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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru Chroniclemaster1's Avatar
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    Google Alternatives

    Now that Google has decided its entire history was just a waste of time and that Net Neutrality just isn't trendy anymore, what's a web admin to do? I would now rather die a fiery death than support a company intent on destroying virtually all small business on the internet.

    So, what alternative services are available out there for someone who used to use Google for analytics and advertising? Which ones are best and why?

    Oh, and is there a good search engine that doesn't take as long to load as Yahoo and MSN?
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  2. #2
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    there lots of SE's but then they're still far on what Big G can offer

  3. #3
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Now that Google has decided its entire history was just a waste of time and that Net Neutrality just isn't trendy anymore, what's a web admin to do? I would now rather die a fiery death than support a company intent on destroying virtually all small business on the internet.
    What makes you think this is happening? If you're going to make very damning statements about businesses you probably should justify your reasoning because otherwise you just make yourself out to seem like a bitter hater. I've no beef with Google and they haven't done anything to harm my business, so I'm curious as to what has lead you to such a message. As far as net neutrality goes, Google have been and remain one of it's biggest supporters and followers.

    PS: No, there's no search engine that even comes remotely close to Google's user base, features and popularity, if you avoid Google, you may as well not exist.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Guru Chroniclemaster1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    What makes you think this is happening?
    Sorry, I thought this was all over the news. Even my non-techie friends on Facebook are chattering about it. We all know that Google has traditionally been a strong supporter of Net Neutrality, "Don't be Evil", etc.

    However, Google and Verizon have now cut a deal which basically boils down to a new "premium" internet. Megacorps who have money for this pay-to-play scheme will be able to deliver the next generation of internet content, while all other websites are going to be stuck delivering the same content that we have now. Today, that is probably not going to be a big deal. But as a design and accessibility guru, I'm sure you can appreciate what it would be like to try and design an website for a client using 10 year old technology because they don't have millions to shell out to Google and Verizon. On our side of the pond, we're campaigning the FCC (our government agency in charge of communications) to step in and make Net Neutrality an official policy. Otherwise, the "digital divide" is going to get much much wider between the haves and the have nots.
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  5. #5
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    It was in some minor newspapers within the UK several days back but basically never made the headline news here for whatever reason. So it is not surprising Alex didn't hear of it before.

    Though it does sound rather worrying that certain content is going to get preferential treatment regarding delivery speed and resources.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru Chroniclemaster1's Avatar
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    Yeah. It would mean that we would be the end of the internet as a world-wide information super-highway. The current network would continue to exist, which is good. But it looks like under the current deal that you could develop a site with next generation technologies, and your visitors could have browsers capable of handling them, but Google and Verizon would not allow you to "transmit" those technologies unless one or both parties pay an internet toll. And at present, the deal looks specifically aimed at allowing traditional megacorporations to pay millions of dollars to create websites that small business can't afford. That's why this is so outrageous. Google and Verizon are creating an entirely new internet toll in the middle of the worst global recession in a century. Apparently they think enough companies haven't gone out of business yet. I don't know what it's like outside the US, but we have slowly started to recover and are hoping for some job creation to start occuring this year. If we have a flood of new business failures, this is the kind of thing that could cause the bottom to fall out again like in 2008.
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    I think there is no Google Alternatives, google all products is awesome, like gmail, google apps, google browser, google search engine

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Black Max's Avatar
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    Alex, unfortunately it's very much in the news (okay, I read a lot of "lefty" and civil liberties news feeds and such). Google is indeed in bed with Verizon to offer a pay-to-surf "premium" Internet. I hope they both lose billions and fail miserably, assuming Google actually decides to go through with the deal. We can still hope that the firm will remember its roots and stay on the side of Net neutrality.

    As far as Google being the big dog in the yard, that's indisputable, but it wasn't that many years ago that AOL Search, AltaVista, Lycos, HotBot, Excite, and others were prominent search engines. They come and they go. Two things are always true about big firm: 1) they ossify into corporate swine as they get larger and older, and 2) someone else smaller, leaner, and hungrier always comes around to steal their thunder.

  9. #9
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Sorry guys but I've just been reading up about it, and I've also actually reviewed the 2 page document that Google themselves produced on the matter and based on what I've read I honestly think that if you believe Google are trying to make a premium version of the Internet, you're drinking (and OD'd) the kool-aid

    Not only is the agreement between Google and Verizon a loose one (as in it's not very tightly defined), the only way you can proclaim that a tiered internet will result from the agreement is on the basis of what was NOT stated (not what was), there is absolutely nothing actually within the agreement document or within any of Google's follow up statements to even indicate that they want to make a premium version of the web or compromise the net neutrality "ideal"... all Google have done is outlined a few important points that they believe are essential to the future of the Internet (think of them as basic digital human rights) with the hopeful intention that they can be evolved and taken forward to congress and the public in order to push past all the political BS and red tape that's been trying to suffocate net neutrality from the offset. Every single article I've read that has been moaning about Google's lack of better defining net neutrality (which is hard to assume on a 2 page document) has been biased in the sense that their arguments proclaiming Google have turned evil are simply based on the idea that they believe there's some grand conspiracy in which Google are using a 2 page overview draft document and the lack of clear definition within it to undermine something that isn't even mentioned to a great extent. As always the press (and many of the haters) are simply drawing erroneous and misleading conclusions where they clearly don't have any factual relevance and the "OH NOES WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE TERMINATOR STYLE" crowd are firing up the flares because a large business like Google (or MS or Apple as the case may be) are putting forward their opinion. There is absolutely no evidence that I've seen to suggest that Google are indeed "in bed" with anyone, and more to the point, I've yet to see ANY convincing evidence to suggest that this two page draft in anyway represents some sort of Dr Evil scheme.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Guru Chroniclemaster1's Avatar
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    I appreciate your opinion Alex, but given all the people who think Google is out of it's mind on this one, I'm still deeply concerned. And until Google can convince it's friends who have always supported it's net neutrality stance and are now horrified by its actions, I'm not likely to use GA. I've got a copy of AWStats that some of the guys in the PHP forum turned me onto. With a custom Javascript to add in some pieces of data to that, I'll be able to completely replace GA's functionality which was a lot easier than I thought.
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  11. #11
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    Ok some people need to stop with the conspiracy thing...

  12. #12
    SitePoint Guru Chroniclemaster1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clorets01 View Post
    Ok some people need to stop with the conspiracy thing...
    This is clear if you stick to the facts. Google has traditionally sided with strong Net Neutrality supporters, agencies including the FCC and EFF who've worked productively with Google on Net Neutrality many times in the past. Now these same organizations, have major questions about Google's commitment to Net Neutrality based on the document Alex read which they don't feel Google is yet answering in a way that is supportive of Net Neutrality.

    Is Google innocent? Could be that they're just stupid and not handling their press releases properly. They wouldn't be the first big company to spawn an unnecessary scandal by bad PR management. However, if this were some other company doing this then Google and EFF would be the two primary organizations you'd expect to be blowing the whistle. Ergo, when I read EFF's concerns, I'm concerned. Like, why is Wireless specifically exempted from all Net Neutrality provisions except transparency? Further...

    'The cutout for “additional online services” is also very disturbing. Many have pointed out that it could be the exception that swallows the nondiscrimination rule. After all, much of the innovation we expect to occur in the future will involve services “distinguishable in scope and purpose from broadband Internet access service, but could make use of or access Internet content, applications or services." If discrimination is allowed for all such things, then there could easily be little left on the “neutral” part of the Internet in a few years.'

    But I'd recommend you read the analysis for yourself. Education and action are more important than a meaningless pro vs. anti-Google flame war. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/08...-netneutrality
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  13. #13
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Max View Post
    Google is indeed in bed with Verizon to offer a pay-to-surf "premium" Internet.
    Google were also 'in bed' with the Chinese government but it turned out to be an effort to counter censorship, not support it, and when they failed they pulled out. This may be a similar action, time will tell.

    Besides, the internet isn't a communist state, it's up to the people who provide access to the internet to decide how much they want to charge for it and what can be fast and what can be slow, it's business. It's up to us if we want to pay it or not, that's how the free market works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Max View Post
    As far as Google being the big dog in the yard, that's indisputable, but it wasn't that many years ago that AOL Search, AltaVista, Lycos, HotBot, Excite, and others were prominent search engines. They come and they go.
    AOL Search, AltaVista, Lycos, HotBot, Excite came and went because they were crap, Google isn't crap so that rule of thumb may not apply as directly as you'd imagine. It's going to take something very special to replace Google and it will probably be something they invented themselves anyway.
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Guru Chroniclemaster1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    Besides, the internet isn't a communist state, it's up to the people who provide access to the internet to decide how much they want to charge for it and what can be fast and what can be slow, it's business. It's up to us if we want to pay it or not, that's how the free market works.
    No, but the internet is a utility, and that's why this is such a huge problem, because its a thoroughly privatized entity with businesses free to make independent decisions that could bring the whole sucker down. By your logic, it's perfectly acceptable if Comcast decides to bar their users from every website that doesn't pay a monthly $50 toll. Do you have $50 a month for Comcast?? It's a free market after all? Do you want to pay another $50 a month to Verizon? And another $50 to AT&T? Or more?? What about staged pricing, that's perfectly acceptable to a free market. $50 will only get your XHTML served, you need to pay $75 if you want your style sheets to be sent too. $100 for Javascript and email access, $150 / month if you want images served. $200 if you want audio files included, $300 for basic video and up and up and up into the millions for big corporations that want to be able to deliver the next generation of technologies. That's all perfectly acceptable to a free market, but you are admitting that it is total destruction of Net Neutrality. So much for all content being equal. So much for the internet as a massive library, communications network, and information sharing tool. And if you're not willing to pony up the new toll, then if grandma has Comcast and you have AT&T, then you won't be sending her emails, will you?

    This about giving massive companies the right to erect an entirely tax and toll structure on the internet, something which has never existed before and which would entirely destroy 90% of the usefulness of the internet. What you've just described so casually is the ultimate nightmare scenario for those of us to who look forward to seeing what the next generation of internet-enabled technologies will look like and are committed to Net Neutrality.

    Further, we all know exactly what tolls, taxes, and tariffs do to the economy. They tank it. Seriously. This is clearly not a good time to impose new corporate tolls. I'm sure the company your working for or the clients you depend on are not so flush with cash that they're just throwing it away. I know the British economy isn't exactly burning along hot right now, certainly not hot enough that you need to trigger a new recession and we all know that's exactly what this will do. It really does amaze me that you could say something like this. If you changed just one sentence in this to "the British government" wants to raise a tax like this, I bet you'd flip, but if corporations want to dismantle the internet, set up independent kingdoms, add whole new corporate tax structures to limit the flow of ecommerce and information then go for it?? I'm sorry, but that a patently ridiculous idea, especially in the current economy. I've been freelancing for the last year and a half because the companies in California just aren't hiring. "I" think the global economy is doing quite bad enough without companies leveraging billions in new tolls.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    AOL Search, AltaVista, Lycos, HotBot, Excite came and went because they were crap, Google isn't crap so that rule of thumb may not apply as directly as you'd imagine. It's going to take something very special to replace Google and it will probably be something they invented themselves anyway.
    Sadly, Google will probably just buy up whatever competition might spring up. Also I prefer AltaVista search results, and recently started using them again. The only thing Google really offers me at this point is free mail and an advertising platform. However, I'm pretty sure they make most of their money being an advertising platform so they win there.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Evangelist Ed Seedhouse's Avatar
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    Just because google wasn't crap to start with doesn't mean that it can't evolve into crap after a few years, as it generally seems to me to be doing these days. Soon enough it will be the next Microsoft I judge.
    Ed Seedhouse

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChronicalMaster
    What about staged pricing, that's perfectly acceptable to a free market. $50 will only get your XHTML served, you need to pay $75 if you want your style sheets to be sent too. $100 for Javascript and email access, $150 / month if you want images served. $200 if you want audio files included, $300 for basic video and up and up and up into the millions for big corporations that want to be able to deliver the next generation of technologies.
    That... could be a good thing. : )

  18. #18
    Floridiot joebert's Avatar
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    I just want to know what the hell is going on in simple terms I can relate to every day life.

    Some of the stuff I've read makes me think network providers are trying to build a sort of carpool lane websites can pay to get in to, and some of it makes me think they want to turn the Internet into something that closer resembles cable television where you have basic Internet, and if you want access to say the New York Times, Youtube, and other big name websites you have to pay extra like you would with Showtime or HBO on cable television.

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    So I'm assuming everyone but Alex hasn't read this? After reading that, Google doesn't seem so evil to me... Maybe I'm just optimistic, though?

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/...eutrality.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chroniclemaster1 View Post
    No, but the internet is a utility, and that's why this is such a huge problem, because its a thoroughly privatized entity with businesses free to make independent decisions that could bring the whole sucker down. By your logic, it's perfectly acceptable if Comcast decides to bar their users from every website that doesn't pay a monthly $50 toll. Do you have $50 a month for Comcast?? It's a free market after all? Do you want to pay another $50 a month to Verizon? And another $50 to AT&T? Or more?? What about staged pricing, that's perfectly acceptable to a free market. $50 will only get your XHTML served, you need to pay $75 if you want your style sheets to be sent too. $100 for Javascript and email access, $150 / month if you want images served. $200 if you want audio files included, $300 for basic video and up and up and up into the millions for big corporations that want to be able to deliver the next generation of technologies. That's all perfectly acceptable to a free market, but you are admitting that it is total destruction of Net Neutrality. So much for all content being equal. So much for the internet as a massive library, communications network, and information sharing tool. And if you're not willing to pony up the new toll, then if grandma has Comcast and you have AT&T, then you won't be sending her emails, will you?
    First, any company that did any of the things you mention would crash and burn really fast. They might be able to sneak stuff like that in slowly, but that's unlikely.

    Second, the internet has been built by private companies. They built the infrastructure. They spent a lot of money to get the technology created. To be blunt, they own it. If the government starts infringing on the big companies property rights, how long will it be before mine are taken away?

    Third, would you really rather have the Government in charge of the net? Seriously? The only effect that would have is to make things worse. I'd much rather have a big company that I know will be seeking to get as much money from me as they can, than have a government playing games with all kinds of hard to understand regulations. Those regulations would be supposed to do what the government says they do, but would actually do another. That is what happens with most Laws. To give the Government more authority would be utterly stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chroniclemaster1 View Post
    This about giving massive companies the right to erect an entirely tax and toll structure on the internet, something which has never existed before and which would entirely destroy 90% of the usefulness of the internet.
    Again, their property, their rules. And, again, they will be very careful with what they do. And it's not giving them anything. They already have the right to do what ever they want with their own property.


    I should note that I see both sides of the whole net neutrality thing. It's just that I personally consider giving the FCC, or any other government agency, control to be just as bad as letting big corporations charge us tons of fees. Hence, I decided to present this side of the debate. Plus, I'm currently very ticked off at my USA government, and thus am biased against anything that gives them more power. So it's easier to present this side of the debate right now.
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  21. #21
    SitePoint Guru Chroniclemaster1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    That... could be a good thing. : )
    I appreciate that this is the "Field of Dreams" argument. "If you let big business charge whatever they want for whatever they build, they will come." But we shouldn't kid ourselves... that means the complete end of Net Neutrality.

    Quote Originally Posted by joebert View Post
    I just want to know what the hell is going on in simple terms I can relate to every day life.

    Some of the stuff I've read makes me think network providers are trying to build a sort of carpool lane websites can pay to get in to, and some of it makes me think they want to turn the Internet into something that closer resembles cable television where you have basic Internet, and if you want access to say the New York Times, Youtube, and other big name websites you have to pay extra like you would with Showtime or HBO on cable television.
    This would most likely mean two things.

    One as a website owner, the more you pay, the more technologies you would be able to deliver. In the current Net Neutral, no taxes system, as long as you or a developer your hire creates content for your website, then you can use it on your website. Any visitor with a browser, and possibly plugins, can receive and use that content. In a non-Net Neutral system, each individual provider can choose not allow you to send content over their phone and data lines unless you pay them an internet tax. So if a Comcast user requests your website, they will only get the amount of content that you've paid Comcast for. If an AT&T user tries to use your contact form, the email will only be delivered if you've paid AT&T their fee for internet access. Currently websites only have to purchase space on the internet for web hosting; transmission is entirely free. Under the new structure business would be "encouraged" to innovate by charging you any price they deemed appropriate to transmit your content.

    Further, if your competitor pays more money than you do, then they receive additional considerations, better technologies, faster download speeds that they can offer users, or even eliminating your content entirely. A big problem with the Google rules is that they allow ISPs to "restrict" content for legal and copyright reasons. You can turn up plenty of cases where people with lots of lawyers have used these sorts of rules to attempt to block legitimate content from their competitors, especially small businesses that don't have teams of lawyers on speed dial.

    It's also worth noting that you would HAVE to use progressive enhancement. For those of us that already are, test our sites religiously, this may not be a big deal, but for people who aren't used to it, this would be a rude awakening.

    Two, as a web user, you currently go anywhere on the internet you want. You can send a link to your friend or business colleague to share information. In a non-Net Neutral world, they would only be able to view a link you send them if they have also paid for access to a similar package. You would only be able to receive email from friends, family, and business partners who you've paid the proper internet tolls for (and assuming that they've also paid whatever necessary fees to send an email to you). This would virtually destroy the usefulness of the internet as a way to share information with anyone, anytime, anywhere.
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  22. #22
    Resident Grump BillyParadise's Avatar
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    Methinks you need to stop tilting at windmills.
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    SitePoint Guru rageh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    if you avoid Google, you may as well not exist.
    That is a drastic thing to say. Without Google does not mean the end of the World. I am sure a competitor will come and snatch the the coveted top position from them as they themselves did not long ago. Such is the nature of the Internet.
    ------------------

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chroniclemaster1 View Post
    Oh, and is there a good search engine that doesn't take as long to load as Yahoo and MSN?
    How long does this take for you to load: http://search.yahoo.com/ . It takes no longer to load for me than Google's main page does.

    I've disliked Google for a long time. Back in 2000 yes, Google was the best search engine. But that was because the internet was still in its infancy and everything else decided to rank based on who paid them. I started using Yahoo in 2004. I used Yahoo because I found it provided superior search results to Google and I'm a heavy search user. Google's index was largely dominated by spam. Months after I made this post, Google's search results looked more like Yahoo's. Google's results became more like Yahoo's.

    However, since Yahoo announced their partnership with Microsoft, their search results have really took a hit. The quality has decreased dramatically. Yahoo used to kick Google's butt in search result quality but now, I am not so sure. I use both Yahoo and Google now, sometimes Google more than Yahoo.

    Google is becoming another Microsoft. Just as Microsoft tried to dominate every sector of the software market, Google is trying to dominate every sector of the internet. Whereas Microsoft failed, Google is succeeding.

    Google is evil. If they can't dominate something, they just buy it and dominate it that way. Nobody should want any one company exerting a controlling influence on the internet. Not Google or anyone else. But that is exactly what Google is trying to do.

    At the very least, I would like to see the government pass a law requiring internet ad networks to specify the percentage they are paying of the gross cost per click. Google is keeping over 50% of the revenue for themselves, I am sure.

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    SitePoint Enthusiast mhakim's Avatar
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    I just hate the Big G when I can't create million email addresses with them...
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