• http://search-engines-web.com/ ★ ★ Search Engines WEB ★ ★

    GOOGLE should NOT be referred to as if it is a monolithic, one dimension organism acting in unison.

    There may be elements about some of the company’s official actions that may be unacceptable to some, but considering some of the charitble actions, such as: Google org, the homepage links to Katrina and Tsunami charities – it illustrates that the company is made up of individuals who bear responsibilities for different aspects of the company policies and directions.

    The few critical examples listed in the topic, should be taken in context of a ten year history of a complex worldwide business.

    Can anyone who decides to judge Google based on the above examples – assure the world that THEY would have been able to do a better job of running a company for the past ten years?

    No one else has been or is able to create an alternative to Google. So, society has to accept the fact that it is extremely easy to criticize imperfections, but often much harder to create something less imperfect than what they are criticizing. ♨

    The bottom line is that society has chosen to use Google – no one forces anyone to type G-O-O-G-L-E into their browser.

    If people are SO-O-O offended by Google’s imperfections, who is stopping them from typing; M-S-N or Y-A-H-O-O, and settling for less relevant SERPs

  • http://blog.seoptimise.com kevgibbo

    Google became the number one search engine by providing the most relevant, unbiased search results, while using the motto “do no evil”. I think they seriously need to think about the impact adding Blogger or calendar tips into the SERPs will have to their reputation and maybe concentrate on growing by following the same methods which have already provided them with so much success.

    As soon as users start to feel that they’re not being provided with the best possible service they’ll turn to another site which can.

  • lemmybrown

    I don’t believe Google are even close to losing favour with the public as they’re so embedded in global consciousness as the search engine of choice.

    Even bad press is good press. As stated, they’ve reached a critical mass where it would be very hard to avoid breaking a few eggs. I know this kind of mentality lets other companies get away with a lot worse but hopefully they will stick to their non evil intentions. It’s good to have sites like Google Watch available so we can keep an eye on what’s going down.

    I’m looking forward to some of these ‘Web 3.0′ start-ups who aim to be the next Google.

  • http://jonhenshaw.com Jon Henshaw

    Don’t forget the recent and abrupt closing of Google Answers and the very rude discontinuation of support for their Search SOAP API (prompting the release of the EvilAPI).

    I for one am starting my new year Google free.

  • http://www.useit.com Jakob Nielsen

    Google is not evil. None of the things you mention are evil, with the exception of scanning books without permission. Certainly it’s not “evil” for a company to promote its own products on its own website. (Though it’s questionable not to label a promotion as an ad when it looks like editorial content.)

    The issue is more that people are starting to discover that Google is in competition with the Internet and has the goal of appropriating a bigger percentage of the value created by all other sites.

    What is the “fair” percentage of the value of other people’s work that should go to search engines? Hard to say, but it seems that more and more companies feel that they would like to keep some for themselves.

    I discussed this issue a year ago in my column Search Engines as Leeches on the Web.

  • lalala

    Anytime a company gets big and approaches a monopoly (and does actions to encourage that), they are called “evil”. The reason why this question is asked more of Google is that they claim to not “be evil”.

    Evil is all about intent. How can we measure intent? All we have are the results of business decisions. I find it hard to believe that all of their business decisions are based on altruism over providing shareholder value.

  • http://mickeleh.blogspot.com Mickeleh

    Why is this tipping point different from all other tipping points? Because this one is a pun. Google is promoting products under the label, “Tip.”

    I take it as clever headline writing, no more.

    Is it evil? C’mon. Google has made a preposterous fetish of hiding most of its products where only persistent geeks would think to look.

    Lately, they’re stepping out. Good for them.

    If the products are great, then making them easier to find will increase the goodness in the world. If the products stink, then making them easier to find will hasten their rejection by the market.

    “You might want to try this…” is a far cry from bundling and tying.

  • http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/ Matt Cutts

    Good chronology. Looking back on these, it’s interesting how many of these tipping points influenced the company going forward. Scientology/DMCA brought us towards more disclosure, Deja brought us towards incorporating outside feedback, etc.

  • karma17

    Is Google evil? Probably not. But is Google becoming the next Microsoft? Probably. No one can deny Google’s success as a search engine and its success period. But Google is becoming a child-king that does what it wants and feels little obligation to respond to you, to me, or to anyone. As Google slowly sells out and corrupts itself, we can and should use other search engines. Only then will Google perhaps realize it is better to respond than ignore. With so much money coming in and so many groveling at their feet, Google has got to feel a little monolithic somewhere–just like Microsoft does.

  • http://netadblog.com snit

    A couple more of Google as Evil tipping points:

    - Jan 2004: AdSense for Domains
    From saying “focus on the user and the rest will follow”, to making money from users’ typos, many times misleading them to a different site.

    - Oct 2005: Web Clips @ gmail

    This is the first time in a google property that the content and the advertisement is not physically separated but displayed in the same space in the page.

  • Flayra

    In some ways Google is the next Microsoft, with one major exception – MS has some of the most widespread programs but a lot of competitors are offering similar and better programs (and OS’s), but so far Google are the best at what they do.

    It’s a bold statement, but I have yet to see anyone show praise for how MSN/Yahoo/etc have outdone Google on search, advertising, analytics, maps or any other of their key areas.

    Ironically, the same people also DEMAND access to API’s for everything Google does, and if that isn’t provided (Google Search SOAP API anyone?), suddenly Google is the bad guy, even if they provide alternatives.

    I think people should give their blessing to google and then use their products, or oppose it and simply not use it at all, instead of this “we are forced to use it, but they are evil”-mentality.