Firefox Creator Says He Is Losing Faith In Google


Firefox creator Blake Ross says he is quickly loosing faith with Google. What would it mean to the search engine industry if FireFox changed there default search to... say.... (insert new upcoming searchengine).

If Google would pay people 1$ to install my software I think I would have a warm glass of STFU.

Call me naive: I think you can make a lot of money, go public, even monopolize a market, and still retain a moral compass that points in the direction of Google’s stated top priority—users.

But Google lost me today:

He says the tipping point is Googles monopolization of Adwords/Adsense

Google has been advertising its own products through AdWords for some time, and I see nothing wrong with that. The protest that unjustifiably erupted three weeks ago questioned the positioning of these ads. As advertisers began making antitrust overtures, Walter H. from Google Marketing stepped in to sooth nerves (emphasis mine):
It’s important to note, however, that our ads are created and managed under the exact same guidelines, principles, practices and algorithms as the ads of any other advertiser…There are no algorithm changes to ’smooth the way’ for Google’s ads.

We’re quite proud of the advertising platform we’ve built and it simply makes sense for us to use it. At the same time, the trust of both our users and our advertisers is of paramount importance. We honor that responsibility, and work hard to earn and keep that trust.

What changed in three weeks?

While advertisers compete to be first in a string of lookalike ads that are often shunted to the side, Google now determines the precise position and appearance of ads tips that are not subject to any of the same rules. Its ads get icons while others don’t, and if you think that’s small potatoes, you are not an advertiser: images boost clickthrough. Google can make a Picasa ad say “Easier to use than Kodak,” but Kodak cannot create an ad that reads “Easier to use than Picasa.”1 And the kicker: neither the highest quality ads nor the highest quality search results can replace these tips.

Anyway you can read the whole thing here



>>>"There are no algorithm changes to ’smooth the way’ for Google’s ads."

If you know what the factors are and how the algo weighs all the factors, you don't NEED to change the algo to rank higher...

All you NEED to do is write your landing pages for YOUR very own algo...

Just how stupid do these people at google think we are? Wait don't answer that...

"I think I would have a warm

"I think I would have a warm glass of STFU."

I'll drink to that. :)

An alliance with FireFox

might be the only thing that could reverse Yahoo Search's decline in marketshare...

What a bunch of bullshit

Google has been promoting Picasa this way for quite some time and suddenly Mr. Firefox gets a bug in his ass and pisses on the only large company actually paying people to install his code bloated browser.

You aren't the only game in town.

Can you say OPERA fuckhead?

I did the same search for "Photo Sharing" in Yahoo and just lost faith in them too, holy cow...

Share photos on Yahoo! Photos
Yahoo! Shortcut - About

What a concept! It linked to

I think Mr. Firefox should have some chocolate chip cookies with that warm glass of STFU.

What does Opera have to do with this?

Can you say OPERA fuckhead?

I don't think that the point being made is "I created the only browser in town - hear me roar" or "No other search engine does this." The point being made is that Google is unfairly leveraging their platform to pitch their own products, and Blake Ross doesn't think it's cool. I don't think it's cool either. If Google decided to apply these techniques in a market that you operated in, you wouldn't think it's cool.

The fact that Yahoo! does it, or that other browsers exist does not invalidate the points he raises. Hell I could be using Lynx and I'd still agree with the points being made.

Top Spot

Funny, he didn't seem at all upset about Firefox being in the #1 spot but a tip about Picasa, which has been running for a while on various photo search results, not just starting a week ago as he incorrectly states, is NOT a big deal.

If you search for "photo album" is says "Tip: Looking for pictures? Try Google Images" and this has been happening for a while as well.

Of course companies are going to promote their own brands, everyone does it, so maybe I'm missing the point of why this would make anyone "lose faith" in a company as I'd lose faith if they didn't promote their own brands, it's business 101!

My point about Opera was just that there is another browser in town that Google could promote if Firefox isn't careful, and they could most certainly drop Firefox from the #1 position when you search for BROWSER in Google, maybe make it completely supplemental as things have been known to go supplemental with no explanation and never come back.

[x-files theme plays...]

Why not?

If you were running magazine that sold ad space and your parent company wanted to advertise one of their other products in the magazine, why not give them all the unfair advantage and optimum ad space possible? Google owns their own programs and their in business to make money, so let them do what they want to their own programs. If you don't like it, take your ad money somewhere else.

And if they're pushing your browser and paying people to install it, you have to be an idiot to complain about something so stupid.

they say

dont bite the hand that feeds you but I think the guy is allowed to lose faith given that firefox didnt start as a revenue generator that it has become. Im sure the revenue comes in handy though

Personally I dont like the way that firefox is becoming more bloated even Googlised with the google suggestion bs etc. I am definately considering switching to Opera for all the things that firefox is becoming. This thread is a belter too & why I love threadwatch, made me laugh :)

Danny speaks out with some

Danny speaks out with some (mostly) very well considered comments.

Well said, Danny

As for the trust factor, two of the most important search engines on the web -- and -- are not defaults in your search box. Where's the trust there? Google gets to be default because they pay Firefox money.

Flock Me

.... I like Flock = that Firefox too?

flock favors yahoo ;)

flock favors yahoo ;)

Screw Blake

Fucker can't take criticism and moderated my comment to the bit bucket.

Install Opera? YES!
Make primary browser? YES!
Remove inferior Firefox? YES!

I think Google should add tips all over the place, brand themselves to the hilt and make people aware of other features. Top of the results, bottom of the results, who cares, just make it small and unobtrusive.


I didn't delete anything you posted. Perhaps it's buried in my 6,000-long spam filter; I'll take a look. It seems odd to claim that I (I'm "Fucker" right? :) won't take criticism, given that the comments section of my post is full of criticism, and I responded to all of it. And, as you can see, I agreed with much of it.

By all means, do go ahead and try Opera. It's a fine browser. I just completed an interview with their community evangelist that will be up on the official blog in mid-January.

Finally, I encourage folks here to read Matt Cutt's take on these tips. Matt is a respected, long-time employee of Google who works on the web search team.

Thanks to those of you who know how to keep things civil and debate issues reasonably, and happy new year :)

LMAO @ Blake

Blake, you're too easy ;)

I didn't even roll out the vitriolic comments!

Matt? Who's Matt?

Never heard of him, er met him, not many times anyway, er been to many parties with him... oh nevermind. I read Matt's take, geez... good thing he's not in their marketing department.

Firefox ain't gonna move

And, Google will just keep on getting more and more aggressive.

Just wait a while. Google will be the largest affiliate marketer on the web.

...the largest affiliate marketer

I agree. I've long held the fear/apprehension that all search engines would eventually realize just how much money they could make outside the PPC advertising model.

I think Google should add tips all over the place, brand themselves to the hilt and make people aware of other features. Top of the results, bottom of the results, who cares, just make it small and unobtrusive.

Good thing you're not in Google's marketing department either, IncrediBILL. If this kind of action on Google's part is enough to irk the likes of Blake & Matt, imagine how many other people this rubs the wrong way. Don't underestimate the ability of the average user to smell BS, either.


Don't underestimate the ability of the average user to smell BS

I do similar things on my site all the time and get love letters from my members and visitors all the time.

Maybe I should apply for a job in Google marketing :)

It could happen...

I agree. I've long held the fear/apprehension that all search engines would eventually realize just how much money they could make outside the PPC advertising model.

Oh, I think they know and Google is perfectly placed to do just this.

They have the ability to know what a user searches for - []
Which sites/ads they click on - [ / adsense]
Which products they buy and for how much - [adsense conversion tool / google checkout]
Their personal contact details - [google checkout]

It's not a great leap to imagine that google could pull all this info together and open the world's largest store.

Everybody else just becomes a dropshipper.

Firefox in bed with Google

Firefox isn't 'really' great and Google is profiting. Google is for profit and when I install Firefox - I give a page hit to google EVERY time it is subsequently launched.
IE uses their 'appeal to masses' news at MSN
Netscape used their own site which failed and brings us to AOL

Maybe this bedroom affair will end...can't be soon enough

The tips are different—and

The tips are different—and bad for users—because the services they recommend are not the best in their class.

Guess they should stop recommending Firefox as well then ;) Stop the distribution of all that memory leak featured software for stuff that runs better with better compatibility (e.g. Opera...)

Seriously, if that's the main/only reason it's a bad thing, that's pretty lame.

whoops, wrong tab!

whoops, wrong tab!



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