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Are happy days over for Google?

Written By: John Benjamin (ProMinds Inc)

Are happy days over for Google?

I was sitting at my comp and reading articles from the latest issue of Axandra, and what I discovered was quite… well, startling, though not surprising. It is true that when you are huge, you become an easy target. I am sure we would not forget how the skinny looking college kid outran his big bully. True, the big brother might have strength and power, but whats the use if he can’t get a hold of Mr. Skinny?

What we read today about the Internet industry, is more or less true. While Google quickly grew from small to big, it has to retain its position. But, they say its lonely at the top. And it sure looks lonely from top, especially from Google, with MSN, Yahoo showing out that they are really serious and mean what they say. Personally, I really prefer MSN’s search as compared to my once favorite Google. Ok, you might get an idea that I am biased. Far from it, perhaps a little bit of reading between the lines is what might make you a bit queasy.

Yahoo! set to celebrate its 10th anniversary

Co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo parlayed Yahoo Inc. from a college hobby into a full-time job 10 years ago, but the Internet icon was never quite comfortable with the happy-go-lucky mood of the dot-com boom. It’s not that Yang and Filo don’t like to have fun. After all, they gave their company a name often associated with rubes and adopted a joyful yodel as their calling card. Yahoo has grown from a handful of employees to more than 7,600 workers today, but Moore said the company’s “work hard, play hard” culture has remained intact.

There’s a similar ethic going on a few miles to the north at Google Inc., a fierce rival that Yang and Filo helped inspire. Yahoo doesn’t pamper its workers as extravagantly as Google, which feeds its employees breakfast, lunch and dinner and even arranges to have their oil changed for free. No one eats for free at Yahoo, although the company subsidizes the cafeteria prices. Yahoo is also inviting all registered users in the United States to download a coupon for a free scoop of ice cream on March 2 from Baskin-Robbins in celebration of its 10th anniversary.

In other words, there’s a very subtle message hidden here. A message Yahoo! is giving out to everyone, and more specifically to Google.

“Watch Out, we’re coming for you.”

The Google toolbar- Devil in disguise?

Views Page

Now there’s nothing wrong about Google, in giving out free meals or pampering its employees. However, the underlying fact remains that it needs to really focus and improve its services if it wants to really be at the top. However, a few mistakes happen here and there like the “New Google Toolbar” Well, i’m not drawing any conclusions here. But, the matter of fact is that it sure does give out a negative impact to its audience.

The SEO Blog complains that Google has lost its cool and become evil. The site says that Webmasters and search marketers should be concerned about the prospect of a Google tool changing their websites. Now lets not get paranoid about this and set aside our critic hats for a while and give Google some more time to explain.

However, it is quite disturbing to note that if a web-user was to try to purchase a book from Barnes and Nobel while using the new toolbar, a link to rival Amazon.com would be added to the view’s version of the Barnes and Noble site as soon as the book’s ISBN appeared. There was a uproar about this when Microsoft tried to introduce the similar SmartTags back in 2001. Although Vole didnt go ahead with the scheme, Jeff Reynar, who designed it, now works at Google.

Now, you might not be a Barnes & Noble, but if you sure are into the business of selling something which has a probability that it is listed on Amazon, be sure that the Google toolbar will surely take the punch out of our website.

Auto Link

Now picture this. In an informal survey Tuesday, one in six people in the desert had no idea maps to their homes were at strangers’ fingertips. The disbelief and horror crossed the lines of socioeconomics, gender, race and age. Take Lois Sheldon of Indio.
And Kathy Downes of Blythe. What about Bill Roy of Indian Wells? Or Lorenzo Corral of Indio? And Teresa Rubio of Palm Desert.

One by one, they shook their heads in disbelief; none knew.

“That’s an invasion of privacy,” Roy said in disgust.

Downes was going to make sure her husband knew. “That’s kind of scary because if somebody gets mad at you, you’re an easy target.” Sheldon was visibly shaken upon learning that the location of her residence could be so easily and readily identified. She paused for a minute, draped her arms on the handle of her shopping cart and sighed. “It’s scary,” she said. “I had my identity stolen and I don’t want to go through that again.”

Rubio was embarrassed about not knowing, given that she’s a student at College of the Desert. Somehow Rubio said she should have known.
“I think it’s dangerous,” Rubio said. “I think it’s cutting off people’s privacy. Not only do you have to be aware of burglars watching your house, you have to be aware of those on the computer watching your house. Oh, my God, that is so scary.”

Maria Salcedo of Thermal was the only one during the hour long survey to acknowledge knowing about the access. She learned about it from a college instructor just two months ago. Still, her knowledge did not make her feel any more secure.

Yes, it’s true that if your phone number is listed, your name, address and telephone number already appear in the telephone book – in most cases.
They are treated as public record.

Google is the first search engine to include this service directly into the search engine itself

Now don’t get too hassled, I am sure you are getting a bit queasy the way I am writing this. Well, its a known fact what can happen if we have our information available to everyone out there. Please, get a hold on your imaginations now.

Now for some “icing on the cake”

Nielsen//NetRatings MegaView Search Service Releases Latest Online Search Engine Share: Google Secures 47 Percent of All Searches; Yahoo! Garners 21 Percent; MSN Captures 13 Percent.

According to the latest custom research from Nielsen//NetRatings MegaView Search, 58 percent of Google searchers also visited at least one of the other top two search engines, MSN Search and Yahoo! Search, showing that even though Google’s market share is dominant today, there is significant opportunity for its competitors to grow their share (see Table 1). The use of multiple search engines is not limited to Google’s searchers. Nearly 71 percent of those who searched at Yahoo! also visited at least one of the other top two search engines, and 70 percent of those who searched at MSN also tried their luck at one or both of the other two.

“While it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Google is the search engine to beat, it is critical that all of the major search players, including Google, recognize that they exclusively own only a minority of their users,” said Ken Cassar, director, strategic analysis, Nielsen//NetRatings. “This highlights an opportunity and a threat to all of the established players in the market, and underscores the importance of continued innovation in a highly competitive market that is anything but mature.”

“With more share than its two nearest competitors combined, Google sets the pace in the search business,” said Cassar. “However, the opportunities that MSN and Yahoo! enjoy by virtue of their broader media offerings give them an important platform from which to attack the industry leader.”

Perhaps this is what gives MSN and Yahoo! the edge over Google. Wider media. If we just analyze the audience of Google as compared to that of MSN and Yahoo! well, what we might get here is… I guess a different article.

Till then,
Cheers!

About the Author

John Benjamin works as a freelance consultant for Internet Media and SEO services apart from running his own professional site at http://www.promindsinc.com/

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