I have noticed a great deal of De-Ranking by Google, Facebook, Twitter and now LinkedIn.
Let me establish my credibility on De Ranking algorithms by Google:

In short, I was going to be the seed investor, along with Andy B., on these two guys from Stanford who had a peculiar search engine. I did perform the due diligence on them but didn’t get the opportunity to invest along with Andy. Then a couple of years later, I became one of the early adaptors of Google Adwords (pay per click) program. Through the Google sales team, I contributed to Google by specifying that all small businesses had to advertise locally (not regionally), and thus I suggested a small 5 mile radius or a zip code based specifications to address local small businesses needs. Next I came up with a dash port idea for examining the keywords, click throughput rates, number of impressions, etc…after I learned of Google’s De-Ranking problem in natural searches, I tried to inform them about their system bugs in no vein. They wouldn’t respond. Here is the story:

In late Fall of 1996 (or May be in Early 1997), I had the privilege of attending the annual dinner by German American Chamber of Commerce at Stanford Park Hotel across from Stanford Shopping Center. Most guests were VP level and CXO Level in then unicorn companies, like IBM, HP, …. The guest were very up tight and wore suits with ties! Suddenly the door opened and this guy on his sandals, wearing regular blue jeans with a T-Shirt showed up. He sat next to me, away from the high ranking executive level C-suits of Silicon Valley. He looked awfully familiar to me but at first, I couldn’t clear up my memory and couldn’t identify him! But from the questioned he asked me during dinner I figured out that he was super intelligent.

During the dinner, he asked me what I had been up to. I said that I was a Ph.D. in EE with expertise in optical metrology. He smiled and told me that he was particularly fond of people with metrology background. Then he asked me what kind (of metrology)? I said that I had been wearing two hats: I was working on optical properties of materials and that I had built a UV-Visible–Near IR inspection system for instantaneous and nondestructive measurement of ultrathin film thicknesses on semiconductor substrates. I continued that I had to finance my Transoptics company, Hi-Tech project developments by myself. There were no accelerators nor seed funding readily available then as they are today. He asked me How? I said I had to quit working for big semiconductor inspection companies, started a small brick and mortar glass business, and used the proceeds from the business to fund my Hi Tech metrology company called Transoptics. I said that some old friends by the name of Forouhi and Bloomer had copied my hardware design from me. He said: “So you self-Incubated your company”. That was the first time I heard the word “Incubation” used in that sense. To me Incubators were little medical spaces for keeping, and bringing to term, immature babies. So I did not understand what he meant. But then I understood. I also told him that the glass business had become a huge success and that it was pulling me away from Hi Tech, by attending day to day business problems. I explained that I always had a problem with Pac Bell Yellow pages, and they did a poor job of advertising for small and medium size businesses. He said his name was Andy, and lived in down town Palo alto because all the restaurants were in walking distance to his place. And after dinner, he gave me his business card. I looked at it and immediately recognized him. He was Andy Bechtolsheim, the founder of Sun Micro Systems, but his business card reflected the name of Granite Technology. I want to emphasize that I heard the name of Incubator and Incubation for the first time from Andy so all the credit for incubators goes to him. Then I suddenly recognized him as we were walking toward the parking lot where he had parked his metallic silver Porsche 911. I knew how he, without any notice, dropped in any conference room when any technical discussion had been going on at Sun Micro. He also had insisted on SPARC chip, instead of then usual 25 MHz 16/32 bits 80386 Intel chip (yes the speed of Intel chips were in MHz in mid 1980s) for multi windows displays. The performance problem with his SPARC chip was that it had acted like a runaway train, and took a while to stop execution in case of a hard interrupt signal (CMOS Circuit designers know what I mean by this). But I loved and admired him for his intelligence. In the past 40 years, that I have lived in Silicon Valley, I have known of three Genius engineers in the Baby boom generation: Steve Jobs, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Mark Wihl of KLA. The rest of engineers were role players. Andy had a protégé by the name of Eric Schmidt at Sun Micro System, but at Sun Micro Eric was known to hold a Ph.D. in “Ass Kissing” and was nowhere near Andy in terms of character, originality, innovation and brilliance. {I didn’t mean to disparage Eric, but Eric’s character turned out to play a decisive role on our privacy when he became CEO of Google, when he shared users’ search profiles with NSA and Government}.

A couple of months after that dinner, I called Andy and went to Granite to discuss technology trends. He said that he had invested in a startup led by a professor out of Sanford (I can’t recall his name now, but he used to be Reza Ahy’s advisor, and now leaves in Jackson hole Wyoming. I knew the professor because we had negotiated a patent out of his lab at Stanford, that became the backbone of Photon Dynamics and I used to attend his lab in the mid 1980s). But then the professor had started his own company in the mid 1990s and I believe the company was called Eschell or Escheel or …They used to make MEM based display chips.

Yet a couple of weeks later, I went to Andy’s office near Sun Micro systems in Mountain View again. He told me he was going to invest $200K on these two guys with a new search engine out of Stanford University. He said that he had to attend a board meeting / lunch meeting and as we walked out to the parking lot, he asked me what my net worth was. I said let’s discuss it on a phone call later that day at 5 p.m.

After I left Andy’s office, I remember it was past 12 noon, I was driving north from Mountain View on highway 101. They were adding an extra lane to High Way 101 then. Suddenly I drove over some sands on new asphalts and my car started spinning such that I found myself driving southward against the incoming northbound traffic, …., ended up in a ditch off the shoulder, and my head hit the left front driver side door glass.

At 5 p.m. Andy called me. I was very shaken up. Very shaken up. I felt nausea. I wanted to terminate my call with Andy ASAP. He again asked me about my net worth. I said that I was upwardly mobile. I should have said ~2 MM. But being an engineer, I told him that I would have my accountant come up with an accurate balance sheet for him. He explained that I couldn’t invest more than 20% of my net worth. I remember that I slept after that call at around 6 p.m. and woke up the next day at around 8 a.m.
It took me a week or two for my accountant to come up with an exact balance sheet. Meanwhile, as part of due diligence, I talked to some friends at Stanford Computer Science Department. They said that these guys were for real and were using a new method based on meta tags for searches. The buzz word for me was “Meta Tags”. I loved their innovation and interruption. Because in the 1990s, and after the success of Yahoo IPO, almost every month a couple of people claimed that they had the magic algorithm for search engines. But after close examinations, I would conclude that they were some derivative of Jerry Yang’s Yahoo algorithm.

So when I called Andy after two weeks, I was ready to co-invest with him. His secretary answered the phone. I believe (but I am not 100% sure) that Andy’s secretary was the mother of Susan Wojcick, the current CEO of YouTube. I told her that I was game for $50 K, but for the full $200 K, I had to sell an apartment. She mistook me for some Real Estate agent!

After another 3-4 weeks I had found some offices on Independence Ave behind Costco in Mountain View, across the Hwy from Andy’s office. When I didn’t hear back from Andy, I called Andy again. (BIG MISTAKE: I should have emailed him). I told his secretary that I had found some offices and was ready to move the guys from Stanford to the offices near Andy’s office. I believe, I am almost 100% sure, Andy’s secretary never conveyed my messages to Andy. All of the above events happened in the spring and summer of 1997. By this time I knew their algorithms by heart. When I didn’t hear from Andy, I went ahead and started XLOptics in 1997.

One night in 1999, my wife and I had dinner at a restaurant in Palo Alto University Ave. I observed that some company by the name of Google, was projecting a laser on the side walk every time a user had used their engine for a search. Yet I didn’t correlate Google with those same two guys from Stanford at the center of Andy’s investment.

In 2000, I learned that Yahoo was suing this young startup company for patent violations. I concluded that the company had to have some revolutionary algorithms other wise Yahoo wouldn’t have sued them. In Silicon Valley, whenever you see a big name company suing a small company, you must conclude that the small company has some major technological break through, and that the big companies want to use the law suit to filter them out of the market!

During my term as CEO of XLOptics in summer of 2001, one day Alex Hern told me KPCB was imposing a new CEO on their best performing portfolio company. He didn’t mention the name.

After XLOptics, in a Stanford event, I learned that a couple of years back, a young pre med student (Salar) had dropped off of Stanford to pursue a career with a new search engine company called Google. That was when I correlated Google’s company name with those two guys whom I had vetted back in 1997. Everything clicked and lined up in my mind.

Local Advertising:
I became one of the first adaptors of Google Adwords program when the price per click for keywords was about 10 cents. But Google had a major problem. Users/ advertisers could not advertise locally. Google’s advertising scheme was suitable for major national brand names like Coke, Ford, GM, etc. For example, if you had a small business in mid peninsula in Foster City/San Mateo area or in San Jose, Google offered regional advertising covering the entire San Francisco By Area. Naturally, a customer wouldn’t drive all the way from Berkeley to San Mateo to visit a dentist! So working closely with Adwords sales team, I told them that Google had to come up with a 5 mile (or X miles) radius around the business that was advertising with Google Adwords. I also suggested that the business owner, or user of adwords, had to be able to identify the map, in any fashion he wanted say be identifying say the zip codes, were the keywords would appear in searches. Years later I learned that Google had assigned Marissa Mayer team to implement my user defined local advertising suggestion for Adwords.

Privacy Issues:
By 2005, I learned that George W. Bush administration was invading our privacy from many angles. I learned that Google was perhaps providing the searches and keywords used by users to the Government under some secret program. Telling that story is beyond the scope of this text. But my Ahaa moment came some time later. I was 100% sure that Google users were compromised. What I didn’t know was whether this practice was intentional or inadvertent by Google.

One day in 2006 at Stanford University, while I was attending Stanford’s Material Science department, I found some free time and attended a lecture by Marissa Mayer who was lecturing about Google in the building next door.

Please watch this youtube video from minute 29.30 up until minute 32. That is me asking the questions. By her facial expressions, Marissa made fun of me. People laughed at me. But I was 100% sure that I was on firm grounds. I knew what I was talking about with confidence.

To Be Continued Later when I have time to tell the Rest of the Story. This was a VERY IMPORTANT date in the history of America, because from then on, the US Patriots went under ground. That led to discovery of Hillary Clinton emails.