Inside Google’s Data Centers

Google has so many servers that they are counted in hundreds of thousands. And to house them they own and operate massive data centers around the world.

Google’s data centers are operating from:

  • Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Douglas County, Ga.
  • Berkeley County, S.C.
  • Mayes County, Okla.
  • Lenoir, N.C.
  • The Dalles, Ore.
  • Hamina, Finland
  • St. Ghislain, Belgium
  • Quilicura, Chile (coming)
  • Hong Kong (coming)
  • Singapore (coming)
  • Taiwan (coming)

The centers are so large that staff are supplied with bicycles. They are also very secure, sometimes guarded by StormTroopers. For more pics see the Daily Mail.

Webmaster Guidelines Pages Monitor

Like to take a guess how many Webmaster Guidelines pages Google has? More than 50!

And guess what Google’s method for informing people when they get updated is? They don’t. Despite it being critical for online success to be aware of Google’s myriad of guidelines, they update them frequently and don’t tell anyone. The onus on you is to repeatedly check.

Hobo Web have made a nice page that keeps track of when the Top 50 Guidelines pages were last changed.

AdSense and Free Downloads

Google relies on automation for keeping out spammers and improving the user experience. For the most part it works very well, and Google will leave you alone.

The problem is when the automated process gets it wrong.This happens a lot, to both AdWords and AdSense customers.

Google treats this as collateral damage – it’s better value to ignore customer complaints than have a human look into them. Unless of course there’s some bad publicity to fix, as in this example.

Author and Iraq war veteran Cody Jackson has a website with AdSense ads on it. He decided to link to the various places where his book could be downloaded for free. That’s right, a book he had written, and made available for free.

The AdSense system decided that he was linking to copyrighted material (in other words, pirated). His account was closed, and his two emails to Google were met by automated responses. But publicity of his plight meant his account was restored. This does of course highlight that thousands of other innocent customers miss out for good. At least with AdSense there are other alternatives. Unlike AdWords, which in some countries has 90% market share.

Google employees better watch out – one day an automated process will decide that Google Inc no longer needs humans to work for it.

Google News Now Reads Meta Tags

Search engines stopped looking at meta keyword tags many years ago, because they were abused by spammers – combined with better software for determining the topic on the page. But now Google has found a reason for reintroducing their use, by following this logic:

  • All sites that appear in Google News have been manually reviewed for quality – and even if spammers gain entry, they don’t last long
  • When semantic content is wrongly determined by Google’s software, it can look bad on the news page – so genuine & accurate meta keywords will have value

However, there are some sites that appear in Google News that are heavily SEO optimized. They rewrite stories continuously and have elaborate internal linking systems. These sites might take the meta tag reintroduction too far…

Full story at SitePro News.