More on Google Tips

Blake Ross has a good look at the Google Tip issue I blogged about the other day, and an interesting suggestion for a better way to do it. Tip: Trust is hard to gain, easy to lose.

3 thoughts on “More on Google Tips

  1. I’m having trouble seeing the comparison to Microsoft and what all the fuss is about. I think the comparisons to Microsoft are a heck of a stretch. Microsoft bundles software that is difficult or impossible to uninstall. They make it VERY hard for 3rd party companies to compete in certain markets – making installation harder for users, etc.

    And everyone is in an uproar because Google is including a short one line ad above the search results for products they’ve developed?

    I’ve always thought Google did a horrible job selling it’s non search related products. The fact that Picasa exists at all is a testament to Google’s good will. Whats wrong with them using one of their products to cross market another?

    Users aren’t completely stupid – it’s OBVIOUS the links are for Google products when you click them. They also are small and unobtrusive. If they had made the Tip look like a normal search result, just like those below – THEN I’d be upset because it violates one of their core values. But they are different and most if not all users will figure out that the Tips are just Google cross marketing their products, something that is not evil. Why? Because the user can click on the #1 search result anyway, or #2, or #3 – it’s their choice. And honestly the search results are often more enticing because of the result snippets. Little icons can help, but only to a point.

    I mean how is this different than Akismet being a default plugin in WordPress? Nobody complains – it’s an awesome service. People who don’t want to use it or us a different spam plugin, just do. But you are cross marketing your own service to users in a way other spam networks couldn’t if they wanted to.

    I just don’t see what all the uproar is about. I don’t think Google really violated any of their core beliefs and this does not, in my eyes, tarnish their ‘do no evil’ mantra. Google has developed and amassed a sizable portfolio of products, some of which few people know about – having them cross market them a little is not the end of the world as we know it because the addition of these little tips does not change the way google functions as we know it. Same AdWords ads based on bid CPC and same search results based on PR and relevance.

  2. Good Points Soccer Dad. The “Tips” remind me more of the “Did you mean…” Suggestion Google does then actual results. Personally it’s their site, and if they want to advertise their products in this unobtrusive way… More power to them. It’s tips like this you may stumble across a product or a use for a product that they may of come up with.

    Just like the minor roar when soon after they said not to put pictures next to ad words and they used a Christmas Tree border to separate the results from the ads. I personally saw the difference. And Google has been good about keeping things fair. And relatively transparent. Mind there have been some allegations, but it seems they’ve tried to clarify what exactly they do (in relation to AdWords). And considering how much they are used there probably isn’t much that slips past them.