Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
Most people consider the search engine Google to be a good Internet citizen
and one of the more ethical players in the marketplace.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
Unlike some of its competitors, the company makes clear distinction between
paid advertising and the results of a search submitted to its database. It
has also resisted the temptation to turn its pages into graphics-heavy
works of art laden with advertising banners and dross -- a decision
which has endeared it to many users.
Late last week there was a huge outcry from the Internet community when
Google yielded to the bullying tactics of the Church of Scientology and
pulled links to a site critical of the religion.
Clearly sensitive to the bad press this produced, Google quickly did an
about-face and restored most of the missing links, effectively reversing
much of the damage done just a day before.
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So Google is one of the Net's good guys right?
Well I'm not so sure.
Over the years I've operated a number of websites, some of which have
been funded in full or in part by advertising revenues.
However, despite the limited amount of ad-dollars out there, I have never
stooped so low as to invite or accept advertising from spammers or the
companies that produce and sell "spamware."
But it seems that Google does.
One of the keys to the company's ability to make a dollar out of advertising
in the post dot-com crash era has been its simple, user-driven
Advertisers can sign up and get their small text-based ad listed on pages
that match chosen keywords. It's fairly cheap, quite effective, and a good
It seems however, that they're not too selective about just whose money they're
prepared to take.
Submit the search term "bulk email"
and just look at the ads which appear down the right-hand side of the page.
"30 million Emails for $95, 650 Million Addresses for free"
Sure sounds like an ad for spamware to me -- and some of the other direct-email
services advertising on that page might appear to have the vague odour of
canned meat to them as well.
I find it quite amazing that the Net's "good guy" has decided to sell-out to
the spammers and spamware merchants at a time when so many other lesser
sites still refuse to accept such "bottom of the barrel" ads.
What do you think?
Should Google take whatever it can get in the way of advertising revenues, or
are its standards slipping in the quest for profits?
Have your say.
Aardvark's Garage Sale
It's time to clear out the closet here at Aardvark's country residence so I'm
having a bit of a garage sale. I need to spend a whole lot more time
and money on my jet engine R&D activities (now that the defense industry
has shown a very real interest) -- so I'm trying to scrape up some more cash.
First up -- I'm selling my pulsejet manufacturing business. This would be
perfect for either a semi-retired engineer/machinist who wants to earn some
pretty good money building these things and exporting them to the world -- or
an established engineering shop who want to break into a new (very export
I can provide an ongoing stream of orders through my website and since
I've run out of time to meet the demand, the sale will include a growing
"waiting list" of new customers ready to place their orders.
Second up -- I've still got 30,000 7am.com shares (representing about 30% of
the company) that I'm looking to unload. I'm afraid I can't offer much
information on the state of the company -- they haven't spoken with me for ages
so it's a bit of a pig in a poke. However, they survived the most critical
part of the dot-com crash and are now claiming to have nearly 250,000 websites
in their ticker network so that's got to be worth something. Any sale would
be subject to other shareholders exercising their preferential rights --
but all offers will be considered.
Thirdly -- I have an RC model helicopter here that I have built but never flown.
It's a Robbe Mosquito Basic with a JR X-3810 radio, JR piezo gyro, OS46FSH
engine and a Dave Brown flight simulator. Everything was purchased brand-new
a couple of years ago and is in pristine condition (having spent all that time
in a box in the storeroom). Since I haven't had any
time to fly it in the past two years I figure there's little chance I'll find
time to fly it in the next two years, so out it goes.
Anyone interested in any of these things should
drop me a line.
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