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Author Topic: 5 Reasons to Hate Google - Interesting Article  (Read 3129 times)
Renegade
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« on: April 11, 2011, 07:50:52 PM »

I'm not trying to spread Google hatred or anything, but this article raises some interesting points:

http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/28827.asp

Quote
Free products kill innovation

There are unintended consequences to Google's success and approach to business that are insidious. Because its core business is so damned profitable, the company can dabble in other segments (that might or might not be core to its long-term strategy). In so doing, the company perverts the economics of that market.

Much more there though.
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zridling
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 09:23:54 PM »

Author Sean Cummings comes up short in places and nails it on others. I don't think it's hate so much as he's asking the company to quit being so weird and stop behaving like a monopolistic jackass. Any mega-corporation has to be watched, but just because you're watching doesn't mean you can do anything to counter their power, especially in the US where corporations are [politically] considered people and they spend inordinate amounts of money bribing/influencing politicians, regulators, and other policy makers. Google is no exception.

Cummings starts with a couple of oddly personal issues:
"I work for Google, asshole -- what do you do?" (People really say this? To whom? He claims Google employees say this all the time in San Francisco bars.)
"Although many of the employees score off the charts on tests of mental intellect, many are emotionally inept." (Really? How would the author know this? He compares the company to a 12-year old, but doesn't give an example on this one.)

Free products kill innovation
He cites Google Wave, but Wave was a limited experimental project that widely failed. If someone had a better way to make it work, the field is wide open for success. Wave reminded me of a cheap always-on Facebook-Twitter hybrid that was visually noisy and pretty useless. Great if you have time to burn, but no adult I know does. Next he attacks Google Docs as being too fantastic. Really? Google Docs? I'll admit it's progressed by leaps and bounds in the last two years and it's still crap! I wouldn't have a problem if Google charged a nominal fee per year for its chincy browser apps if that's what he'd like to see.

Only big spenders get to speak to anyone
Great points, but his example of pre-emptive abuse by Google is "almost" a much better example. I can't stand that any corp. as big as google gets to determine what is "adult" content. I hate that Cummings didn't name names because Google's blogspot hosts tens of thousands of adult blogs with nude and porn content. Maybe he's talking about 4chan? I don't know.

Frustrating hiring practices
Hiring based (in part) on GPA is gobsmack stupid because many elite colleges just hand kids grades because Daddy's already paid the tuition. It's the least respectable measure, in my opinion. But just because they had high GPA doesn't mean they're heartless robots either.

The data Google collects is intimate (beyond personal)
So true, but then Cummings hasn't heard of the "Incognito" windows in Chrome. Cummings also hasn't come across this page. The Google account 'dashboard' lets you control separate parts of your activity. Eric Schmidt was Google's own worst enemy with his slips on "maybe you shouldn't be searching some things" in response to turning search data over to police. Interest or research on a topic can get you creamed in court. A better "hate" would have been the thought police aspect of Google's behaviors.

Charitable AdWords grants
He doesn't really hate this, but he exposes the same shammy slime that Google offers, i.e., Google wants to come out ahead on every single transaction. That's Apple-esque and there's nothing admirable about the behavior.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 03:00:03 AM »

Yeah, his points are just not that will demonstrated or backed up with actual evidence.

Free products and his Docs example: evidently he's never heard of Zoho. More capable than Google Docs, a much more comprehensive feature set, and hey it's also free. In fact lots of other competitors do similar stuff *for free*. One could argue they only do free because Google does, but I think it's hard to make the case that Google is forcing free on the market when so much of the web is driven by it, from Twitter and Facebook to Zoho to Remember The Milk, on and on.

Regarding the "big spender" issue: I worked at a company that spent between $1000 and $2000 a month on Google Ads and we had several free one-on-one consults with them where they analyzed our campaigns. There are also tons of other resources. Do they provide a dedicated account rep, etc, etc? No. Does he have any idea how much SEM consultants cost? Evidently not. Minimum $1000/mo, bare minimum, for someone with low experience, and that's *before* you spend money on the Google Ads they're advising you on. Meanwhile the free info Google provides (in tutorials, FAQs, etc.) actually compares fairly well to the paid services in many respects. The main value of a paid consultant is they're specific to your campaign(s), and in some cases (if you pay enough) they'll do the work for you.

Hiring practices: I will grant that support from Google for *other* products can be very bad though, and frustratingly so. Adwords may be one of those, as in the case he describes, and I *do* think Google could improve there. My experience of problems that needed support that wasn't there is mainly with Google Apps for Domains (free/educational/non-profit version). But hey, it's free, you get what you pay for.

I'm not sure how much evidence he has to base his assertion that a low GPA = instant disqualification, that may be so and that would be stupid, but I have no way of knowing. What I can say is that to go from that and conclude that the people they hire are "all thinkers and no feelers" is doing exactly what he's complaining about *them* doing. In his own words: " For years, I too used my intellect to separate myself from others, without considering them as whole people." Still doing it apparently, just the other way now?

He also complains about Google being a "one trick pony" in terms of revenue, but he completely misses on the reality of his assertion. Yes, Google *is* a one trick pony, just like radio, newspapers, and cable TV, all of which have been around decades, if not centuries, supported primarily - if not exclusively - by *advertising*. Google's current most successful product is Search, yes. But they provide *advertising* and that's where they make their money. Yes advertising on their search engine accounts for some of that, perhaps a lot. But they also get lots of money from displaying ads on *other* people's sites, something that has little or nothing to do with search in itself ('relevance', yes, but they don't have to be king of search to provide that). So even if someone does come along and kill their search business, they're still a powerhouse of advertising brokering. They've bought several companies that did *only* that and which sold their services to other companies with public-facing content and services to monetize. If a new search engine eats Google's lunch on search quality and relevance, they're going to need ads or something else to support them. Who says they won't go to Google as an ad partner? It's an obvious choice, and there aren't many others with the reach and level of service they can provide.

What's funniest about it is this quote at the end of that bit: "And a vulnerable Google puts us all at risk." Huh? At risk of what exactly? At risk of having better services when another company comes in with a superior product? I think what he means is his marketing consulting business is at risk because it's built-up around Google-specific practices and information. Tough lucky buddy, learn the new system or go out of business, but that's no reason to resent Google if they go belly up.

Data collection: Zaine covers this one pretty well. Google does now offer lots of settings for controlling data collection. Not only that but, despite Schmidt's quote being creepy, he's *right* to a large degree (IMO). People entering search terms for stuff like "how to kill someone without leaving evidence" or "how to cheat without getting caught" are retarded. First off, why would you share such information/questions with a large, anonymous corporation of any kind, regardless of their data collection practices? Second, what about someone actually looking at your computer and finding out? The truth is most people just have no idea how this stuff works and probably don't want to, they'd prefer to be ignorant. The people who know better are the same people who know how to effectively "opt out". Google provides some options, but you can go even further if you want, using Tor or other anonymizing systems, or just using something like Chrome's own "Incognito", as Zaine also points out.

Charitable adwords issue: Funny enough this is the one that bothers me the most and I was not previously aware of it. It seems to me this may be a "bug" in the system. I'm sure if they're explicitly aware of it (which they must be, but one hand may not be talking to the other) that they're enjoying the results, as he states, but I don't think it's fair for others to have to bid against those charitable grants. Instead I think they should just give them a percentage display rate, without affecting the cost of other people's ads. This seems truly shady to me. Surprising that this is the one thing he doesn't actually hate them for!

- Oshyan
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 09:46:57 AM »

Quote
Hiring based (in part) on GPA is gobsmack stupid because many elite colleges just hand kids grades because Daddy's already paid the tuition.
That may be the situation in some colleges in united states and not in some of the reputable colleges/universities in other countries where google hires talent. So this is a bit exaggerated and usually raised by street smart folks/students who are lazy to get wordy degrees and whine against those who get it by wasting educational time parroting or by their talent/money/luck whatever. Some work in IT industry is just clerical work and they need plug-n-work type of crowd(with high GPA, so that they can filter those who are skeptical or resist to do such clerical work) in their company. They're not into recruiting all intelligent crowd for low headache jobs, so recruiting psychology is different here. Companies need sheep-type or more like no-questions-asked type of crowd to work on boring jobs. Google has boring tasks so they use high GPA criteria to get parrots to do work under them by luring them on brand name and money. Some parrots who are creative and good at manipulation get promoted and those who aren't eventually excel in doing boring tasks.

As for data collection, google adsense cookies and google search history collects the surfing pattern and show ads based on that. If anyone has google adsense account then they can set the option for content relevancy or search targeting. Search targeting based data collection is evil and is similar to open candy stuff, even more threatening. Just because google says that they've some hot XYZ privacy policies doesn't mean they're not evil. To get over this, just use adblock plus and set your firefox to 'don't remember history' mode. Even more secure, use vidila or xerobank proxy- this is not necessary unless you're at home and don't surf too much porn or other product purchase queries.

Quote
Who says they won't go to Google as an ad partner? It's an obvious choice, and there aren't many others with the reach and level of service they can provide.
If anyone gives me choice for using ad software, i'll try my best to branch out of google for that firms ad promotion. After experiencing the practices of google last few months, my observation points me towards increase in facebook ads or microsoft ad center ads. Google is playing evil by showing their own shop results -google books, google ebooks, shops for product queries which kills adwords folks. Why you want to show your ads on search results if google's own results are going top for product queries ? For this reason, atleast some of merchants from abestweb.com are migrating to other systems/networks which are independent of google and are capable of fetching more traffic or conversions.

It is also true that big earners and big spenders get some support from google. Unless you're 1k$ earner on google adsense, tell me how many of your queries get support from google (except payout issues). Same is case with spenders in adwords-1k or more else ignored.
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zridling
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 06:42:01 PM »

I should add that I use Google Maps more than search these days.

That may be the situation in some colleges in united states and not in some of the reputable colleges/universities in other countries where google hires talent.

I should have clarified that. Higher education costs so much here, many have to enter a (working) lifetime of debt to afford it. Kids here just start the semester asking, "Are you going to tell me what's on the test or not?" It used to be: "Is that going to be on the test?" I even got fired from one college because I didn't test. I had them write papers and at mid-terms and for finals, student met me in my office and we just sat and talked about statistics. I would ask them to demonstrate 2-3 real world situations statistically -- nothing extraordinary -- how they would approach this, what methods for that, and so on.

Short story was that students immediately complained I wasn't giving them multiple choice exams. Told the dean and department chair that learning had nothing to do with multiple choice; I didn't even care about their grades as long as they had learned the subject. When I refused to administer them, I was fired.

Not all was lost. The commute was a bitch!  tongue
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zridling
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2011, 01:34:35 PM »

It's a good thing that Google and Eric "true anonymity is too dangerous" Schmidt parted ways. You can pick up the discussion here:
http://wn.com/eric_schmidt_at_technology

Maybe Larry Page can do what almost no one else has done: keep Google from the ossification that can paralyze large corporations, when they get too big that one part is working against another.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 09:05:24 AM by zridling » Logged

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JavaJones
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2011, 03:13:05 PM »

It's a good thing that Google and Eric "true anonymity is too dangerous" Schmidt parted ways. You can pick up the discussion here:
http://wn.com/eric_schmidt_at_technology

Maybe Larry Page can do what almost no one else has done: keep Google from the ossification that can paralyze large corporations, when they get to big that one part is working against another.

I sure hope so, but I'm not going to count on it. It may also be too late, perhaps something that one needed to avoid in the first place...

- Oshyan
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IainB
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2011, 09:09:15 AM »

My 10 cents, for what it's worth.
Google is indeed a 12-year old corporate upstart, as Sean X Cummings suggests in his article 5 reasons to hate Google.
It is generally true that history repeats and that those of us who have no knowledge or awareness of the pertinent history will be doomed to act in the repetition.
I would bet that Google management will understand this concept very well.

Empires rise and fall. Commercial IT empires do likewise.
In the early '80s, US anti-trust legislation forced IBM to break its monopoly position and sell off its IBM (Bureau) Services arm. IBM (Bureau) Services was bought by a rising star, the giant CDC (Control Data Corporation), headed by William Norris. CDC was estimated as being the third largest computer company at the time (IBM was 1st., Olivetti was 2nd.). The then IT giants Olivetti, Honeywell, Univac, NCR, Westinghouse et al have either all fallen by the wayside or disappeared altogether.

Though CDC was a giant corporation, whose core business was a series of powerful mainframes and supercomputers (the Cyber range) it had quite rapidly evaporated by the mid-'80s. Hardly anyone remembers it today. It evaporated having exhausted itself financially by diversifying into too many superb products and services (PLATO anyone?) at once and by funding too many HUGE philanthropic projects for the betterment of world populations. It had meanwhile lost sight of its core business and profitability and had failed to see the need to re-engineer/reinvent itself in the changing market. One of the chief designers of CDC - Seymour Cray - went off to found the Cray supercomputer manufacturing company.

Similarly, the huge GM offshoot - EDS - which had seen the need to reinvent itself in the '90s, failed to achieve that end, and started to collapse and was bought out by HP in 2008. HP stripped EDS of its assets and its people and made it into its services arm. HP itself is the result of having gobbled up Compaq Corp. in 2002 and other, smaller companies. Compaq was the result of gobbling up Digital Corp. and Tandem Corp. and smaller companies, etc. How many people know that, in the '90s Digital manufactured arrays of their 64-bit Alpha chips that were the main component of the Cray supercomputer, or that Digital had a 64-bit Alpha PC in the market, which could run either the "Unix-like" OpenVMS or a 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows NT?

Having steadily survived and adapted throughout the '70s, IBM stupidly gave away a large part of its own future to the upstart nonentity Microsoft, which produced the DOS OS for the IBM PC in 1984 and the subsequent DOS and Windows OSes. Microsoft systematically diversified in line with their core niche, effectively creating/making the market for PCs and the three-tier client-server architecture - pushing Digital, Novell and others aside in the process. Microsoft effectively led to the market precisely following the growth pattern of Nolan's Model.

Throughout all of this, the giant IBM - which used to create/make the markets and dominate them with its proprietary products and services - has had to progressively adapt and re-engineer/reinvent itself to survive all its setbacks. The setbacks include the collapse of its core market (mainframes), and the Microsoft lobotomy of its PC business, and the failure of its belated defence (IBM OS/2) with which it hoped to take back the market from Microsoft Windows. Despite all its setbacks, IBM is still a major force to be reckoned with.

Google is currently creating and making the markets, and dominating them with its proprietary products and services - it's a Golden Age.  Google management would be looking for the potential turning point when they cease to be able to continue doing that, and trying to prolong the Golden Age as far into the future as possible. When they can no longer prolong the Golden Age, they will need to emulate IBM's adaptability and self-reinvention if they are to survive in the longer term.

This post has barely scratched the surface. If you want to read more about what Google probably has ahead of them, look at the history of computing.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2011, 09:13:29 AM by IainB » Logged
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