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It seems Google can't please anyone these days.
What is the root of it all?
a) The Florida update?
b) Big - just plain bigness (everyone loves to pick on the big guy)?
c) Poor management?
d) Public relations dept screw up?
e) Competitors planting seeds of division?
f) All of the above?
Once you become huge ..almost bordering on monopolistic, you become the target of attacks and villification.
I am not saying some of the concerns expressed with Gmail are unwarranted but I am amazed at how folks choose to ignore individual responsibility in these matters.
If I am not mistaken, Gmail is supposed to be free yes? Well what do you expect?
If you don't want your precious privacy violated, then get dedicated email like the rest of us.
There, said my piece.
It seems they roll out new ideas like their serps after major algo changes - without much testing. Perhaps someone should tell Google about focus groups. Many businesses float trial balloons, but Google seems to launch blimps.
As time went on, they continued to be ustoppable, still had superior search and were whipping the big portals at their own game, the student became the teacher and we all cheered them on even more.
Now, their search product is not that much better than anyone else's.... they seem to have gotten greedy IMHO and are trying to monetize every square inch of the web without concern of privacy or mistrust. When I say mistrust, some of the practices the products they are launching are getting more and more shady, and they're beginning to look like a Gator in disguise. You can argue all you want that they try to eliminate "legalese" and make everything in bold red print, but the point is some people will still skip over it, and others have a blind faith in google, and many others are simply clueless and will agree to anything.
I have no problem with Google trying to run a business and generate money. What I have a problem is their whole philosophy has changed. It used to be "let's create a superior search product (pure search, news, whatever) and let's gain market share and monetize it later. Now it's "let's create something that will monetize more of the web and just get it out there first.. and we'll improve it later" This is evident with Froogle, Local Search and now Gmail.
I think they're severly damaging their brand with these half-baked product launches and are now putting innovation in search products aside in preference for the allmighty buck.
Additionally, as G's ability to capture and control information on the net has increased, concerns about the amount of power and influence associated with that have grown.
With the exception of gmail, I hear little that wasn't batted around before. It is just taken more seriously by more people. Googlewatch has been around for awhile. People have been saying they want competititon in Search Engines for awhile too.
There are just more voices raising the cry. And some of those voices are louder and more influential than in the past.
So where is the money going?
I point this out even though my EPC went up. (I just can't trust them when they treat publishers like third class citizens).
The arrogance and denial at Google with their fiascos over the last 6 months is astonishing. But it might be understood as the popular media still is in love/bed with them. Type "Google" into Google news and see why Google spin doctors are probably the best in the world.
There should be a Google bomb for "Narcissistic" pointing to the Google home page.
I don't buy the argument they are being attacked merely because they are BIG. This level of Surfer and Webmaster dissatisfaction with Google started primarily with Florida. How much bigger was Google on Nov. 14 then they are now?
They used to be the "Peoples' Search Engine" - Now, they have that MicroSoft/Yahoo mentality while their motto, "Don't Be Evil," is a hypocritical joke.
Considering Gmail isn't even available yet, there is little public outcry. Just a few techies beefing. As for future consumers, if they don't like the privacy implications of Gmail they can just use something else. And, I see little evidence that the searching public is ditching Google in droves. Unless Google's market share is dropping, they are hardly "under seige".
I think there is a major misunderstanding at Google and even with the majority of people when it comes to what is a SEO. They both equated SEO with spam. In fact the truth is the SEO is all about relevence. The goal of the SEO is to bring relevent traffic to a site. If the traffic is not relevent than their products won't sell. As a SEO I work with hundreds of clients and I teach them how to make there sites easier to navigate, more rich in content, and more obvious (this means good titles and link names) for the user and search engine. As well I showed them how to build links in order to build business relationships and improve their sites visibility. At one time Google rewarded these practices as it should. Instead of continuing to embrace this type of SEO it heavy handed filtered it out. Google killed the very sites that made it's serps high in quality.
I think Google should feel some pressure for its own good. Possibly it will consider correct past mistakes. If Google fails, it will be due to hurting the very people who championed it in the first place.
No Bret, hubris - its as simple as that.
I agree. GMail is a huge mistake, I can't believe that any company would do that.
Things like Florida and Austin upset us here, not the "real" world. GMail potentially undermines the whole concept of email privacy and hence potentially affects *everyone*.
Privacy is a big issue these days, if the Google PhDs lived in the real world they would have realised that. Not only would I personally never sign up to GMail, I would never even *send* an email to a GMail account.
It's a very, very stupid idea.
Google flew too near the sun.
Plus, I suspect that Google is trying to get in the news for IPO reasons. The pace of headlines has been breathtaking, and I assume the visibility is planned. It figures that if you keep issuing press releases and looking for attention that not all of the attention is going to be positive.
I still want the “old” content is king Google. That’s why I started using it and recommending it. Now, for my personal needs, I often see what Yahoo! is saying.
I haven’t broken down and replaced G with Y on my favorites bar, but if I see one more directory of directories when I do a search, I might!
[edited by: Ozdachs at 9:54 pm (utc) on April 10, 2004]
And, I see little evidence that the searching public is ditching Google in droves.
I disagree. Maybe they are not ditching Google in droves, but this thing has spilled over to "Joe Surfer" arena. Many surfers I know have commented on their inability to find what they are looking for compared to "before."
But do you have any actual statistics showing that Google's market share of searchers has gone down? If not, then Google isn't under seige.
I vote, "all of the above"
There is an old, very wise saying: "If it ain't broke don't fix it!"
Google's management has been highly focused on the up coming I.P.O. I would even venture to say much of their management hires have been only for that reason.
A VERY BAD Choice!
It seems Google can't please anyone these days.
What is the root of it all?
1) If you spread yourself too thin, you make mistakes.
2) If you make mistakes and compound them with denials, no matter how respected you once were, you will loose all respect.
3) When people loose respect for an individual or organisation, they are more inclined to be critical.
It's just a guess, but was there a change at the top, maybe around a year ago? Time and time again, successful companies are brought down by a new and useless boss. The giveaway is when they insist on changing colorscheme, names, etc. British Airways is the best example I can think of right now.
My point is still, the lack of relevant results has been noticed by the Joe Surfers I am acquainted with. A large enough pool of people to suggest that it's not just webmasters here that have noticed the poor SERPs.
And Brett's point wasn't to equate your "droves of people leaving Google" = "under siege." Look at the home page here, I think that is what he meant.
Interesting you put florida as the first choice. Florida was when G set out on the impossible dream of creating an algo that could not be gamed and interrupted the symbiotic rhythm that the monthly update had evolved into over time with those trying to "game" it.
Taking away something as simple as the monthly update rhythm can be enough in this capricious world to start a cascade effect that points back to some basic misunderstanding.
Gone are the days of coming to WW to see what moon cycle the google update fell in.
Yahoo and MSN have gone way down while Googles has gone up even though I rank very well on all of them.
I guess techy people are moving to Google while your regular type of person who wants to buy a book or something along those lines uses MSN or Yahoo.
As far as the Mail thing goes, who the hell cares! Don't use it or send sensitive stuff to people who do and then you don't have to worry about it.
No mail is totally safe unless you encrypt it anyway. As an IT administrator, I can read anybodies email on the server before they pull it off. How secure is that yet I don't hear people ****ing about it.
Google is the engine people love to hate depending of course on where you fall in the serps for any given month. The month you rank well, Google is great, fantastic, blah, blah, then an algo tweak and suddenly you don't rank so well and all of a sudden Google sucks, horrible results, then your site comes back and bingo Google is God again.
I really hope they fix all this, but if you think like I do, I'm not sure if I can ever forget this one.
The article in question refers to January. That is nearing ancient history in Internet time.
I have no stats that are meaningful, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that webmasters' love affair with G has turned sour. That, to me, does not bode well for G.