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Schmidt - Don't Fear the Google
Brett_Tabke




msg:3297522
 4:26 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Worth a read. An interview with Eric Schmidt:

[businessweek.com...]

People increasingly compare Google to Microsoft in the mid-1990sat the height of its power, arrogant at times. Is that a fair comparison?

The comparison is absolutely false. And the reason it's false is that people do not understand the strength of the Microsoft monopoly. Microsoft had 90%-plus market share in a market where it was impossible to switch. And Google has neither. It certainly does not have that market as best we can tell, and it's trivial to switch. Microsoft hid behind the user-choice argument.

Seems like Bill Gates could have penned that same interview in Schmidt's shoes in 1996. The arguments are freakishly uncanny to the positions that Gates had 10 years ago.

 

Kufu




msg:3297534
 4:38 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

But it is trivial to switch from Google to Yahoo! and back. I even use MSN sometimes. ;)

I don't want to sound like a Google fanatic, but they are much more 'open' than Microsoft. As an example take Gmail; from the very beginning it allowed for POP access, and it allows the forwarding of emails. Hotmail has yet to offer either.

But then again maybe I'm blinded by all the glitter.

randle




msg:3297540
 4:44 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

if Google makes a ranking algorithm change (which changes the order of search results), it can have unintended consequences. And if you're on the losing end of that unintended consequence, that's very real. It really does cause pain. And we're aware of that.

Not as much as they used to be, IMHO.

willybfriendly




msg:3297549
 4:57 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

And the benefit to the end-user is they're more likely to see Google as a choice on the new Dell hardware shipments.

Pure marketspeak. They must have taken the "Cluetrain Manifesto" off the bulleting board in the plex and replaced it with "Rich Dad, Poor Dad".

WBF

JeremyL




msg:3297677
 6:09 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

But it is trivial to switch from Google to Yahoo! and back. I even use MSN sometimes. wink

It's trivial for the end user to switch from Google to MSN or Yahoo.

But the users are not the ones paying Google as they were paying MS in the 90's. We, the webmasters are paying Google for traffic and playing the Google search rank game because we must. We cannot survive without their traffic.

bcc1234




msg:3297689
 6:22 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

What about the advertisers?
Is it easy to switch from Adwords to something else and still get any significant amount of traffic? I doubt it.

The advertisers are the only paying customers Google has, so comparing Google's free user base with Microsoft's paying customers is a false analogy right from the start.

And as an advertiser and a linux user, I can tell you that it's much easier to switch from Windows to something else, than it is to switch from Adwords to something else.

wildbest




msg:3297701
 6:33 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

We, the webmasters are paying Google for traffic and playing the Google search rank game because we must. We cannot survive without their traffic.

True webmasters can survive without Google. :)
Webmaster that can't survive without Google is not true webmaster, but just a Google junkie!

ispy




msg:3297750
 7:12 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Once you start focusing on expansion like the Dell deal there is no other choice but to become like Microsoft or WalMart. In these cases you have to continually "Goo(b)le" ("Goo(g)le") everything up in order to stay alive.

The other option is to stay humble as a company and focus on new products and improving quality and scrape with the finances.

bwnbwn




msg:3297759
 7:14 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

wildbest
I will frame that well said I couldn't agree more

koan




msg:3297792
 7:50 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Maybe the effect of Google's popularity on some people may seem like the same monopoly, but these two companies are fundamentally different in their attitudes from the beginning. Microsoft had many predatory practices on the verge of being unethical that stiffled innovations, Google is very innovative and actually forces their competitors to keep up by always offering MORE to users.

Jeez, not long ago we had like 2 megs if space on hotmail or yahoo mail. Maybe Google is not the same cutsy, nerdy outfit anymore they were 5 years ago, but the comparaison is WAY unfair. Most good things that came from Google (uncluttered search interface, adsense for even the little guys, free software goodies, experimental free services, etc.) would never have come from Microsoft's corporate culture.

dgonigam




msg:3297829
 8:26 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's not illegal to have a monopoly. Microsoft did own 90% of the market share, but 4 years of stagnant stock prices unambiguously tells of its market weakness, not prowess (google?). The justice department must not undermine the benefits of innovation and growth with the fear of market share. The looming threat of foreign competition can turn short sited measures into long term failures such as the US steel and automotive industry.

As for adwords, can it be singled out amongst other forms of advertising to the point that google is acting as a coercive monopoly?

TinkyWinky




msg:3297836
 8:37 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Microsoft had 90%-plus market share

With a few more months of Yahoo serps the way they are and Live.com not quite getting going (IE7 only slowly picking up), in the UK G will have the same thing I fear.

alvin123




msg:3297903
 9:56 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

True webmasters can survive without Google. :)
Webmaster that can't survive without Google is not true webmaster, but just a Google junkie!

Webmasters may not need Google traffic to survive, but I guarantee, you will survive a lot better if you are getting traffic from Google.

treeline




msg:3297908
 10:05 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

IF Google really annoys the public like MS does, they can and will switch in a heartbeat. There's no lock in, there's no inability to work with others if you switch. There's lots of options, Google is only used a lot because they're giving good answers at a great value.

If that changes, they disappear. How's Excite & Lycos doing anyway? Imagine if Google charged just 1 cent a search. How fast would they become irrelevant? And if MS raised Windows or Office prices 1 percent, would they disappear? Google isn't remotely like Microsoft.

Kufu




msg:3298018
 1:36 am on Mar 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

We, the webmasters are paying Google for traffic and playing the Google search rank game because we must. We cannot survive without their traffic.

Since when does any search engine owe anyone traffic? Usually the sites with good content are rewarded with high rankings and consequently higher number of visitors.

I also don't buy the argument that Google is using the webmasters' content to make money. You can't have it both ways. You can't not want Google to index your site, but still send you traffic. Admittedly, Google does sneak in tools here and there that keeps users on their site, but so does every webmaster.

night707




msg:3298061
 3:00 am on Mar 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Some more competition shouldn`t be too bad.

Google search support does often not deserve that name, sometimes search results see by far not the best content on top and no yahoo and msn have been able to develop any new, good or competitve ideas.

At this time it is by far too easy for Google to rule.

koan




msg:3298111
 5:07 am on Mar 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

At this time it is by far too easy for Google to rule.

That may be, but this is not due to customers being locked in on a product, but simply, the competition can't keep up.

I rarely see long tail traffic from MSN or Yahoo on my sites, it's like they can't index or value more than the few main important keywords. When I do get some diverse traffic, it's at best on a secondary page, but rarely on page that are more than 2 clicks away from the homepage.

People whining on Google should actually whine about its distant competitors.

night707




msg:3298213
 10:00 am on Mar 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

People whining on Google should actually whine about its distant competitors.

That's what I mean. I do not understand, why MSN and Yahoo produce such little traffic. They crawl our rich content site like mad but send no visitors.

Easy to imagine, that it will require some new player to give Google search a bit of a challenge and competition. MSN and Yahoo haven't used their chances as yet.

In these months the Internet traffic belongs clearly to Google.

olias




msg:3298222
 10:40 am on Mar 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

OK, so the CEO of Google comes out and basically says that as a company Google are extremely vulnerable.

How has an interview like that not affected the value of their stock?

aleksl




msg:3298288
 1:06 pm on Mar 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Kufu: You can't have it both ways. You can't not want Google to index your site, but still send you traffic.

Sure you can. It is called "Blackhat SEO 101 - Doorways", and "Blackhat SEO 102 - Cloacking".

greennature




msg:3298725
 1:29 am on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

don't know why they brought up the subject...is Google going through an identity crisis?

Martin40




msg:3299271
 5:06 pm on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Since when does any search engine owe anyone traffic? Usually the sites with good content are rewarded with high rankings and consequently higher number of visitors.

Hence, search engines owe sites with good content traffic.

Mr. Schimdt says:

we would never try to violate people's trust and users' trust

Does that include delivering search results based on quality rather than PPC interests?

Kufu




msg:3299384
 7:26 pm on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hence, search engines owe sites with good content traffic.

I don't follow the logic where 'owe' comes into play.

Martin40




msg:3299410
 8:17 pm on Apr 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't follow the logic where 'owe' comes into play.

Try to imagine an Internet without content. Then I'd like to see Google indexing itself.

Does Google owe anything to their users, or is Google God's gift to the Internet? If Google does owe something to their users, then I'd say they owe something to the sites that their users want to find.

People use Google in the expectation that there is something useful to search for, or is search a goal within itself? I.e. search = content?

physics




msg:3299614
 2:24 am on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't know if it's trivial to switch from Google for the average user. A lot of people seem to think that Google is the internet and to find a site they have to type it into Google, people like this never type a .com into the address bar but they will type example com into Google. Google has gone way beyond the tipping point and their 'monopoly' is more psychological (how people think about the internet) than 'physical' (i.e. physically shrink wrapped software like MS Windows), but it's still basically a monopoly.

simonuk




msg:3299959
 12:52 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

A lot of people seem to think that Google is the internet and to find a site they have to type it into Google

That is so true!. I did home computer repairs for quite a while and I would say 60% or more were typing in www.whatever-the-site-is.com into the SE instead of the address bar. With ever more browsers having a quick search window by default I'm sure many more will follow...

hutcheson




msg:3301307
 6:50 pm on Apr 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

>Then I'd like to see Google indexing itself.

Check out print.google.com and froogle.com for a preview. And don't forget the wayback machine...

Google isn't (primarily) the world's best search engine; they're actually the world's most efficient extremely-large-scale webhost.

hafgan




msg:3302561
 9:15 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)


A lot of people seem to think that Google is the internet and to find a site they have to type it into Google


That is so true!. I did home computer repairs for quite a while and I would say 60% or more were typing in www.whatever-the-site-is.com into the SE instead of the address bar. With ever more browsers having a quick search window by default I'm sure many more will follow...

For years I would see in our website stats that people were coming to our website by typing our domain name into Google. I'd laugh, thinking how silly it was ... until I did it! This is why -
I have Google as my home page. I would open a browser and start typing a domain name. The thing is - Google automatically puts the cursor into their search box when their page is loaded. I thought I was typing in the browser bar, but was typing in their search box. Google, in a sense, has now trained countless people into thinking you can't type in the browser directly but need to type it in the search.

skibum




msg:3305948
 1:53 am on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

The thing is - Google automatically puts the cursor into their search box when their page is loaded.

Which essentially amounts to millions of dollars in a "Google tax" on businesses. Kind of like putting your home page in the Yahoo! Site Match program.

Google already does have tremendous power over businesses and as they gether more and more data that power will become even greater. The question is how will they use it.

loudspeaker




msg:3307109
 5:11 am on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Pretty much all the webmasters I know fall under the definition of "Google junkies", to use the term from this discussion. But believe me, all of them resent this situation!

There's nothing wrong with having let's say 50%, 60% or even 70% of your traffic coming from (organic) search engines. But when there's only one search engine, things get dangerous. You are effectively at their mercy. A sudden change in rankings can destroy your small business. A much "healthier" sitution would be if sites depended 30%-30%-30%-10% on google-msn-yahoo-ask, for example...

But at this point, just one comparable competitor would be nice. I can't believe how pathetic the other guys are in their efforts. Yahoo launching Panama is like trying to optimize fuel consumption on an airplane that's in a tailspin. They should be concerned with their search market share (which is falling), not ways to extract a few pennies more per search. And Microsoft is just beyond pathetic. I don't think anybody knows (or cares about) the difference between msn search, window live search, all the other nonsense names they came up with for their half-ass efforts.

Surprisingly, the last guy in this quartet, Ask, sometimes delivers meaningful results (although they still have tons of bugs in their non-core functions) - I even use them occasionally. But I don't think they have the marketing budget to fight the big boys' fight

I almost think that if so many webmasters are seriously intent on changing the situation, they should just band together and fund one company to do something. At this point, nobody cares which one - Yahoo, MSN, Ask, Quaero (is that how it's spelled or should I google it to verify?) or whatever the wikipedia dude is scheming - as long as it can get in the hearts and minds of 25% of Internet users.

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