Industry rumours, scandal and intrigue - it's all here.

Orkut Home To Brazilian Criminals

Seems Brazilians love Google's group chat program - Orkut. According to a story at Reuters,the Brazilian government has requested Google stop the illegal activities. Apparently 73% of the 14 million users are from the South American country.

SP does a WMW

Sitepoint are currently seeing an exodus of volunteer staff moderators.

It was sparked when Chris Beaseley aka. Aspen, the moderator for the SEO and Google forums - and voted most popular SitePoint member 2005 - had his SitePoint blog removed along with his moderator status.

Rumor: Google Finance Added to Borg?

Loren saw some weird new referral strings at SEJ. He believes Google is going to add a finance channel soon.

Rumor: Larry's 20% Time & Sanity Out the Window

ValleyWag posts Larry Page goes nuts, quoting an anonymous tipster:

A couple weeks ago, at a regular engineering all-hands, Larry Page went on a half-hour rant that left the entire engineering team wondering if he's gone nuts.

Rumor: Bigmouthmedia Hand Removed from Google

JamesLittle recently notified TW that Bigmouthmedia has been removed from Google.

It appears as though Bigmouthmedia, arguably the most well known SEO agency in the UK, has been banned from Google. They have no PageRank, and their site can't be found in Google anymore, even when you search for their brand name!

Anyone know what happened to the boys at Bigmouthmedia? Hand removal? Just a glitch?

Rumor: Google Answering Machine

It looks like the Gmail source code has been updated again, this time with hints at an answering machine:

Popular forum mod quietly adds cloaking to unsuspecting sites, earns 1.7 million backlinks over 2 months

PHP coder Ophir Prusak of the New York PHP user group installed a mod that promised to convert his standard Invision Power Board URLs to "search engine friendly" ones. It appears to do a nice job of adding post titles/keywords to the URLs. Unfortunately, he also discovered it added user-agent cloaking to insert backlinks on his pages, as revealed by his manual inspection of the Google cache.

websourced at it again

more news today out of market smart interactive / web sourced.

http://the-joke-that-is-websourced.blogspot.com/

Rumor: Lycos Sheds Search Staff

John says multiple sources told him Lycos laid off their search staff. Apparently it looks as though they thought another layer of paid ads underneath the AdWords ads did a good enough job on the relevancy front.

Yahoo and AOL Announce Pay Per Spam Email Project

Want to get your Spam ... err Targeted Opt-in EMail to the front of the pack, AOL and Yahoo have just the program for you via: New York Times

Repackaging Your Sites Content

In the supporters forum over at webmaster world is a thread about stolen content appearing on a site. Upon further investigation content listed from many of the well know search engine forums including [another forum]. In fact they are doing quite well ranking at number 2 for that forum. Many more are listed in the drop down menu at the top of the page.

2006 The Year the Privacy Illusion was Shattered

If you're even the least bit internet savvy, chances are you realized the more you live, work, and play online the less real privacy you actually have. However if their is a silver lining to the DOJ taking interest in search data it's that John Q. Public is finally starting to get it too. CNet today published a series of interviews comparing the policies of different search engines.

Google - IP2.0, Cubes, And, Err, Everything, Really.

From Times Online a piece entitled 'Rumours mount over Google's internet plan', as chock full of chunky bits as anything else you could wish for on a Friday.

Marissa Mayer: PageRank 10

Valleywag stated Marissa Mayer, the well known Google PR exec and dancing queen, may have dated Larry Page.

Matt Cutts - won't give credit where credit's due?

Scroll all the way down to the last 'credit' line of Matt Cutt's blog and all you'll see are links to an XHTML and CSS validator.

Now scroll down to the bottom of the original wordpress theme by Beccy and you'll also see that the design actually comes with a credit to the designer.

Evil Google Censorship Makes Me Want to Shoot Myself in the Foot

Someone is the blogosphere is hopping mad about something Google did recently (no surprise there, eh). Seems that Google's decision to accomodate the Chinese Government's request to remove some material has the Blogger News Network so mad they are taking Google AdSense off their site until Google changes their policy on censorship.

Why Do I Always Feel Like, Somebody's Watching Me ...

After the recent brouhaha over the MSN/Yahoo/Google Department of Justice Search Inquiry, Danny Sullivan gives us a sobering look at how hard it really is to keep what you search for and do online truly private, Protecting Your Search Privacy: A Flowchart To Tracks You Leave Behind

Sex.com Sells for $14 million

According to this report the controversial domain Sex.com has officially been sold to Boston-based Escom LLC for a reported $14 million.

Sex.com was originally registered in 1994 by Gary Kremen. It was stolen the following year by Internet crook Stephen Cohen. It took Kremen five years to get his domain name back. Cohen fled the USA when a court ordered him to pay $65 million in damages to Kremen. Police tracked Cohen to Mexico and brought him back to the US. The whole saga is here

Feds after Google data

Silicon Valley Reporter reports that evil Bush and company want to grab search data to find out how much porn there is on the web:

The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.

Google intends to fight "vigorously." ...

'Google is not a party to this lawsuit, and the demand for the information is overreaching.'

Danny Sullivan and John Battelle have more.

Web 2.0, Snake Oil for the 21st Century

Jeffery Zeldman of A List Apart puts Web 2.0 in the proper perspective with his article titled Web 3.0