Google Flip-Flops on Talk

Google’s long term strategy is simple – throw things against the wall and see what sticks. Some people think Google is building a Web OS, but that would require some long term strategy. I don’t think Google has any strategy.

This is pretty evident from their recent launch of Google Talk. As the Got Ads Blog pointed out, Googles Corporate Philosophy seems to have been revised a little.

At the bottom of that page you can find this disclosure:

* Full-disclosure update: When we first wrote these “10 things” four years ago, we included the phrase “Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat.” Over time we’ve expanded our view of the range of services we can offer –- web search, for instance, isn’t the only way for people to access or use information -– and products that then seemed unlikely are now key aspects of our portfolio. This doesn’t mean we’ve changed our core mission; just that the farther we travel toward achieving it, the more those blurry objects on the horizon come into sharper focus (to be replaced, of course, by more blurry objects).

This of course gives them free reign to do anything they like and say “Oh, its all about accessing or using information”. But everything we do on a computer is accessing or using information. So that statements becomes absolutely meaningless.

A little research shows that this statement was on the page a lot less than 4 years ago. The internet archive shows the page in November 2004 with ” Google does search. Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat.” on it in November 2004. It may have even been there more recently, but the archives don’t seem to have any updates since that time.

So they went from “we don’t do chat” to releasing a chat service in well under a year. Now that’s a flip-flop even a politician could be proud of!

One Response to “Google Flip-Flops on Talk”

AdMoolah News and Views » AdSense Starts Rich Media Beta Says:

[...] I find this very typical of Google. They have a basic philosophy about something – in this case, ads should be unobtrusive – and then they find they can make money from something and the philosophy shifts. In the latest version of the Our Philosophy page Google stated that “Advertising on the site must offer relevant content and not be a distraction.” On the What is Google AdSense page they state “Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant, unobtrusive Google ads”. I think that expanding ads, floating ads and interstitial ads are certainly a distraction and obtrusive. I guess Google will have to change their philosophy again when they roll these changes out on a larger scale. The same thing happened with their philosophy when they launched Google Talk. [...]


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