Google search gets more personal, raises hackles

Activists says Google's latest announcement is 'unfair' to web users.

Google is sifting through the photos and commentary on its blossoming social network so its internet search results can include more personal information.

The additional personal touches that began to roll out Tuesday mark another step toward one of Google’s most ambitious goals. The internet search leader eventually hopes to know enough about each of its users so it can tailor its results to fit the unique interests of each person looking for something.

Different people should start seeing different search results more frequently now that Google Inc. is importing content from its 6-month-old Plus service, a product that the company introduced in an attempt to counter the popularity of Facebook’s online hangout and Twitter’s short-messaging hub.…Read More

EU launches antitrust probe into Google searches

European Union regulators will investigate whether Google Inc. has abused its dominant position in the online search market–the first major probe into the online giant’s business practices, the Associated Press reports. The move announced Tuesday follows complaints from rival search engines that Google put them at a disadvantage in both its regular and sponsored search results, by listing links to their sites below references to its own services in an attempt to shut them out of the market. The EU Commission will also see whether Google prevented advertising partners from placing ads from competitors on their sites. Competitors allegedly shut out include computer and software vendors, the commission said…

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Lehigh loses in NCAA tournament, but scores big on Google

Across the nation, a single question formed in the minds of tens of thousands of college basketball fans last Thursday at 10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, reports the Morning Call of Allentown, Pa.: What’s this ”Lehigh University”? Google was flooded with searches about Lehigh just as its men’s basketball team squared off against No. 1-ranked University of Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City. Google listed ”Lehigh University” as its No. 2 ”Hot Search” for Thursday, with a spike in searches that peaked at tip-off time. For comparison, searches about Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock’s rumored problems with husband Jesse James ranked eighth on Google’s list. ”Yeah? That’s impressive,” said senior guard Marquis Hall Friday on learning of his team’s internet fame. ”It’s great exposure for the school to have your name out there when you’re in the tournament.” Despite taking a lead in the game’s early moments, 16th-seeded Lehigh fell to Kansas, 90-74. But in terms of publicity, Lehigh officials see the televised game and its online popularity as a huge win. The game was aired on TV in at least 44 percent of the nation, and that percentage increased as other games wrapped up and the Kansas-Lehigh game got tighter, said university spokesman Bill Doherty. At the same time, internet traffic to the university’s web site jumped more than 65 percent…

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