Google puts reCaptcha to work interpreting Street View imagery

reCaptcha was a very interesting acquisition by Google in 2009 – at that time, they put the team to work on connecting reCaptcha with the immense Google Books digitization project.

Fast forward to today, and thanks to the Local and Mobile revolution, Google has a new digitization challenge to overcome. How do you connect street addresses with the imagery acquired via Google Street View?

Well, a picture speaks a thousand words:


Google is now crowdsourcing its Street View interpretation project to the entire world. Brilliant!

– Amit


A layperson’s explanation of rel=nofollow: Twitter’s stuck, but Google’s being coy

While Google has the full right to build a product that serves its business interests, it’s intellectually dishonest to imply, via technical jargon, that it’s somehow Twitter’s fault that their links don’t show up in Google’s ‘social’ search.

I haven’t (yet) seen a good layperson explanation of what all this ‘rel=nofollow’ business is, so I’ll start with some background. Feel free to skip to the end if you’re an SEO expert 😉

So, what’s this rel=nofollow thing? (aka, what’s Google talking about?)

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Google’s shipping program for retailers – it’s all about offline conversions

Surprised by Google’s move to offer quick shipping for retailers? Don’t be. This is all about getting offline conversion data.

In eCommerce, almost all optimization is done with actual conversions in mind (Companies like Lexity also use funnel metrics, but that’s uncommon). When Google Product Search lists products from large retailers, they are unable to get this information – all they know is that someone clicked off from their site to go to, say, Macy’s – they have no idea if an actual conversion took place.

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Google takes its first step in competing with Alibaba

Is there any other way to interpret this ‘test’?

Google launches Google Supplier Director Beta to connect companies with suppliers in China

Alibaba’s core business is all about B2B commerce, especially China-based B2B commerce. Given how aggressive Google has recently been about shutting down businesses that are not core to its long-term strategy, it’s instructive to note that this project got greenlighted.

It’s perfectly within their MO, of course – build a basic version of a competitor’s core product, and make it free. Have they bit more than they can chew this time? Is this really just a test? Time will tell.


Google’s “Plusify” feels like Yahoo!’s Searchify initiatives (what can we learn?)

Google is heavily promoting Google+ through all distribution channels it has – from promoting it on its homepage, to integrating it into every product it has – whether it makes sense, or not.

There is a well-known recent precedent for this strategy. Just like Google finds itself outflanked by a company that has a fundamentally different product, so did Yahoo! when faced with the unrelenting rise of Google. The response was similar – unleash the entire network of owned-and-operated sites, and standalone products, to prop up the competing service – Web Search in the case of Yahoo!, Google+ for Google.

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Facebook vs Google+: How incumbent companies are fighting a battle of vision

Anything that’s a something of something isn’t anything of anything. – Lisa Simpson

Teaching a young puppy new tricks.

It’s remarkable that Facebook recognizes that it’s responsible for defining the Vision for social networking – and understands in a very deep way that the product it ships is merely a manifestation of this vision. This remarkable self-realization will be the core issue Google+ will have to grapple with.

Products are merely manifestations of Company Visions

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