As I hinted to with the demo of Wolfram Alpha Google launched Google Profiles, that Google tends to release new features during or around the time a newcomer launches their product. This happened a couple days ago, when Google decided to launch Google Public Data during the big demo of one of the most comprehensive and searchable structured databases, Wolfram Alpha.
But that was not the first time, Google tends to release new products and offerings that are awkwardly similar to those of the companies making their debut. Mike Markson’s Google Likes To Steal Other’s Thunder sums up several of the times Google has done so.
- Wolfram Alpha demo with Google Public Data
- Cuil launches with emphasis on huge index, Google boasts one trillion URLs a few days prior
- Wikia Search adds features and Google tests SearchWiki a month later.
- Let’s not forget How Google Shot Microsoft After It Took A Knife To A Gunfight
The list goes on with search engines such as Yahoo, Ask, Live and others. Google, historically, has shown to release their new ideas around the same time a new search engine (or old) releases their new ideas. But typically, those ideas match each other. Heck, Danny Sullivan tweeted this also:
predictable. folks excited wolfram alpha charts data, so just happens to roll out its own data charting feature http://bit.ly/Ofliw
I am not saying Google is not innovative, that is not true, they are. It is just interesting how Google historically has shown to “steal other’s thunder.”
Postscript: Matt Cutts of Google has decided to share more details from Google’s side on some of these cases above. His post is entitled Thinking about thunder.