Why Isn’t Google A Fair Target?

I get a lot of comments, trackbacks and email lambasting me for daring to suggest that Google is anything but the best and most ingenious search engine ever made. Someone even said :

‘I use Google because it’s the best, end of’

Wow, that’s telling me a few things. Firstly you think Google’s the best. Secondly you think that’s the end of the discussion. Thirdly you’re an idiot.

I can say these things because I’m quite sure he doesn’t read this blog because he’s not open to new ideas. That was the fourth thing.

People seem to think that because Google is the market leader, that they’ve revolutionised search that it isn’t right to criticise them. You’re wrong, they should be criticised now more than ever because they are the most visible search engine and should be setting an example in terms of innovation, human rights and design.

What is occurring with how people relate to Google is a fanboy mentality (or fangirl) of a similar vein to the much despised Apple fanboy (at least on this blog). People praise anything with the Google brand on it, regardless of its quality and originality, and that to me is a sad state of affairs because it means Google have increasingly less of a metric to measure whether they actually are producing a worthy product.

I know that in the UK, investors will still not touch search engine startups with a sh*tty stick. This is because of Google, they(the investors) feel nothing will ever surpass it. This means there are practically no search engine startups in the UK and it seems only recently that they are even coming to the fore again in the States. I can’t tell you how much this irritates me, I’ve spent years working around search because I love its fundemental simplicity as a human need, that thirst for knowledge and learning, and it’s only since I spent 2 years of my own time programming a search engine that I was ever able to convince a company in the UK to take on a property that would overlap that of the mighty Google.

So when you read my post in future don’t think that I hate Google or have some spite against them. It’s the opposite, I love Google and want them to innovate as much as possible because otherwise they’re dead in the water. Ultimately though, I love search and whoever delivers me with the most innovation and sheer simple brilliance is going to be my choice.

Capitalism comes after natural selection.


5 Comments on “Why Isn’t Google A Fair Target?”

  1. malcontent says:

    Yea I really care so much about your opinion. Oh wait a minute I don’t even know who you are and I could give a s**t about what you think.

    BTW is it OK to criticize you?

  2. Phill says:

    It’s absolutely fine, I encourage it. And you mean you couldn’t give a sh*t right? That’s kind of the problem though here, if you’ve read the article then you’d see that’s what I’m talking about. Rather than discuss people are all too willing to vainly hold on to whatever belief they have in the interests of preserving their carefully balanced world.

  3. tigerplug says:

    Myself, I think Google is great. I was actually just browsing WordPress.com after making a post about search engine optimization (if you fancy having a read of it).

    Id like to say I consider myself to be open minded when It comes to things like this.

    Whats the main reason I think Google is great?

    Well, Google look at things differently. Google believes that:

    If content is organized you will find it. If it is not organized it will be harder to find.

    Google has revolutionized the web in many ways. If you see the developments that they are making everyday im sure most people will agree. Just take a look at these:

    Google Documents
    Google Calendar (a worthy competitior for iCal & Outlook)
    Google Patent Search
    Google Scholar
    Google Code – One of my favorites!
    Google Earth

    These are all just examples of the great technologies they provide.

    Now I urge you to try this:

    Make a spread sheet and along the top we will place 4 Rows:

    Search Engine X
    Search Engine Y
    Search Engine Z

    Now, on the left column fill in all of Googles products/services (yes I know it will take a while!)

    Now proceed to fill out the spredsheet to compare all 4.

    Answer this question:

    I have two questions for the Author here:
    1) Do you understand how google works.
    2) Have you ever read the book “The Google Story”

    Just to point out I am aware the the Google story is of course going to praise Google.

    I hope this doesn’t seem a bit too critical of your post…. but I do feel very strongly about the subject.

    Drop me a line and maybe we could discuss collaborating on a project? Im looking for people at the moment to blog for fun…. until a time comes to commercialize.


    Shane (Tigerplug)

  4. Phill says:

    Hi Shane, thanks for your comment, it’s a good one!

    Do I understand how Google works?

    If you mean how the search engine itself works then yes. As far as anyone who works outside of Google can, then definitely. I program my own search engine technology for an SEO company at the moment and have been in my own time now for about three years. I’ve read Sergey Brin and Larry Page’s whitepapers from Stanford on Google many times, I perform reverse engineering on Google results as part of my work and this all helps me to put together a picture of the ever changing algorithms they use.

    I’m a big believer in not criticising unless you understand what you’re talking about, you need to know your subject to be able to write effectively about it.

    I’ve never read the book the Google story. I am however very keen on the history of Google and will happily spend hours read about it to gain every bit of knowledge.

    As I mention often, I also think Google is great. I just think it should be criticised as much as any other company regardless and we often forget that.

    Do you think Google is maintaining their level of brilliance though by simply outputting more vertical search? I’d like to know the answer to that, also what’s your favorite Google app recently? Mine’s Google Notepad, it’s simple, elegant and very clever at filling a unique niche in the market.

    I’ve also been thinking about finding a team to blog on surrch.com, i think just reading my posts gets a bit old after a while and I’d like others to be able to put across contradictory points of view. Surrch.com isn’t about being a Google hater, it’s about being a search lover.

  5. tigerplug says:


    Very interesting job you do. That’s something I’d enjoy very much.

    Yes, I agree that Google should be criticised just as much as every other company —– But, Google always seems to come out on top in my opinion (maybe I’m wrong).

    I think Google has done great things to the entire concept of search & Organization in general and definatley is improving every day with every further development that they make.

    My favorite Google App at the moment is actually Google Docs and Spreadsheets! It’s introduced a whole new idea in Document creation, storage and distribution.

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