The following are literal brain to paper thoughts on Chrome and the logic behind it, they are not official and while I expect for my first thought it will be backed up with stats the second we may have to wait till everything pans out.
Why make a browser
Its a simple if some what open ended question if you are a large search engine why would you invest time and money into a browser. Stand back from one of the cleverest “oops did we leak that?” launches ever and ponder just how Evil is Google?
Google just made millions from people like you!
It might be a drop in the ocean, but the browser development probably didn’t cost a great deal to scale from an internal system to a large project except a small team and plenty of man hours but for Google man hours are cheap, However even a drop needs to pay for itself, so how does an open source browser make Google millions overnight?
Well who is going to adopt Google Chrome first? Let’s see is it Gran in her home just firing up the big blue E or perhaps the web developer with FF 3 and perhaps more crucially pimped out plugins?
What is one of the single most adopted plugins in the world for Firefox 3? Still don’t get it ok spot the difference from fellow northern SEO bloggers DaveN post on Google Chrome!
I didn’t even know he ran Adsense on his site but in surfing the web with Chrome in the last hour I have clicked by accident on at least 2 Google ads. Think about that for a second? Suddenly you have 100′s of thousand if not millions of people suddenly being re-introduced to Google ad’s having to remember what the things look like and pay attention to where you click less you wander into an Adsense trap. But if you think it’s us poor chrome users that will suffer you are mistaken, PPC campaigns in technology niches will no doubt see a steep rise but will their sales? This strategy is bordering on genius inflated PPC see’s really only Google winning and everyone else paying.
But that doesn’t answer the question why?
Well I don’t have an answer, I do have a thought of why I would do it, but first let me speculate. A while ago I saw a rather unusual useragent in my logs something calling itself GoogleBot but coming with a webkit user agent string.
Total aside but for your records Chrome user agent is: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/0.X.Y.Z Safari/525.13.
I didn’t think much of it and it’s still just as likely to be a Mac user badly spoofing Googlebot but today it got me thinking.
I have covered Simple Block Segmentation analysis before and given a brief overview of its big brother Visual segmentation analysis at the time I focused on Microsofts research but it would be naive to think they were alone in their ideas. Since then we have worked on developing our own system using Opera which has screenshot grabbing via command line allowing batching another post to write about. But the problem is Opera renders very differently then say IE if I was a search engine I would find it much more convenient to use only one rendering agent to do such analysis (it’s worth remembering that Google “new found” Flash search ability is based on similar modified browser technology) and not have to deal with 3 or 4. If I can saturate the market I can start really developing modified versions of my browser with a search crawler not a human driving.
Just some thoughts, to the tin foil hat brigade a very quick couple of checks no obvious phone home devices it’s not looking like spyware, though contrary to other reports I’m finding my copy in real world tests to be sluggish.
Quick apologies for absence family crisis and so bad bits prevented blogging this post was rushed set of thoughts hopefully I will explore them more fully in future..