Google Starting 2007 on Defensive

8 comments

Has the love affair and honeymoon period with Google come to an end? First up comes Danny Sullivan's 14 "Is Google Evil?" Tipping Points Since 2001

Earlier I wrote how Google seems to have had a bad week, with some recent negative publicity making it seem like the tipping point of Google becoming the big bad company they don't want to be happening -- at least perhaps in the eyes of many opinion makers on the web.

Next Comes Michael Arlington of TechCrunch

Techcrunch » Blog Archive » Google’s Tipping Point

Part of the problem is that Google has always held itself to a higher standard than other companies. We took them seriously when they said their corporate motto is “Don’t be evil“. It was the right thing to say when they were young and battling the hated Microsoft. But today, as they begin to put themselves before what’s best for their users, that motto is coming back to haunt them.

To be fair you should also read Matt Cutts response

The real lesson from this week

Google the organization in many ways mirrors the character of its employees. Google is a very polite, consensus-driven company. Usually if you get everyone in the same room and everyone explains their reasoning, the best decision emerges pretty quickly. As a result, I can’t recall ever hearing someone shout at Google. Even when issues are hotly debated, we tend to keep our discussion and our self-criticism within the company. So for me to be “far more critical” on my blog is not what Google needs right now. If anything, that’s more likely to burn bridges than to solve issues. I don’t have the outsider status that Scoble did. If disagree with something Google does, I go directly to the Googlers involved and I discuss it with them. I’m lucky to be enough of an old-timer that I usually can find the right person to ask, bug, or cajole.

Here’s the other thing you need to know about Google. We listen and respond to the feedback we hear. Google makes mistakes, just like anyone or any company does. That’s a given. The important thing is how you react to those mistakes. In an ideal world, you find out quickly when something has gone wrong. You correct it as soon as possible. And then you ask yourself “How can I try to prevent this issue from happening again?”–just like you’d do when you found a bug in a computer program. With any luck, future failures won’t happen unless several circumstances align against you.

Comments

Matt definitely deserves a pay rise

He's beginning to sound more and more like Baghdad Bob - and gradually he's becoming about as believable.

Naaa... Matt can never be wrong

dustup made TheConsumerist

on the 29th. Not exactly mainstream for JohnQ, but getting close. Comments were slightly in favor of Big G, I'd say. SuperCutts to the rescue!

Google Tips Irk Firefox Guy

Amit Patel, I'm not sure

Amit Patel, I'm not sure what a clip from "Thank you for smoking" has to do with me. My job is to improve Google's search quality. My hobby is trying to make sure Google treats our users well. I enjoy both. :)

Graywolf, the Arrington post came first, next came Danny's post, not the other way around.

Google's search quality

Matt, sadly your search quality is TOO GOOD and the Perl.Asan worm variants are using Google search to locate sites and have been beating the crap out of one of my servers from a myriad of locations in an expanding botnet for a few weeks now.

Would you mind making your search a little less quality for certain types of inquiries?

Thanks in advance.

I'll ask if they can do

I'll ask if they can do anything about it, IncrediBILL

Matt - as always - Good argument.

Amit Patel, I'm not sure what a clip from "Thank you for smoking" has to do with me. My job is to improve Google's search quality. My hobby is trying to make sure Google treats our users well. I enjoy both. :)

Good argument.
Ooops... you did it again.

----

P.S - check these Google searches:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=mountain+view+mortgage
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=palo+alto+mortgage
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=sunnyvale+mortgage
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=san+jose+mortgage
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=santa+clara+mortgage
etc.

As the person who's job is to "improve Google's search quality" I'm sure you can easily figure out what "top-notch-super-duper-relevant-to-user-search" sites are recent gainers here. As an avid blogger I'm sure you can figure out if your own out-linking helped this come to be...

Chronology

>Graywolf, the Arrington post came first, next came Danny's post, not the other way around.

Bah don't think so linearly all the time. In my reader I came across Danny's post first so that's my reality and I'm sticking to it :-P

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