Has Google Reached The Perception Tipping Point?

from the an-important-question dept

Last week, Anil Dash wrote up a thoughtful post wondering if Google had hit its "Microsoft Moment," which I'll loosely paraphrase as the moment when more people were afraid (or, at least, were marginally distrustful) of the company than that loved the company. For many years, part of Google's success has been based on its ability to "not be evil." That mantra -- often misinterpreted -- tried to get the company to focus on putting the user first, which, in turn, led many people to trust Google and its quirkiness. And yet, the company has grown bigger and bigger and bigger. And the fear over what that means has only grown -- some of it reasonably, some of it certainly driven by competitors and critics. While I believe that the folks at Google really do still think of themselves as being totally customer focused and still try to present themselves as that quirky Google, they're reaching a point where they need to do a lot more to support that perception outside the company. Because it's really not getting through in many cases.

We've noticed this a bit ourselves, with some of the moves the company has made in the last few years showing a distinct change in tone. Whereas there was a point that Google seemed to be defending legal battles on principle, when the company capitulated with the record labels about YouTube, with the Associated Press and, most recently, in its (still in court) book settlement, a different story emerged. In all of those cases, the deals made Google stronger -- while making competitors weaker by not standing up for some key principles. Google started to use its massive cash coffers not to defend key principles, but to dump the problem off on smaller players. Of course, I believe this has already started to come back to haunt the company. The fact that publishers knew they could get a book settlement out of Google was because it had given in on the YouTube and AP deals without standing up for fair use.

Either way, it became quite clear that Google was no longer Silicon Valley's defender. It was Google's defender. And, of course, some will argue that's exactly as it should be. Google has no responsibility to stand up for the principles of others. At the same time, many will claim that Google would be silly not to use its money to harm competitors. But these all showed a particularly un-Google-like view of the world. It was that "don't be evil" stand that made people trust them. It was that belief (real or perceived) that Google was entirely focused on making the world better for everyone that built up that trust. These moves (and some of the moves Anil discusses in his piece) may make the shareholders happy in the short-term. But they end up harming reputation in the long-term.

As Google is fighting accusations of antitrust, the message it keeps trying to spread is that competition is only a click away. The company would be wise to remember that itself, because sometimes it doesn't actually act that way.

That said, I don't believe the company is acting "evil" or that it should be accused of any sort of antitrust violations. But the company has certainly acted a lot less "Googley" lately, and Anil is correct in saying that it appears a lot of folks internal to the company don't really recognize that (or want to believe it). It's definitely hard to keep that kind of culture and attitude as a company gets bigger (and, as some of its earlier employees sail off). And, to its credit, Google has certainly been able to keep a "good" reputation for a lot longer than other companies (and longer than many suspected Google could keep it). But that message has been drifting, and Google would do well to recognize how the external world is perceiving it.

Longtime Googler Matt Cutts responded to Anil's analysis in what I'd consider to be an open letter to other Googlers to take Anil's words seriously, rather than angrily (or just dismissing it as idle criticism). Hopefully that message gets through.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Mike, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 10:00am

    Google has lost it

    Through all the money and the domination of the web, Google sees the internet differently. It is clearly the most visited site on the internet and is constantly growing in the stock market as well as on the internet. Google has to maintain their customer approach to continue being Google, but have to adjust that because they are not servicing customers, but one customer, and that is the world.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 10:27am

    I personally still love, love, love Google. I don't see what the big deal is. They're still doing incredible things, creating and improving services, etc.

    But maybe that's just me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    BAlbrecht, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 10:34am

    One Big Difference

    Despite Google's recent missteps in the IP realm, there is still one area that distinguishes Google from Microsoft: Open Source development. As long as Google stays committed to developing products in the GPL/public realm and offering those products to customers for free they can still be considered a company standing up for consumers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    TehShrike (profile), Jul 13th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Lost what?

    My opinion of Google isn't based on their company motto or nervousness about their growing size. It's based on their history with me and the people I know.

    Google has always done right by me and my data, and they have always provided excellent, useful services to me.

    Until I start to worry about how they treat me or the companies/people I care about, I will continue to support them and use their products (assuming they continue to produce the best ones).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 10:43am

    It is the fate of all large corporations...

    I don't think any large corporation can avoid the fate of reaching the Microsoft Moment. It is the David and Goliath syndrome. We root for the David's of the world until David slays Goliath and becomes Goliath. Then we move on to the next David.

    Does this mean that Google has the Goliath attitude now? I can't say, but history shows that once companies get into a position of power in the market place, they will abuse it. So it is only logical that people assume Google will do the same.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Have you ever tried to contact google with a problem? They're impossible to deal with. They're like dealing with a speed addict -- so much stuff going on that nothing gets completed and any attempt at verbal contact leaves you frustrated and annoyed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 10:51am

    Re:

    You could substitute just about any company name for Google's in what you just described. That's the nature of business right now...everyone is cut down so lean that service is essentially non-existent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    The risk for all companies is that the employees get into that certain company mindset, they all start thinking alike. They all start following the "Google, Microsoft, IBM whatever" way of doing things.

    There really is no way to get around this on is one of the things that companies might not be aware of but it is there. When new experienced people come into the company, they have to learn "how things get done around here" and if they can't, then they usually don't fare too well.

    It usually serves the company well for a while, but sooner or later it will cause them serious problems.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 11:06am

    Re:

    really any company filled with techy people. I don't think they really built their company around direct human to human tech support. You probably need to find a techy friend on crack to be your ambassador to Google's shores to express your issues.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    ChrisB (profile), Jul 13th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Re:

    "Have you ever tried to contact google with a problem?"

    Really? You're having problems getting help on one of the many FREE services Google provides? Have you ever tried to get help from Microsoft for any of the PAID services/software they provide?

    Google would have to kill my dog before I would distrust them. I think people just don't realize how many thousands of dollars they've paid to Microsoft, either directly through operating systems (that HAVE to be upgraded constantly) or indirectly through things like losses due to viruses which exploit weaknesses in their OS (because they don't take the time to fix it).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    TPBer, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 11:45am

    FWIW

    Just got my invite to Google Voice last thursday and I stopped giving out my cell and updated all contacts to have them use my new GV #. They are giving things like this away for free. Can't say much bad about that, and it works very well so far. I have been using it for txt also and it has to be the best and easiest system out there IMHO. Try holding 5 almost simultaneous txt conversations on a hand held device, won't happen.

    The people who slam Google are just afraid that they will become insignificant, and they will if products like this keep rolling out. BTW did I say it was FREE.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Free Capitalist, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Overhyped, But Definitely Diet-Evil

    Google has never been the bastion of pure innovation so many people claim, but they're not all that evil either.

    The most evil thing Google has done to my knowledge is cow to the Chinese government's ongoing censorship campaigns. Same goes for Yahoo and MS.

    Prioritizing paid links is one thing... dropping links that don't fit into the little red book is something entirely more evil. Its a little scary to think they might be setting some precedent in China that other governments will look to.

    It would take exactly 1-day for Google to change from trusted search provider to Big Brother incarnate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Apple PI, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 12:14pm

    Re:

    If you are in the online business, chances are that you make you money using economies of scale: you have millions of users/visitors, each brings a penny, and this is how you get your margins.

    There is simply no way for a company to provide in-person customer service if it has a billion plus customers.

    In fact, you will not get a personal customer service from ANY company unless you are guaranteed to spend a $100 or so with them. For paying customers, Google does have customer service. That's the nature of things, the money should come from somewhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Apple PI, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Overhyped, But Definitely Diet-Evil

    "It would take exactly 1-day for Google to change from trusted search provider to Big Brother incarnate."

    ... yes, but then it would take exactly one day for everyone to start using a different search engine... In this sense, I think it is in the best interest of the company not ever become a big brother.

    "Prioritizing paid links is one thing..."

    But Google does not prioritize paid links; it is one of the things that make it different from early search engines. With Google, you always see what is the result and what is the ad. You can pay for an ad to show up, but you cannot pay to get a higher rank on the search page.

    And regarding China, I think it is a practical decision. I find it interesting that people in the government are quick to critisize Internet companies but not as fast to come up with any legislature. Isn't it because China is financing the US debt? And we, we do not mind buying cheap things made in China. So sad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 1:46pm

    That mantra -- often misinterpreted -- tried to get the company to focus on putting the user first

    I call bull***. They have consistently ignored users's opinions and feedback since the site first started. Google Groups never provided even 1/10 the functionality of the Deja News Archive and now they've run it into the ground. They refuse to provide options to stop filtering "similar" search results and now half the pages I search for tell me that some or even all of the words I searched for were only found in links pointing to that page. You used to be able to contact support directly, now you're expected to use a help "group" which has such a convoluted interface that I didn't even bother to try and use it simply because I knew I'd never been able to find any replies they might make.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Free Capitalist, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Overhyped, But Definitely Diet-Evil

    But Google does not prioritize paid links; it is one of the things that make it different from early search engines. With Google, you always see what is the result and what is the ad. You can pay for an ad to show up, but you cannot pay to get a higher rank on the search page.


    I'm going to have to disagree with you there. Yes, they show you 'sponsored links' in the breakout box, but this is a little misleading.

    Do you have any idea how many people pay for the word 'electronics'?

    Now, out of those thousands of customers for the word 'electronics', where are the links that aren't in the friendly 'here are your 10 sponsored links' box? In the top pages along with a mix of meta results. Yes, meta still plays, but for top positioning, you need a LOT of links to outrank a paid ad with relatively low activity.

    Sorry but Google has no moral advantage over any other search provider. Most top links are paid.. that's how they make money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Apple PI, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    For any company, the trick is always to ignore some opinions and listen to others. It is called triage. More popular or more profitable services always end up getting more resources, simply because it makes sense.

    As a user, you have a choice of using a different service if you like it more. However, you need to have reasonable expectations when it comes to the product team realizing your vision of what is right when it comes to a FREE product. Even if the team agrees with your vision (a big "if"), they will not necessarily have resources to address some problems...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 2:03pm

    Re:

    I call bull***. They have consistently ignored users's opinions and feedback since the site first started.

    Based on statistics and percentage of marketshare across Google's various product lines, I think Google works fine for the average person... And, yes, DejaNews is probably a bandwidth and CPU-cycle hog. This acquisition left much to desire.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re:

    For any company, the trick is always to ignore some opinions and listen to others. It is called triage...

    You understand the origination of the word Triage, don't you?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triage

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re:

    the trick is always to ignore some opinions and listen to others. It is called triage.

    I disagree. The trick is to hire well qualified folks who can "own" a problem, product, or service. I've found "Triage meetings" rarely accomplish their end goal. A better word for a triage meeting is probably a PeePee meeting: PP for "pushback prioritization", where the goal is to find out what can be done with the least effort to make it look like we're actually working.

    I like to call them "Bawlsy Meetin'" myself, because over time, a pattern emerges where the only way anything gets accomplished is by whining, or showing the "triagers" you got balls.

    But if you actually want to accomplish something, that's a different type of meeting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

    Re:

    I've had the opposite experiences. When they rolled out their Blog Search, there was a problem with it not respecting the robots.txt file. I e-mailed them. Had a response the same day, and the next day the problem was fixed and my LiveJournal account was no longer being listed in search results. I've found Google's tech support to be head and shoulders above other companies, short of the tiny one-person web shop who gets an order every couple of days and has to work harder for brand loyalty and customer relations building. I've always pointed to Google for how well their tech support is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Overhyped, But Definitely Diet-Evil

    Most "top links" are Wikipedia links (for my searches). Unless I'm searching for a particular product, there never appears to be sites paying for top results. I think you are WAY off base with your comments. It's not about who has the most links, but who has the most links while being more relevant ... so, someone with less activity, but more relevancy will appear higher than someone with millions more links, but not as relevant page content. That's called a good search.

    Google doesn't mix paid links with search listings.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Overhyped, But Definitely Diet-Evil

    "I'm going to have to disagree with you there. Yes, they show you 'sponsored links' in the breakout box, but this is a little misleading".

    If sponsored links are clearly marked as such, I do not see how it is misleading. You can pay for sponsored links, but you cannot pay for result links. So it is not true that most top links paid. Only sponsored links are paid.

    Also, as far as I know, you cannot buy a sponsored link at the top 'sponsored links' box.

    The reason they do sometimes appear at the top, from what I understand, is that sometimes ad itself is the best result. For example, if you search for "expedia", you get a sponsored link for their website. I think it makes perfect sense.

    I am not trying to say that "Google has any kind of moral advantage", but they are known for not selling search results, which in fact probably is the most profitable strategy in the long run, because it is consistent with what users want.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Apple PI, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Support maybe better or worse depending on the company, but no company can afford to provide great support to hundreds of millions of customers unless they (or someone else) pays for it one way or another. Again, money should come from somewhere or otherwise it is not a sustainable business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Igor Zevaka (profile), Jul 13th, 2009 @ 4:39pm

    Other evil things

    Funny this should come up. Last week I've heard the story about Google(rather distastefully) cancelling an adsense campaign for a linux distro that could possibly be seen as a competitor to ChromeOS. The story has been unreported at large, but i think it deserves more attention.

    Read more here http://www.cannonade.net/blog.php?id=1433

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Again, money should come from somewhere or otherwise it is not a sustainable business.

    Since you seem to be unaware of it, let me be the first to inform you that Google makes money. Lots of it. They aren't exactly scraping by.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Apple Pi, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, I do, and I think it fits perfectly: subject to limited resources, someone needs to decide on the best way to use them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Apple Pi, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Overhyped, But Definitely Diet-Evil

    The previous comment is actually mine... I didn't specify the 'Name' field, and my message got marked as one by the 'Anonymous Coward'. I guess it is a bug. But anyways, I tried to type in 'electronics' query, and didn't get any ads at the top.

    But as someone already mentioned, the big point is that 'Google doesn't mix paid links with search listings'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 5:02pm

    Re: FWIW

    They are giving things like this away for free.

    Why do you think they're doing that? Hint: Google specializes in selling targeting advertising and the more they know about you, the better their targeting system works. You can learn a lot about someone from their phone calls and text messages.

    BTW did I say it was FREE.

    Yes, we heard you the first time. BTW, I know a guy who will clean your car windows for FREE if you'll give him a set of keys to it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Apple Pi, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 5:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I am well aware of the fact that Google makes money, lots of it. But the point is whether it would make any money if it provided great customer service to all of its customers. And the answer is 'No'.

    Here is simple back-of-the-envelope calculations:

    10^9 customers * 1 hour help per year * $10 an hour -> $10 billion a year. No company can afford to spend this kind of money without getting an equivalent increase in profits. It simply would not stay competitive.

    To put things in perspective, for $10 billion, you can hire another 50,000 great engineers if you pay them $200,000 a year. According to the stats on the Google finance page, the company currently has ~20,000 employees TOTAL.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Overhyped, But Definitely Diet-Evil

    "But Google does not prioritize paid links; it is one of the things that make it different from early search engines."

    I don't know why, but I've found that Google search results aren't nearly as good as they used to be. Often not all of my search terms even appear on the top pages and checking the Google cache version says some of my terms are only on other pages that supposedly "point" to the returned pages. Hey Google, if I wanted even the pages without those terms I wouldn't have included those terms to begin with!

    Like I said, I can't say why for sure the relevancy of the results has gotten worse, but these pages are almost invariably commercial sites trying to sell me something.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re:

    As a user, you have a choice of using a different service if you like it more.

    He/she also has the choice of publicly commenting on the situation.

    Just how Google stock do you own, anyway?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Apple Pi, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re: FWIW

    Anonymous Coward, let me ask you something. Are you implying that if the company knows a lot about you, it will be able to force you to buy something that you do not want to buy?

    Because if you want to buy something, and Google displays a good and truly useful ad for it, I do not see a problem...

    To put it differently.

    I have a brother. I know him very well (much better than any search engine I hope). I still cannot get him to pay me $10 a day, no matter how well I know him. I think this is the reason we still talk or otherwise he would be afraid of me :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I am well aware of the fact that Google makes money, lots of it. But the point is whether it would make any money if it provided great customer service to all of its customers. And the answer is 'No'.

    Oh really? Even if it got them more eyeballs to sell to advertisers?

    Here is simple back-of-the-envelope calculations:

    In other words, you're just making crap up now. Hey, here's an idea: Maybe Google could save some money by not hiring forum shills.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 5:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: FWIW

    Anonymous Coward, let me ask you something. Are you implying that if the company knows a lot about you, it will be able to force you to buy something that you do not want to buy?

    Not at all, so why make up that straw man? I was simply explaining that Google's motivations may not be as altruistic as some would have the public believe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Apple PI, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Overhyped, But Definitely Diet-Evil

    I have never had this problem, and the search result seem only to improve with time for me (which is expected since the amount of the quality content on the web is expected to grow with time).

    But then, as they say, "individual experiences may differ" :)

    But I think you just do not like Google. I therefore suggest that you write a better search engine... and maps, and a mail client, and an earth app, and apps, and a 100/100 acid3 test browser, and a phone os, etc, etc, and make it all free to everyone, even those in poor countries who would never be able to pay for any of these services otherwise.

    I guarantee that once you are there, you will no longer be anonymous, and I will do my best to defend your honor from all those who are only looking for bad and ignore the good.

    And to finish up, here are words of a great man, I would never be able to say it better.

    "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt
    "Citizenship in a Republic,"
    Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Apple PI, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Haha,

    If making a solid argument makes a person a shill, I am not sure what can be said about those who don't...

    Alas, I didn't make any money posting on this board, but at least it is now clear to everyone that you, Anonymous Coward, are either (a) ignorant; or (b) not bright, or (c) both. Probably both.

    Otherwise, why would my username be Apple PI (3.1415926535...) and yours 'Anonymous Coward'? :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Apple PI, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "He/she also has the choice of publicly commenting on the situation."

    Absolutely. I didn't imply that you couldn't. But as I did say before, and I repeat just for you "you need to have reasonable expectations when it comes to the product team realizing your vision of what is right when it comes to a FREE product. Even if the team agrees with your vision (a big "if"), they will not necessarily have resources to address some problems..."

    About Google stock, how naive you must be if you think that a single person can affect stock price of a $100+ billion company by posting messages on an obscure discussion board! I am sorry, but you just aren't very intelligent? Nothing that a good education cannot fix, by the way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Apple PI, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I am sorry, but 'triage' is not about meetings. It is about making decisions: what comes first, what comes second, etc.

    if you can find 'well qualified folks who can "own" a problem, product, or service' without making decisions, good for you :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Apple PI, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Other evil things

    Interesting, though I do not see a point, since Chrome OS is going to be open-sourced...

    It is true that there is some competition even between open-source projects, mostly for developers willing to contribute. But the way I see it, any Linux distro out there is a win for Google as it tries to challenge Microsoft in the OS market.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Re: FWIW

    Google is also using it to promote their per-minute international rates (not free). Nothing wrong with that, just pointing it out.

    Oh, and Google probably also gets paid a "call termination fee" by the originating phone system (AT&T, etc.) for each incoming call. Nothing wrong with that either, just pointing it out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Paynesmanor (profile), Jul 13th, 2009 @ 8:55pm

    Google has turned Microsoft.

    Last year Google decided to without consent, rearrange the igoogle home page, without users consent, and offering no way to undo what they did. They added an iGoogle side tab, and in the process ticked off thousands if not hundreds of thousands of users, many of whom posted here http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Web_Search_Help-Personalizing/search?group=Google_Web_Search_H elp-Personalizing&q=igoogle+side+tab&qt_g=Search+this+category

    These posts are still unanswered, and we are all still sore and stuck with the stupidity of the wastefull side bar, which we never use. Google thinks they know whats best for us, just as Microsoft did,(key word DID), Down with stupidity down with Google. (I would stop complaining if they would just put it back the way it was or offer users a choice) instead of forceful changes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 9:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Alas, I didn't make any money posting on this board, but at least it is now clear to everyone that you, Anonymous Coward, are either (a) ignorant; or (b) not bright, or (c) both. Probably both.

    Otherwise, why would my username be Apple PI (3.1415926535...) and yours 'Anonymous Coward'? :)


    I hate to tell you this genius, but "Anonymous Coward" is the name the system here applies to everyone who doesn't otherwise supply one or bother to make something stupid up. You didn't know that? Talk about "ignorant" and "not bright". Heh, you're entertaining, keep going.

    And is Apple PI your real name? I some how doubt it. No, you seem to be one of those hypocrites who posts with an anonymous fake name and then criticizes others for remaining anonymous. Are all Google fan bois like you?

    Oh, and you got the capitalization wrong on Pi, too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2009 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Overhyped, But Definitely Diet-Evil

    But I think you just do not like Google.

    Then you're wrong. What I don't like are shills.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 4:38am

    Re: Google has turned Microsoft.

    Hey... it's free... do you own that page?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This