Category Archives: Search People Moving

Innovation After Google?

Where will many Google employees be five years from now? How many will be running their own technology companies, and pursuing their own projects? How many will be investing in other companies, and helping to drive innovation?

Georges Harik was one of Google’s first 10 employees, the Director of Googlettes and a Distinguished Engineer at Google. He’s been involved in financially backing a number of startups, and is involved in a project by Pagebites, Inc., which may be poised to bring some interesting twists to online communications with Imo.im.

Under Georges Harik’s watch, the Googlettes worked upon efforts involving Gmail, Google Talk, Google Video, Picasa, Orkut, Google Groups and Google Mobile. He was also a co-developer of the technology behind AdSense and the Google Search Appliance.

He worked upon the first product plan for the AdWords Online system. A number of the Google patent filings I’ve written about here have his name on them as inventor.

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Erik Selberg Leaves Microsoft Live, Joins Amazon

Along with news of Microsoft’s Updated Live Search Engine, discussed at Microsoft’s Searchification Day, comes some other news from the Live.com camp.

One of the founders of the Microsoft Search Labs (a research and development group within the Windows Live Search team), Erik Selberg, is leaving Microsoft to join Amazon.com.

With my last post on how closely Yahoo is treating categories, I wanted to make sure I pointed out this Microsoft patent application from Erik Selberg on categorization (I wrote about it in a post titled Microsoft Looks at Category Based Link Weights):

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Mark Pilgrim to Join Google

Technologist, author, blogger, and accessibility expert Mark Pilgrim announced yesterday that he will be joining Google.

One of my longtime favorite sites from Mark Pilgrim is Dive Into Accessibility (no longer available), which provides a 30 day, step-by-step approach to making web sites more accessible to visitors and to search engines. The site was written in 2002, and is a little dated, but still very much worth visiting if you own a web site. It uses fairly simple and plain language, and describes accessibility benefits that you can provide to users of your web site, with some very nice examples.

Other free online books and articles by Mark Pilgrim are a little more technical, and include Dive Into Greasemonkey, Dive Into Python, and a series of columns that he wrote at O’Reilly’s XML.com on RSS and XML.

Mark Pilgrim has also been involved in a number of free software initiatives, and if you’ve ever validated an RSS feed at feedvalidator.org, you’ve used one of the applications that he has been involved in building.

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Google Open Source and Open Standards

Some of Google’s past hires involve people who are pretty well known in the open source and open standards worlds.

Last week, Kevin Marks noted on his blog that he had recently become Begoogled, and is now a software engineer at Google. He was a principal engineer for Technorati, after working for Apple and the BBC. He is a founding member of Microformats and the Social Software Alliance.

Google is known for heralding open source software development, and using open source software. There’s a nice interview with Google’s open-source programs manager, Chris DiBona, from last December: Newsmaker: A look inside Google’s open-source kitchen

I thought it would be fun to find some of the other folks who have worked on open source or open standards projects before joining Google. By no means is this list complete. I suspect that I’m just scratching the surface.

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AOL Top AIM Developer Joins Google

Steve Bryant broke the news yesterday that Google has just hired AOL’s top instant messaging developer, Justin Uberti. (Hat tip to Barry Schwartz).

Steve tells us that Justin was involved in AOL’s Open AIM Initiative. He also notes that this hiring is interesting in light of a December agreement between AOL and Google to have their instant messaging programs able to communicate with each other.

Curious about some of the efforts that Justin Uberti worked upon while at America Online, I searched for some of the patents that he was involved in filing on behalf of the company. The patent applications he co-invented include integration of email with instant messaging, sharing folders and files across an IM system, providing secure messaging, and implementing a number of personalization features for IM systems. There may be others pending publication.

The following have been assigned to America Online unless otherwise noted.

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Danny Sullivan Leaves Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Strategies

Years ago, shortly after I built my first web page and started promoting it on the web, I came across a site that provided a lot of help and insight into how search engines worked, and what to do to make a site more visible in search engines. I guess that it had an effect upon me, because I try to do some of the same here, with this blog. That site was Search Engine Watch (link is to a Internet Archives view of the site as it appeared in 1997), and the person behind the site and the information there was Danny Sullivan.

Search Engine Watch (SEW) and the Search Engine Strategies Conferences (SES), which sprung from the site, are possibly the most authoritative site and conference series in the Search Marketing Industry today, and Danny Sullivan played a major role in developing both. It came as a surprise this morning to learn that Danny is leaving Search Engine Watch and the Search Engine Strategies Conference.

I’ve been fortunate this year, to have been invited by Danny to speak at a couple of Search Engine Strategies Conferences and blog at the Search Engine Watch blog. Neither will be quite the same without his presence. He’s been a bright light both within the industry, and to people who want to know more about how to make their sites visible in search engine results.

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Dr. Qi Lu named Senior VP of Engineering for Search and Search Marketing for Yahoo!

(Added – June 20, 2008 – this post was orginally written on April 15, 2006, and describes the technical background of Dr. Lu as he became a Senior Vice President of Yahoo back then. Now, it might serve as an indication of some of the talent that Yahoo is losing after a number of executives, including Dr. Lu are leaving Yahoo )

A press release from Yahoo! earlier today noted that Dr. Qi Lu has been appointed as their new Senior Vice President of Engineering for Search and Search Marketing.

Dr. Lu has been active in a wide range of activities while at Yahoo!, including their search platform, and their social search activities. The press release notes that he has been involved in;

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Gary Price Moves to Ask Jeeves

Search Engine Watch editor Gary Price will be joining Ask Jeeves as Director of Online Information Resources. He will be leaving his editorial position at Search Engine Watch, to lead an outreach program at Ask, where he will work with the library and education communities, and provide advice on new search products for the company.

It’s a terrific move for Ask Jeeves, and I wish Gary much joy in his new role. His participation at Search Engine Watch will be missed. Gary has more on the change over at ResourceShelf.