Thanks, Amit

Amit Singhal just announced that he’s retiring toward the end of the month. Amit has been a formative part of Google’s search team, but he’s also a good friend. Last year, after he marked 15 years with Google, I wrote this about Amit’s contributions:

Amit Singhal, one of the unsung heroes of Google, just celebrated 15 years at the company. If you’ve ever gotten a magical answer from Google, you probably have Amit to thank for it.

I can’t think of another person who has taken on so many different roles–individual contributor, manager, and head of search, not to mention dealing with press–and done such a superb job in each role. When a regular person hits a wall and gets discouraged, that’s when Amit is just getting started. 🙂 It’s always fun to see how he cuts to the root of a problem and solves it. I’m proud to call him my friend.

Billions of people have benefited in some way from Amit’s insight and judgment. Google will miss you, but thank you for everything, Amit. I’m also thankful that the leadership of search remains in excellent hands, including an experienced group of contributors and leaders in core ranking.

Buy Viagra online?

Working in webspam, we sometimes use the phrase “buy Viagra online” as an example of a search query that might be spammy. That’s why I noticed and remembered the 2013 announcement that you can officially buy Viagra online.

As this Time article points out, you’ve actually been able to buy Viagra online through legitimate pharmacy websites for quite some time. In May of 2013, Pfizer announced the process would become more direct through a collaboration with CVS.

What about “generic Viagra”?

To the best of my knowledge, some patents on Viagra haven’t expired in the US. Consequently, a generic version of Viagra has not yet been approved in the US. So I believe there’s no exact thing as “generic viagra” in the United States.

Interestingly, there is a drug called Revatio which is also sildenafil. The patent for Revatio expired in 2012 and so there are generic versions of Revatio. Revatio is intended to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, but your doctor could legally prescribe generic Revatio for an “off label” usage.

It’s even more interesting to read about generic Viagra in other countries. For example, Canada invalidated Pfizer’s patent on Viagra, so there is a generic version of Viagra in Canada. Likewise, the patent on Viagra has expired in many countries in Europe. It also looks like India makes a generic version of Viagra. However, at least in the US it appears that there’s still not a generic version.

What about “herbal Viagra”?

I believe “Viagra” is a brand name, so it’s not correct to refer to “herbal Viagra.” The term may be internet slang for wide variety of different things, but it’s not Viagra as such. As a result, you should do your research and exercise caution with anything that claims to be “herbal Viagra.”

What about Cialis?

As long as I was doing this research, I was curious about the situation with Cialis, which is a similar drug to Viagra. In case you were wondering about how to buy cialis online, you can find official information about that here. It looks like if you get a prescription, then you can order official Cialis from legitimate online pharmacies.

If you see something that I got wrong, please let me know.

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