Friday, June 24, 2005

Followup: Meet the Google Engineers

I just returned from New Orleans where I was able to attend the "Meet the Google Engineers" mixer. First, thanks to the management at Zunch for the opportunity to attend. While I certainly didn't learn anything earth-shattering, I believe it was a worthwhile trip. Here's a rundown...

The engineers were obviously briefed like covert agents beforehand on what to say, what not to say and how to dodge questions. To be fair, I did feel like a majority of the questions were handled pretty well, although some questions were answered with a redundant "google uses over 100 factors in its algorithm...".

They pushed using the new Google Sitemap program and stressed that new features were going to be added in the future for better communication between webmasters. They also stressed reading the "webmaster guidelines" before developing a site.

Of course everyone and their mother asked one question: "Is there a sandbox?" Here's the answer: "There is no official Google Sandbox. There are many forms of data that cycle at different times, which may lead to the assumption of a sandbox. "

When asked about the recent patent that made news a few months ago, Google said: "Back at the time of that patent, our competitors were patenting everything. It was more of a defensive move than anything. We were told to go out and find anything and everything that could be used for historical information in order to patent it. We have many technologies which we have chosen not to patent for the sake of secrecy. We just hope that no one else discovers the same methods and tries to sue us!".

It was also interesting to note that the engineer that I spoke to claimed he had never heard of SEOInc, or what has happened to them recently. Yeah...

As expected, the session ended with the admonishon to create sites for users, not search engines. Words which fall on deaf ears at this geek-fest.


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