't have a bunch of numbers in it :)

Especially since spamassassin takes points off [spamassassin.org] for those numbers. ;)

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (3, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113762)

>at least the Government needs probable cause

Times have changed. Google for "Section 215" of the USAPATRIOT Act, and for the phrase "national security letter".

GMail is great even if you're heavily into privacy: imagine storing all your mailing list traffic on it. Automatic threading, user-controlled keyword assignment, high-speed search.

Gmail changed the way I use email (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113813)

When I went from Pine to Outlook Express I developed an interest in the aesthetic appeal in Email messages whereas before I was primarily groking whatever jumble of words someone sent me almost non-english like. When I was presented "pretty" Anti-Aliased fonts and a graphical GUI I never went back to using email as pure information exchange. PINE and ELM and now GMAIL have been the greatest influencers of my email composing style and from what I have seen thus far with Gmail I'm not going back to an offline email program. In fact I would not mind if Google was my operating system. Are they the advent of the online operating system?

I knew google was mainstream americana when I saw something like this [amazon.com] in the grocery store. Has anyone else seen these?

Re:The problem I see with Gmail privacy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113592)

if you don't want to give information to the government then you are a hippy communist!

Go back to smoking your bowl, goddamn hippy

Please send gmail invite TIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113689)

Thanks much!
williamstephens007@yahoo.com

Oh yeah (5, Funny)

TechnologyX (743745) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113516)

"You have portrayed the ideal search engine as one resembling the intelligence of the Starship Enterprise.."

My new geek idol

Re:Oh yeah (1)

Deitheres (98368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113598)

Just as long as it has Mabel's voice!

Re:Oh yeah (1)

eingram (633624) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113825)

Majel or Mabel? If you're referring to the computer voice from the Star Trek shows, then it should be Majel (Barrett Roddenberry). I don't know who Mabel is. ;)

Re:Oh yeah (1)

autiger (576148) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113851)

I think you mean Majel.

Re:Oh yeah (5, Funny)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113724)

This is the samn damn ship that blows panels everytime it is shot, gets stolen on numerous occasions, has next to no security on any of its computer systems, allows almost anyone into the heart of the ship, and places the bridge and all the exec offices on the top of the ship?

That enterprise?

Great Results (5, Funny)

tobechar (678914) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113519)

Because of this man's great efforts, we can google for 'failure' and be greeted with President Bush's Biography.

Technology never ceases to amaze me. :)

Re:Great Results (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113652)

Because of this man's great efforts, we can google for 'failure' and be greeted with President Bush's Biography.

Technology never ceases to amaze me. :)

Dude, that's amazing.

Re:Great Results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113842)

Jimmy Carter follows. I'd expect Nixon or someone else?

How long can Google maintain? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113522)

It's nice to hear about this guy, but he must be a little nervous about his job.

When Microsoft comes out with its new search engine, Google will become all but obsolete. With the capital Microsoft has at its disposal, how could it not create the end all, be all search utility?

Microsoft might not be too terribly innovative, but they certainly know how to improve on existing technology. Look at IE versus Netscape, Word for Windows versus WordPerfect, NT versus Unix.

Re:How long can Google maintain? (5, Interesting)

fmorgan (235244) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113556)

Like in the WiFi market? Or with Quicken???? Does someone still uses Money?

Lots of companies succeed against MS. Not that it's the easiest thing to do in the world, but it's doable. Google might be another Intuit.

Question. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113593)

Google might be another Intuit.

Can I buy some pot from you?

Re:Question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113656)

ROTFL!!!! That was a good one, dude.

Re:How long can Google maintain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113604)

suprisingly where i am (australia) its MYOB which is the dominant force.

Re:How long can Google maintain? (5, Interesting)

jared_hanson (514797) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113773)

Of all the companies that Microsoft has ever competed agains, Google is the first one where Microsoft is fighting a battle in enemy territory.

Microsoft's victories come in the software front (Netscape, Quicken, Office, etc.) where they can leverage their operating system dominance.

Google's home turf is massively scalable, reliable web services. Even though much of it is secret, all signs point to an incredible advanced platform that keeps these things running. Its highly redundant and distributed, using some cutting edge research and open source technologies. If Microsoft were to try to utilize Windows to power such a platform, their developers would soon discover how laughable Windows is for such a solution. Not that Microsoft isn't smart, but the culture of Google lends itself much better to success in this field than the culture of Microsoft.

I am, however, looking forward to Microsoft going up against them, as it will allow us to point out yet another failure in them trying to move beyond their core business.

Re:How long can Google maintain? (1)

DaveKAO (320532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113560)

Off topic question:
- Should I mod this flame bait or troll?

Re:How long can Google maintain? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113577)

Mod it:
NIGGER WITH A BIG DICK IN HIS BUTT.

but seriously, why should it be either. maybe it really was an honest post.

Re:How long can Google maintain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113582)

I'd mod it Interesting. He has a point, you know. Microsoft could easily overtake Google.

Re:How long can Google maintain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113718)

You should find things to mod up instead.

Re:How long can Google maintain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113779)

hahahahahaha, he can't mod JACK now that he's posted.

serves the bastard right for trying to mod stuff down instead of up.

Gloryholes! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113530)

Make my world tick!

Name (4, Funny)

Plaeroma (778381) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113533)

I've always wondered if Google will shut down once it hits a google of webpages indexed.

Re:Name (0, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113692)

What's a google? I know what a *googol* is in terms of numbers, but google is not a number...

Google.. (-1, Redundant)

Malawar (674186) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113537)

rocks. Search engine, News search, product search (not so rocking).. all rolled into one. And don't forget the calculator! More features than Yahoo at half the bloat.

Re:Google.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113605)

thanks for the review fuckwad.

News +1hr: Boycott! (0)

thentil (678858) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113543)

Well, the third idea is having the computer be as smart as a reference librarian.

Heh. He just managed to offend reference librarians everywhere. Next week: Reference librarians boycott google!

Re:News +1hr: Boycott! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113606)

What's even funnier is that Google is not intelligent whatsoever. All it can do is find webpages. It doesn't answer questions, it can't look up facts, it can't verify any informational searches for accuracy. It just finds websites. When you stop to think about it you realize that Google is not all that amazing. Important? Yeah but not that amazing. And nowhere near as smart as a librarian.

Not a bad career choice (5, Funny)

NightWulf (672561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113550)

Drop the PhD study where right now he would probably be teaching at a college to kids who really couldn't care...knocking back 40k/yr. Or now be worth a few hundred million dollars. *Sigh* Reminds me of the day some hippy asked me if I wanted to join his computer company, darn thing was in a garage somewhere. I wonder whatever happened to him. Well I turned him down and now i'm a Walmart manager! Watch out for falling prices!!!!!!!

actuall, it probably was a bad career choice (4, Insightful)

hak1du (761835) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113811)

Drop the PhD study where right now he would probably be teaching at a college to kids who really couldn't care...

There are plenty of Ph.D. drop-outs that signed up with other companies that looked just as promising as Google and didn't make it. This sort of career choice is basically a lottery ticket with a rather high cost of entry--even if you ever manage to get back to grad school after your failed stint at a startup, it's going to be hard to get back into research.

If you want to make money, a Ph.D. is the wrong choice to begin with--go into business or finance or something like that. If you change your mind about getting a Ph.D. halfway through, again, there are far better career choices than to get involved with some startup.

Sign up with a startup in a technical capacity only if you feel passionate about the product or the work.

Should have named the company 'Joogle' (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113570)

What with all those freakin' heebs running the place...

Re:Should have named the company 'Joogle' (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113730)

The enemy [google.co.il]

From the Article: (4, Insightful)

DaveKAO (320532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113596)

He says: "I think that understanding language is kind of the last frontier in artificial intelligence, and then talking to a computer will be just like talking to a reference librarian, because they will both be equally knowledgeable about the world and about you. "

Now I love Google and don't mind the privacy implications of Gmail, but for the PR nightmare they just had you would think he'd be a little more careful. I am not sure I want computers to be knowledgeable about me (individually).

Re:From the Article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113761)

Can we assume you have research librarians peering into your bedroom as you sleep?

Re:From the Article: (1)

DaveKAO (320532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113768)

Come on I am a slashdotter! I peer into librarians bedrooms while they sleep!

Re:From the Article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113859)

It figures, huh for AI going nowhere ... that language is AIs last frontier -- when language has almost NOTHING to do with human judgement, intelligence or thought. See Penrose for references.

Boycott Google! (-1, Flamebait)

duncan bayne (544299) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113602)

Google is anti-gun - if you support the right to keep & bear arms, don't support Google:

Re:Boycott Google! (-1, Troll)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113635)

Make love, not war :-)

Re:Boycott Google! (-1, Offtopic)

duncan bayne (544299) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113661)

Nice slogan, but what happens if someone is making war on you? Go ask the Jews [jpfo.org] whether they liked being disarmed.

Re:Boycott Google! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113668)

Hell, make love during war, before war and after war too! The ability to love and war are not the same thing. I don't like guns, but you can't fix everything with love. Sometimes you need respect (the non-violent kind).

Re:Boycott Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113662)

and good on 'em. why would anyone want to support such an antiquated amendment?

all you gun owners just need to relax. you don't fight fire with fire

Re:Boycott Google! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113669)

wtf, you live in NZ. There's no 2nd ammendment there, nor is Google bound to it, not being a government agency and all.

I thought you idiotarians were pro-business? Don't they have a right to determine, on their own, whose ads they do and do not want? Or should the nanny state step and tell them what to do.

Moron, just like every other libertarian. Lay off the sci-fi, and come join is in the real world. The women here are real, and even better than those alien ones wou see with Captain Kirk in star wars.

Re:Boycott Google! (0, Offtopic)

duncan bayne (544299) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113682)

No, there isn't the RKBA in NZ. Yet. We members of the Libertarianz party are trying to rectify that :-)

And yes, of course, Google have the right to run whatever ads they choose. I said boycott, not legislate :-)

Re:Boycott Google! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113677)

I support that.

Most of the countries have outlawed guns, simply because they are harmful.

US is the only crazy country sticking onto ancient and stupid means of fighting all in the name of freedom. Do you really think that if there is going to be war tomorrow, it is going to be fought with guns?

Most of Europe is far more developed (and civilized) and have bans on guns. Ditto for even several third world nations (India, for instance).

There is no point in supporting guns. We are not barbarians. Atleast not unless you're a gun-nut.

Re:Boycott Google! (0, Offtopic)

duncan bayne (544299) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113810)

I guess the Iraqis killing US servicepeople are doing so with water pistols? :-P

Also, firearms are still useful for self-defense, in fact, they're better than anything else, *especially* if you're a woman defending herself against stranger rape.

Re:Boycott Google! (-1, Offtopic)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113855)

Why is my (as a rational human of legal age) owning a firearm a threat to anyone except those who might do me harm?

In other words...what business is it of yours what I own? I'm not planning on shooting you. Unless of course you plan on breaking into my house one night. Then all bets are off.

By definition...if you outlaw guns, the only ones with guns will be outlaws. Take that as you wish.

Re:Boycott Google! (0, Troll)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113710)

Boycott Google!

I agree with you 100%. Google's page rank is so messed up I've decided to use Amazon.com's A9 [a9.com] instead!

Making MS green... (2, Interesting)

thoolie (442789) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113625)

It really is pretty cool, that in this day and age, a company can come out a garage and redefine the business. Not to mention that they seem to enjoy that they are the "underdog" and that they can do things their way. Perhaps this will be how a dot.com
really can be a success. My shout goes out to google!

(atleast on the surface they don't seem evil)

Re:Making MS green... (-1, Offtopic)

duncan bayne (544299) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113637)

They are evil, on the surface. See above for details of how Google! oppose the RKBA (although as a private company, that is their right).

Re:Making MS green... (1)

DaveKAO (320532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113698)

This won't be a popular post but it sounds like the MS of the early 80's. Of course, it also sounds like a VH1 "Before they were stars" episode. Just substitute the word "Company" for the word "Band".

Re:Making MS green... (1)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113831)

...Later on in Google's career the PETA enraging truth about PageRank was discovered, to this day they have a slave workforce of pidgeons providing millions of search results a day without providing proper break times or health coverage.

Re:Making MS green... (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113759)

Yeh, back in the day that worked. I'm not so sure it would work in 2004 though, because now the existing companies are on the lookout for low-key competitors and aware of the risks of letting them grow. In the dot.com days, some of the old businesses got hammered pretty hard, but it's less likely now. Your local bookstore couldn't do jack about Amazon, but Amazon will probably sue you for patent infringement if you try to make a better bookstore and put it online.

I want to work for Google! (1)

MisterLawyer (770687) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113627)

From the article: We still believe that it is important to have a work environment that is fun. That is still true, just as much now as it was when we started, even though instead of having one massage therapist come in, you know, a few times a day, we have, you know, a whole crew going in, making sure that everyone can get a massage who wants or needs it. (emphasis added)

The reason he chose to stay at google (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113634)

But what impresses me and is basically the reason I am still here is that even though the culture has changed, the basic principles that underlie Google, both in terms of the products and how we run internally as a company, have not really changed since it started

Funny, I would have thought the several hundred of million dollars worth of stock options you probably own, would play a factor too.

one point this interview skips entirely.. (5, Interesting)

muel (132794) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113643)

..is the "why is Google so successful?" question. This interview seems pretty focused on talking about "hot" topics (gmail privacy, microsoft, blah blah), and it talks about possible future technologies in Google, but the interview doesn't probe about just why Google got there in the first place. Where's the talk about what Google did differently? PageRank (before its manipulation by spamdemons), clean design, obliteration of banner advertising and "portal" services, clear separation of search results and "related advertising" results... that's the compelling stuff that I'd want to hear the man behind Google talk about. Those were all pretty bold moves from an economic standpoint ("what, you want to remove banner ads?! how do you expect to make money!!" etc etc), and by golly, it panned out and then some. Someone should go back and ask, "how the hell did that succeed, how did you convince people to come on board and work with you on Google when it was so damn different?"

Secrecy (5, Interesting)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113650)


One thing's for certain: The guy does an excellent job of keeping up Google's mysterious aura. When asked if the number of servers was 10k or more like 100k, he said "over 10k". When asked about future technologies and directions for the company, he always answered vaguely ("I can't comment on specifics").

This is pretty cool. The aura that google has that no one knows how it works, and no one knows where it is, and no one knows what it's doing... That's a pretty cool public image to have for something used as much as google is. I just wonder if investors are going to want to know more about what's going on.

~Will

Google Spam (5, Informative)

omahajim (723760) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113658)

What bugs me about Google is all the aggregators and useless pages-full-o-links-without-any-content sites that show up so high in the results when you are seeking, for example, technical information about _X_ piece of hardware.

Was looking for setup details on a Siemens router today, so I googled the brand and model #. The first few pages were results from overpriced worthless drop-ship web "retailers" instead of useful information. Isn't that stuff supposed to be over on Froogle instead?

No... (5, Informative)

Misch (158807) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113671)

I remember the last time there was a big brouhaha over something that Google did, which was when we acquired the Usenet archives from Deja.com

The last brouhaha people had was when Google de-listed xenu.net [xenu.net] completeley over a complaint from Scientology [slashdot.org] .

It was March 2002. Buying out Deja was 2/12/2001. Scientology lead with 2 stories on /. in one day.

Re:No... (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113835)

Xenu.net [xenu.net] deserves all the support it can get. When books like these [amazon.com] are rumored to be bought all up by Scientologists around the country it amounts almost to censorship. Except does not involve a government.

In-depth Interview? (1, Interesting)

Phrogz (43803) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113675)

Much as I love Craig (I'm having dim-sum with him next Sunday) I'd have to disagree with the poster's characterization of the interview as 'in-depth'.

It's got more than a few questions, but few of them are terribly interesting, and (by necessity, I'm sure) many of the answers are vague or "I can't really talk about that".

Re:In-depth Interview? (2, Funny)

Phrogz (43803) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113691)

Hrm...apparently plain-old-text mode dropped the <namedrop> ... </namedrop> wrappers that I put around the snotty-sounding "I'm having dim-sum with him next Sunday" comment.

Oops. That'll teach me not to use the Preview button.

Re:In-depth Interview? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113755)

Try "Extrans" mode next time. It usually works. :)

Elaborate Please (3, Insightful)

KidSock (150684) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113720)

Google continues to redefine the technology market with its creativity and tenacity

Really? I don't mean to be a troll. I like google and all but what have they done differently since the first day they opened for business. They're search engine just works great and that's it. They're in a position to do more but what? Does gmail constitute N billion in market capitalization they're going to pull in when the IPO goes through? Makes one wonder what they're going to do an not be "evil".

Google Overated ? (1)

Dozix007 (690662) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113745)

There is no doubt that Google is the most popular search engine on the market today, however, is it the best ? Or has it just won a popularity contest ? Many use Google purely because others do. It is not that the technology is better, it is just that it has a much higher user rate, which allows it's results to be far better.

Re:Google Overated ? (3, Insightful)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113770)

A clean page and what used to be some nice results sold me.

Biggest selling point it that they haven't driven me off with obnoxious ads and really stupid search results.

Google hasn't been blatantly evil to me yet.
In fact have they been provably evil at all, outside of designs on lunar domination?

Re:Google Overated ? (1)

DaveKAO (320532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113837)

Can you explain what you mean by a higher user rate resulting in better results? As far as I know, Google doesn't record the pages you visit after a search, so the amount of users would have no effect upon search results. Correlation does not mean causation.

As far as I know (1)

xintegerx (557455) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113844)

As far as I know, your lack of knowledge does not constitute proof that he is wrong.

Re:As far as I know (1)

DaveKAO (320532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113864)

That is why i asked it as a question. :) I have done some RTFM, but am willing to admit that he may know more than I do.

improve porn searching (4, Funny)

sashang (608223) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113783)

man - if google could improve searching for porn what a relief that would be. Currently I have to wade through bucket loads of fake links, booby pop-ups, fake free pics, virii and other crap. I hope they improve the search engine so that it delivers the best free pussy on the net.

Re:improve porn searching (5, Funny)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113863)

images.google.com

Turn off SafeSearch and you can find pretty much whatever you're looking for.. Oh, and stop doing that.. You'll go blind..

PageRank (2, Funny)

karmatic (776420) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113802)

As an internet webmaster, I certainly would like to hire the guy for a little SEO work. From the sounds of the article, this guy sounds like he knows what makes PageRank tick.

The rest of us only find out through experimentation.

Hey, I'm the number 2 Nigruitude Ultramarine [t28.net] site on the web!

Crap! (1)

karmatic (776420) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113817)

Correction, on page number two (mixed two thoughts together). Here, have another free shot at my karma!

Shameless Nigritude Ultramarine Plug [t28.net] .

alltheweb.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9113815)

alltheweb.com! [alltheweb.com]

i have memefected you!

New & Interesting Search Technology - vivisimo (4, Interesting)

licamell (778753) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113828)

Google is known for their new and interesting technologies. I stumbled across this search engine right before reading this article actually. A search engine that clusters your results! It makes it even faster and simpler to get right to what you want. It's nice to see new ideas like this coming out and helping to change the direction of search engines as google did several years ago.

http://vivisimo.com/ [vivisimo.com]

I aways knew... (3, Funny)

mingust (726690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9113873)

that google was just a juy sitting behind the wall that knows everything.

Just like the standardized testing grading machines...
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