The price paid for too much corporate success, if you'll indulge me my fifteen seconds of solemn pontification, is an ever lengthening and winding queue of green-eyed detractors.
We saw it happen to Microsoft. Now it's happening to Google. People, especially the mean and the mediocre, are just waiting to pounce on you the moment you stray from the straight and the narrow. Or, rather, their idea of what ought to be your course of right action or ideal behaviour.
The latest lapse they've latched on to is the failure of Google Maps to match "some of the pedestrian conveniences of Yahoo Maps and MapQuest from AOL. For example, while it can remember your favourite starting point, it cannot store multiple addresses" although at the time of launch "it did something that made its competitors look antiquated. Users could click on a map and drag it to see an adjacent area, a much faster approach than those offered by rival mapping services."
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/24/technology/24yahoo.html?_r=2&oref=login&oref=login. (Register to log in.) Of course, the injudicious remarks of Alan Eustace, Senior VP (engineering and research) during a recent interview ("We are trying to come up with something that is new and different that makes people say 'Wow'.") only provided the mud slingers ammunition to say stuff like: "Ah yes, Google can't make a working product because everyone else has done it. A working product wouldn't go wow." Reminds me of the olden times when Microsoft used to be the target and accused of similar shortcomings and wrong doings. Wow! Follow the 'who-will-kick-the big-G-now-that-it-seems-to-be-slipping-up-heh-heh-heh' game here, boys and girls: http://www.valleywag.com/tech/google/google-features-arent-new-and-different-and-wow-189296.php. Enjoy!
GOOGLE IS GOOGLE. Say what you may.
Meanwhile, back at Searchnews.com, Jason Lee Miller sums up the current search business scene succinctly as follows, citing the latest comScore research findings: "Google was the search engine of choice for 44.7% of searches in June, up from 44.2% in May, and 36.9% in June 2005.
If Google's gaining, it stands to reason that the rest are losing. Yahoo! Has lost nearly 2% since last year; MSN is down almost 3%; and Ask.com asks where nearly one percent of its audience has gone." (PS: Google Video now lets you send a video clip clipped right at the moment when you want your friends and associates to watch it. Neat!)
MAKES SENSE? AdSense, I mean.
At http://www.searchengine-weblog.com/50226711/is_google_selling_ads_on_benches.php I simply couldn't believe my eyes. Could the latest coup of AdSense be ads on park benches? Here's what the blogger has to say, though: "…it seems like somebody is using google's logo to create a buzz and make money. Hmm...google isn't going to be happy with that." Google is also not going to like their name being written with a small 'g', dude.
BOOTSTRAP MKTG & ADVTG. Have profitable fun.
This one is for my friend, Deep Bisen, whose Maverick Thinking has a Board of Talent and whose clients often ask for freebies. So I shall advise him to read '45 bootstrap ideas from Inc.com (Part I)' http://www.bootstrapme.com/50226711/45_bootstrap_ideas_from_inccom_part_1.php. There, he will find such gems as using student labour, surfing the Internet for info and ideas, tapping customers for ideas and leads, banding together with other business owners for advertising and promotions, thinking big - "(but not in big advertising budget)", using radio for low-cost local coverage and so on and so forth. (Do read the other two related posts at http://www.bootstrapme.com/50226711/45_bootstrap_ideas_from_inccom_part_2.php and http://www.bootstrapme.com/50226711/45_bootstrap_ideas_from_inccom_part_3.php.)
BIG BUCKS. Big trouble.
A whopping 280.5 million Euros (about $357 million), or, around € 1.5 million a day, for the period from December 15 to June 20 - that's how huge a fine has been slapped on Microsoft by the European Commission, part of the European Union (EU). MS, "hardly willing to make its code public forum at the same time it was releasing security software (One Care Live) and an anti-piracy program (Windows Genuine Advantage)", has already said that it will appeal the EU antitrust fine. ('EU Threatens Microsoft with Daily Fines') http://www.betanews.com/article/EU_Threatens_Microsoft_with_Daily_Fines/1135267793. Also see: http://www.newscientisttech.com/article.ns?id=dn9542&feedId=online-news_rss20.
WHAT'S IN A NAME? Plenty, if you've 520 in your kitty.
According to Neil Patel, who took a head count, "Google has registered 520 Web domains. Some of the names came with companies Google acquired. They include 'allevil.org' and 'dodgeball.com,' and 'Googlebucks.com' In fact, 222 begin with 'Google'." http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/googles-growing-list-of-domains.html. ZDNet's Garrett Rogers http://blogs.zdnet.com/Google/?p=264 feels Patel's methodology is "flawed". "Do you think Google would point allevil.org http://www.allevil.org/ to their own search engine?" Rogers asks.
JUST WHAT THE SPIN DOC ORDERED. Medicine to earn goodwill.
Doug Caverly ('Google Grants Wish, Establishes Goodwill') tells the story of Al Scillitani who wrote about his difficulties with Google AdWords http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2006/07/dear-google-youre-giving-me-headache.html and ended his piece with a mock request to Google to send him acetaminophen for his headache.
He was pleasantly surprised when he got a note in the mail from Google enclosing the headache medicine he had asked for. His follow-up piece about his experience with Google's human touch http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2006/07/dr-google-sends-pain-relief.html ends thus: "I feel a lot better. As a matter of fact I feel so good I am preparing my next article, 'Dear Google, I Need a Vacation'."
http://www.searchnewz.com/topstory/news/sn-2-20060714GoogleGrantsWishEstablishesGoodwill.html. P.S. for Wish List aficionados: Al's readers offered some cool suggestions for his Wish List. They include stuff as varied as "a BMW", "$1,000,000 and we can split it", "a new car... (make sure its got a/c, gps mapping, and some cool sound system)", "a laptop" and even "Google, I sure need some help paying my tuition fees." One reader wondered if Santa had a serious competitor at long last.
NO 97-LB WEAKLINGS, THESE! Go for them.
To help you search smarter, there's Trexy http://trexy.com/. It's a rather new research tool capable of remembering your searches on more than 3000 search engines, including Google and Yahoo! It also allows users to follow in the footsteps of other searchers. Also, try Metacrawler http://www.metacrawler.com/. It lets you to query the top search engines at once. Results get shown on the same page, making it easier to find exactly what you're looking for. Want a single-click window of access to over 70000 searchable databases with 'Deep Web' content and specialty search engines? Land here: http://aip.completeplanet.com/.
Try the two-day trial membership offer at Business Summaries at http://www.bizsum.com/ to read concise, succinct summaries of business-related bestsellers such as Seth Godin's All Marketers Are Liars and Purple Cow, Al Ries and Jack Trout's Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind, among others.
That's all for now though there's plenty more out there. Join me again next week, same place.
Copyright (c) 2001- 2006 by Deepak Mankar. All rights reserved. Deepak Mankar, an advertising practitioner on the creative side since 1965, is also intensely passionate about the web and web content creation. Read his online articles at asiaondemand .com . Website: http://www.addgandhi.com/original/ . You may e-mail him at dmankar @bom8.vsnl.net.in . Blog: popgoestheslop .blogspot.com.