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The Week We Searched For – February 26, 2010

Facebook Reports Another Privacy Glitch

Social networking giant Facebook reported another privacy glitch [1] this week that caused a mix up in their messaging system. User’s private messages were sent to the wrong in-boxes, further irritating fear over the site’s security.

Yahoo and Twitter Team Up

Yahoo announced this week plans to team up with Twitter [2] to provide real time search result into its search engine.  Unlike Google and Bing, Yahoo plans to limit the number of ‘tweets’ they index to two, but plans on coupling them with relevant YouTube links.

Yahoo Answers Gets a Makeover

Yahoo announced plans to overhaul the look and feel of Yahoo Answers [3]. Most importantly, Yahoo plans on building a set of browsing categories, i.e. tabs, which will hopefully ease user navigation. To read more, check out Yahoo’s official statement. [4]

Apple Cleans Up Its App Store

Apple caused quite a bit of commotion this week with their new efforts to clean up their iPhone app store. After numerous customer complaints, Apple removed  over 5,000 “overly sexual” apps [5] their store last week. As Apple executive Phil Schiller explained in an interview with NYTimes this week, “It came to the point where we were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting too degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see.” [6]

While such arguments are valid, it seems that Apple has been a bit selective in terms of what ‘racy’ apps are allowed to stay and which have to go. Apps built by Time Warner, for example, like Playboy Enterprises and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit addition, haven’t been effected by Apple’s housecleaning. For more information and a detailed list of which apps survived the cut,  check out Rich Jaroslovsky’s article in Business Week. [7]

Yelp Gets Suit over Disputed Review

A class-action lawsuit was filed against Yelp this week that alleges unfair business practices and claims that the online local review site has been running an “extortion scheme.” According to the New York Times the suit claims hat Yelp’s employees “call businesses demanding monthly payments, in the guise of ‘advertising contracts,’ in exchange for removing or modifying negative reviews appearing on the Web site.” [8] This is not the first time Yelp has run into trouble [9] for their lack of transparency and questionable poliicies regarding reviews and businesses.

Google Real Time Search to Include Facebook Status Updates

As part of their continuous efforts to improve their Real Time Search results, Google  began indexing Facebook fan pages this week. To read more, and for a complete description of Google’s current real search program, check out Danny Sullivan’s article on Search Engine Land. [10]

Google Explains Search Rankings After Complaints in Europe

Google offered further insight into sites ranking system this week, exactly one day after the European Commission announced that it was investigating antitrust complaints against the search company.  In a blog post on the topic, entitled “This Stuff is Tough“ [11], Amit Singhal writes frankly about the difficulties of ‘being Google,’ describing, in very witty terms, the challenges of answering the world’s questions.

About Camille Canon

Outside of summer jobs and not-for-profit internships, The Search Agency is my first official place of employment. I recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College, where I studied Art History and German. I am an avid cook, baker, and destroyer of diets. My specialties are cream cheese brownies, biscotti cookies and lemon bars. I am also an Art enthusiast. Living in Berlin enables me to follow a young, emerging Art scene complete with “eccentric” performance pieces and temporarily converted butcher shop galleries. I also enjoy running, traveling, and handy work. Camille Canon + [17]