Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Gauging Google's Gaffes 140

Posted by Zonk
from the hire-a-demon-to-beat-back-hell dept.
conq writes "BusinessWeek has a piece looking at some of the recent faux pas of Google and what implications they might have. The articles's conclusion: They should hire a chief marketing officer to avoid such gaffes. From the article: 'Recent missteps that have whipsawed or irked investors include the inadvertent release of sales projections and an agreement to censor its own search results in China. Then on Mar. 8, Google used a vaguely worded blog on its site to disclose a settlement of as much as $90 million in a case concerning click fraud. That came days after the company said the case was without merit and told investors the impact of click fraud on advertisers is immaterial.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Gauging Google's Gaffes

Comments Filter:
  • Conspiracy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alex P Keaton in da (882660) on Friday March 10, 2006 @06:57PM (#14894889) Homepage
    Call me a conspiratorialist- But I think that things like the "accidental" release of the slides showing the planned online hard drive backup thing, are planned.
    And another thing- They may or may not be a great company- I am not here to argue that, but they are made up of people- and as such, mistakes will be made.
    The real question is, is it hubris to think that google can do what it wants, instead of what wal street wants, and still stay so valuable (on paper)?
    • Re:Conspiracy (Score:1, Interesting)

      by master_gopher (864996)
      The mistakes made as a result of not having a chief marketing officer are to be expected - but not so much as the mistakes made as a result of being a company of human beings. More important are the policies themselves (Re: China, etc) which have much more real effect on the company's users and shareholders than their marketing division does.
    • As for the value of the company, that depends on who owns it and what's on the agenda. As long as the majority shareholders have made clear that they have no intention of compromising on principle for profit that remains the objective of the company, but as soon as walstreet types take over the board that may all change.

      Its this reason that I tend to never become too attached to a publicly traded company. As long as shares are trading, its objectives will be traded with it. So long as its bylaws are what
      • As for the value of the company, that depends on who owns it and what's on the agenda. As long as the majority shareholders have made clear that they have no intention of compromising on principle for profit that remains the objective of the company, but as soon as walstreet types take over the board that may all change.

        Which is why it's lucky that none of Google's shares are vote-thingy (I'm not a stock expert, but I've read here on slashdot enough that Google's shareholders get no say on anything about G
      • That would be cool! Player 1 "My 'Google Seeker(tm)' - 3 information points, 1 capitalist point 4 multinational points. Played in the back row - HAHAHA I beat your Microsoft Slug!" Player 2: " OHO! I counter attack with my 'IP Attourney Leech(tm)'"
    • Re:Conspiracy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AuMatar (183847)
      No, the real question is- do they care? There has been no voting stock issued, the founders still own the company. The company is making millions. In reality, the price of stock has no effect on a company unless the people making decisions want to dump their ownership for cash- stock sales give no new cash to the company. In fact, google has billions in the bank. Since I don't think Larry and Sergey want to sell their holdings entirely anytime soon, I don't think they give a shit about the share pric
      • Re:Conspiracy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by general_re (8883) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:31PM (#14895133) Homepage
        They still have a fiduciary duty to the other shareholders, and given the explosion of shareholder lawsuits over the last few years, they'd be wise to care at least a bit - "I got mine so fuck you people" is not going to fly.
        • Re:Conspiracy (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          They also need to maintain the value of stock options issued to employees in order to maintain employee retention. If their stock price drops, the options will become worth less/nothing, and they'll face the same problems Microsoft faced when their stock price became stagnant.

          Stock options are still a popular tool to lure and maintain valued employees within the tech industry. How many of Google's key people will look for greener pastures without proper incentive to stay?
          • Stock options are still a popular tool to lure and maintain valued employees within the tech industry. How many of Google's key people will look for greener pastures without proper incentive to stay?

            While your point is well made, and valid for most of the industry, I'm not sure that it (yet) applies to Google. My anecdotal evidence is that people go to work for Google with the knowledge that they are going to make less than they could get at a typical tech company in SF and the surrounding area, yet they

      • Since I don't think Larry and Sergey want to sell their holdings entirely anytime soon, I don't think they give a shit about the share price. They're already millionaires on what they already sold, they don't need to care about short term profit/loss.

        They might care... I don't know if they'd want to lose their spots at #26 and 27 on Forbes' World's Richest People [forbes.com] list. Of course, I think a hair under $13bn each should keep them covered. That is net worth and not banked funds, but still... Eric Schmidt a

    • Re:Conspiracy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by farble1670 (803356)
      if you think google does any other than try to maximize its profits, you are mistaken. public corporations simply do not do anything but exactly that. public corporations are owned and by investors that have one single goal.

      i'm really sick of folks thinking that google is some sort of atruistic entity fighting for superior technical solutions. nothing could be further from the truth. i think we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg here.

      • Re:Conspiracy (Score:5, Informative)

        by tehdaemon (753808) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:40PM (#14895216)
        "public corporations are owned and by investors that have one single goal."

        Not at all. investors, like any other large group of people, have lots of diverse goals. In practice though you can't satisfy all of these goals. Most are mutually exclusive to some extent. So it comes down to the least common denominator - max profits - like you said. It is the nature of corporate law that is the problem here, not the investors.

      • public corporations simply do not do anything but exactly that. public corporations are owned and by investors that have one single goal.

        You are mistaken. Public corporations can have many goals, and profit is usually one of them -- but there is no law requiring this. It all depends on the articles of the company. There is no legal reason why I could not form a company whose goal was philanthropic works and sell stock on one of the exchanges (there may be practical reasons why this would not work). To tak

        • Re:Conspiracy (Score:3, Interesting)

          by farble1670 (803356)

          Public corporations can have many goals, and profit is usually one of them -- but there is no law requiring this.

          people invest in for-profit companies to make money. it's not a law (duh), but that's the whole purpose of a for-profit corporation: to make money. if corporations, as part of their marketing (read: propaganda) make you believe that they have some other interest in mind, well, it worked on you. i have no doubt there are some people on google's board of directors that believe in the free e

          • A company can declare itself a for profit organization only to differentiate itself from other kind of organizations for a myriad of different reasons.

            The goal of the company may not necessarily be to make a profit, but it may be convenient to define itself as capable of doing so.
            • The goal of the company may not necessarily be to make a profit, but it may be convenient to define itself as capable of doing so.

              It is purely academic though isn't it. The original point was that their far overriding goal is to make money (like 99% of other companies).
        • Well what public companies can or cannot do is arbitrary. What is in google's company constitution and in the prospectus when the shares where first issued is all that counts. I don't remember any legally binding statements about it's altruistic status.

          They quite simply put it out to IPO when it would produce the best return for the initial investors, just after what was most likely it's maximum period of growth, with it's best revenues to date, just prior to both MSN and Yahoo both making a big push to r

    • Yes, people make mistakes. Google, however, has enough of a cash flow that they shouldn't be making amateurish mistakes like these. One every so often - sure. A string of them? No excuse.
  • ...0.07 seconds, + another 20 while we took out the ones you weren't supposed to know that we just found for you.
  • by LandownEyes (838725) on Friday March 10, 2006 @06:58PM (#14894897)
    businessweek.com now has a PageRank of 0.
  • Panty Bind (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:01PM (#14894913) Homepage
    Recent missteps that have whipsawed or irked investors...

    I think statements by Google have made it clear that they will not be playing the normal Wall Street Game. What's really going on here is that because of this, Wall Street is getting its collective panties in a bind. I for one am enjoying the show. Google should just keep doing what it wants and ignore the people in New York who seem to think they can't be ignored...

    • Re:Panty Bind (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:21PM (#14895056)
      Google should just keep doing what it wants and ignore the people in New York who seem to think they can't be ignored...

      Ahh, so they should continue to misrepresent information to shareholders? They should reap the financial benefits of the system but not be held accountable by the same system? Remember, "the investors" aren't just the guys trading in NY, there are tons of folks and organzations that invest other folks money that are also "investors" and they are being just as irked and feel like Google is not operating is a straight forward manner.

      It continues to amaze me that crap that Google does is seen as innovative and being a maverick shaking up the establishment, but the same deeds done by other companies would be universally condemned. If M$ did similar stuff everyone would be all up in arms. It's funny what cult of personality will do for you, that and a catchy tag line "do no evil". Reminds me of the schlocky 80's flick where Dolf Lundgren plays the alien that blows people away while stating (quite deadpan may I add) "I mean you no harm". I picture Dolf with the words "Google" tatooed to his head and all the gFanBoys drooling while mesmerized and chanting "I mean you no harm" while Dolf casually blows them into oblivion, all the while the other gFanBoys stating that "he must of deserved it".
      • Re:Panty Bind (Score:3, Insightful)

        The shairholders walked into this FULLY INFORMED, or at least the should have. Google said they would not be giving guidence in the treditional way that Wall Street has become accustom. None of this should come as a surprise. There has bee full disclosure, and now that a few of the buyers don't like the situation, they want to change the rules.
        • Re:Panty Bind (Score:3, Informative)

          by GoofyBoy (44399)
          >The shairholders walked into this FULLY INFORMED,

          Read the parent post again.

          there are tons of folks and organzations that invest other folks money that are also "investors" and they are being just as irked and feel like Google is not operating is a straight forward manner.

          I would be too. $90 million dollar settlement is at least noteworthy and should be professionally communicated to the shareholders. Comments like "Guess if I'm talking about revenue or market capitalization" from one of the CEOs is j
          • If google is within the law then what's the real problem? Could it be the "tons of investors" are stopping themselves from investing because of what they promised the people who own the money, ie: risk analysis. They wanted a slice of the pie at $80 a share but googles practices got in the way, they were forced to make their own forecasts. If they did fork out someones pension to get a slice, googles refusal to change their practices has left them exposed since they didn't tick all the risk boxes.

            The pri
            • >The price of the shares skyrocketed after the IPO, ask yourself, why did that happen if google "doesn't do forecasts"?

              Fear and greed? Investors are stupid and irrational? Bubble-mania?

              >Google won't play the "markets" game and at the moment it is cashed up and doesn't need to.

              If that is true, that would piss me even more as a long-term investor. What happens when Google needs to go back to the market in the future? Don't you think that the people they upset now will make it painful for the company
              • "Fear and greed? Investors are stupid and irrational? Bubble-mania?"

                How about third party predictions?

                "Are they communicating to you, as owners, as you would like them to, in a clear and accurate way?"

                Yes, they are just not saying what their revenue is going to be in the future, they left that black art to the market analysts and financial planners.
                • >How about third party predictions?

                  Umm.... its alot more complex than that.

                  >Yes, they are just not saying what their revenue is going to be in the future, they left that black art to the market analysts and financial planners.

                  Google doesn't predict revenue?

                  http://google.blognewschannel.com/index.php/archiv es/2006/03/08/google-accidentally-reveals-revenue- prediction/ [blognewschannel.com]

                  Our ads business... projected to grow from $6bn this year to $9.5bn next year based purely on trends in traffic and monetization growth.
                  • "Umm.... its alot more complex than that."

                    Yes it is, but the crux of the matter is that the forecasts and growth hype did not originate from google.

                    "Google doesn't predict revenue?"

                    Good greif man, that link is not a forcast the pension funds can use to satisfy their risk analyisis! Of course google make internal revenue forcasts, but they are not communicating them to the market. They, like many other smaller publicly owned companies are just not willing to put their balls on the chopping block in
                    • >They, like many other smaller publicly owned companies

                      How in the world is Google considered "small"?

                      >are just not willing to put their balls on the chopping block in return for investment by pension funds and the like and why should they?

                      1. Google's orginial investors, before the IPO, are the sort of people who are interested in the bottom-line, ie-putting balls on the chopping block. (see:Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital) So I guess Google are interested in investments from
                    • "How in the world is Google considered "small"?"

                      Heh, bad grammar.

                      "Is it acting like a serious business or some hobby run by a bunch of high-school kids?"

                      I would say "hobby" and google is also saying "hobby" to the investors as it has from the start. They are pushing the responsibilty for investment decisions back on to the fund managers, precisely where it belongs both morally and legally. Have they attempted to insulate themselves from a bubble by cashing in stocks, you bet!
    • Re:Panty Bind (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Watson Ladd (955755) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:26PM (#14895097)
      If more compainies start doing this, analysists will be out of a job, and need to learn calculus first. A lot of analysists just do seat-of-the-pants based on reports. Google isn't giving them any material, which stabalizes GOOG.
    • I am enjoying the show because the volatility may give me the ability to pick up shares when they dip to a reasonable level.

      However, itt will (IMHO) take a lot more bad news and uncertainty before this (great) company's stock is at a valuation commensurate with future cashflows and risks.

      Best,
      Paul
      • GOOG won't be a value stock any time soon.
        • True enough. At 10x book and 70x trailing earnings I'm just being hopeful. I'm not one of those guys who is buoying the price when it falls thirty bucks because all the sudden it's a "deal" in the mind of analysts who have done nothing but heap praise on the stock performance.

          On the other hand, maybe it /is/ a deal (an unprecedented one), but it is not one I'd put money on.

          Best,
          Paul
    • >What's really going on here is that because of this, Wall Street is getting its collective panties in a bind.

      I really don't think that Wall Street cares either way.

      There are loads of companies that don't "play by Wall Street" rules. Sometimes its because the company doesn't think that guidance is worthwhile to the long-term care of the shareholders, other times it because they don't give a flying-crap about anyone including the shareholders.

      If Google wanted to not "play by Wall Street" why do they have
  • Google's Hiring (Score:5, Informative)

    by Slipgrid (938571) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:02PM (#14894920) Homepage Journal
    Don't know if they advertise their "chief" positions, but it looks like they want a whole marketing department [google.com].
    • Re:Google's Hiring (Score:2, Interesting)

      by LunaticTippy (872397)
      My mother is working for google marketing "unofficially."

      I sent her a new computer with a firefox homepage of her shiny new google account. She is seriously computer illiterate and already she has fallen in love with it. (she used to have mail.com - ugh!)

      Now she wants all her friends to use gmail. It's kinda cute.

    • nope, that's for people in Fremont, the fun part of Seattle, where they are buying a property about a block from my house, near the Fremont Fire Circle.

      pay no attention to the marketing folks, they aren't of concern.

      It was on one of the Microsoft blogs today. With a news item in the business pages of the soon to be web-only Seattle PI [nwsource.com].
  • by keilinw (663210) * on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:04PM (#14894935) Homepage Journal
    Gone are the days when Google was just a tadpole startup company with little more than a unique name. Over the years, the company has proven its worth time and time again with technology advancements cool new features. Until very recently I too was a hardcore Google fan... I was in love with the company that vowed to change the world, and succeeded.

    We're all familiar with the recent news about Google's policies on privacy, finance, and the Department of Justice. And, it has admittedly made a few mistakes. But who are we to argue? Isn't the company successful? Aren't they doing what the set out to do -- change the world? In a nutshell: YES... I may be disappointed that Google does things a little differently than I expected, but isn't the end result that I have cool new and "free" technologies... and isn't their stock still work a lot more than their IPO days?

    All of these thoughts are SOMEWHAT comforting... but I've started to develop somewhat of a love / hate relationship with them. Very recently (a few days ago) I fell into some sort of keyword promotion site over optimization scam. There is a company that wrote code that a person can insert into their websites in order to "show the location" of who's browsing their sites. This code had a cleverly embedded keyword in it that made a vague reference to "MySpace.com." As a result of including such code on my site, I was getting A LOT of Google hits.. and people were asking me how they could do the same thing. I answered by posing a copy of the code on my website... and then I got hit by a Google Site Ranking Penalty... something that I did not know even existed! Now, I am trying to recover my site's ranking and I'm not even sure how to do this.

    Prior to this experience I thought Google was great... but it appears to me that much of their company is "automated" and that my site somehow tripped some automated flags and hence automatically punished me... for something someone else did. So, in the end isn't it Google's responsibility to protect the small end user from abuses of their automatic systems?

    I personally won't suffer any great loss from my sites loss in status, but its just that -- a loss in status... and frankly its quite annoying. Luckily for me there were a few lessons learned:

    1. I enjoy posting on Slashdot more than on my blog because people actually read it.
    2. I know know how to avoid Search Engine Optimization Errors.

    So, there you have it... that's the story of my love / hate relationship with Google.

    --Matthew Wong
    http://www.themindofmatthew.com [themindofmatthew.com]
    • by pilkul (667659) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:20PM (#14895048)
      So you used dishonest techniques to increase your pagerank on Google (you claim unintentionally, but that's irrelevant) and Google knocked your site off its listing as a result. I don't see what the problem is.

      You have a "love/hate relationship" with Google because you're running a website. My experience is that it's mainly webmasters and advertisers that have any dislike of Google, because they're so relentless at protecting the interests of their users.

      • Actually I don't see a problem with Goolge penalizing for using dishonest techniques... and quite frankly I'm happy that they did because I got to learn something new... and I have something interesting to write about :)

        You are right, the only people who really have a "beef" with Google are the stock brokers, web site operators, and anyone whos privacy might be at stake...but in the end, I still love the company.

        Matt Wong
        http://www.themindofmatthew.com [themindofmatthew.com]
        • I think the thing is that Google doesn't publish what they consider right or wrong. This dude didn't lose anything, but imagine that your business hinges on whether people can find you via google.

          Competitors do LOTS of things via google to fuck over your company. They click your ads (this is more prevalant in yahoo, though, where people can see what you pay per click), they get pissed and report you if your webpage is higher on search rankings.

          I work for a firm that gets all its business from our Google ran
    • by farble1670 (803356) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:29PM (#14895120)

      Over the years, the company has proven its worth time and time again with technology advancements cool new features

      really, like what? web-based email? instant messaging? web-based maps? a search engine? i hate to tell you this, but all of this was done 5-10 years before google existed. granted, google has (mostly) made advancements in these areas, but please, let's not pretend these ideas are "new".

      everything google does is available elsewhere, and in a form such that the quality of our lives would not significantly change if google dried up and died.

      • Well, Google bought and monopolize huge Usenet archive that goes back years and years. So it would such if google dried up and died. Actually, since they're really keen on all kinds of other publishers 'giving it up for the public good' they should do as well. I would think a ten volume DVD-ROM set would probably cover the Usenet archive (minus binaries) up 'til about 1998 or so... So google should release that, to anybody who wants to buy a copy. At a reasonable 'people friendly' price... What does a
      • You're absolutely right.. in fact, I'd probably have more free time if I didn't waste so much time in front of the computer.... if I'm not on Google or using one of their tools, then I'm talking about it... oops.. and so are you!

        But, don't forget that even if the world would continue on its path...we still enjoy the products the company produces... I mean, after all if we took away cars we still have bikes right?

        --Matthew Wong
        http://www.themindofmatthew.com [themindofmatthew.com]
      • ... with technology advancements cool new features.

        ... let's not pretend these ideas are "new".

        Not only are they 'new' to Google (very acceptable usage of 'new' by the GP post), they are also new to search engines in general.

        everything google does is available elsewhere, and in a form such that the quality of our lives would not significantly change if google dried up and died.

        Did anyone come close to claiming such a thing? Certainly not the post you replied to.

    • There is a company that wrote code that a person can insert into their websites in order to "show the location" of who's browsing their sites. This code had a cleverly embedded keyword in it that made a vague reference to "MySpace.com." As a result of including such code on my site, I was getting A LOT of Google hits.. and people were asking me how they could do the same thing. I answered by posing a copy of the code on my website... and then I got hit by a Google Site Ranking Penalty... something that I di
  • Good Google (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Device666 (901563) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:06PM (#14894949)
    How can a company which is depending on the advertise business, stockholders and operation on world level between all the cultural disputes (China) stay an not evil company? Who decides: the clients, a nation or the stockholders?

    Besides that, what good is a google application which shares as a unwanted side-effect sensitive business documents without the knowledge of the respected companies?

    When it comes down to money,some evil stockholders, countries or clients will take on the power game. And I guess it will heappen when google has a real bad financial quarter. So we have to wait for that for a while I guess. We'll see how google will evolve.
    • They cannot.

      The convergence of Internet and Advertising is evil.

      However, some of the loudest voices on slashdot these days are people who make a lot of money directly or indirectly due to advertising on the Internet. It isn't the old days anymore. . .
    • Re:Good Google (Score:4, Informative)

      by rm69990 (885744) on Friday March 10, 2006 @08:25PM (#14895539)
      The shareholders have no say whatsoever with Google, as the shares are non-voting. The shares held by the insiders have 10 times the voting power of the public shares.
  • and obey their own robots.txt
  • Google Print (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:12PM (#14894989) Homepage
    Google Print is a good example of this. I'm participating in it as a publisher, and it's been a mess. They've gone through so many conniptions trying to avoid getting sued that it's crippled the program. Nobody uses it, because it doesn't show up in normal google searches anymore.
  • CMO? Of course! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by uradu (10768) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:13PM (#14894998)
    Because--as we all know--companies that do have Chief Marketing Officers never commit any PR gaffes. You can never have enough management!
  • by vinn (4370) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:14PM (#14895007) Homepage Journal
    Years ago I realized I had terrible luck with stocks. I learned all kinds of stuff like P/E ratios, etc, etc. But more than anything, I just had bad luck. Well, it's been quite a few years since I've invested directly in a stock. I had some cash laying around in a money market and decided it was time to bite the bullet and buy some Google stock - mostly because I really believe in what they do. Well, that was when the stock was at $390 (60x earnings... ow) Therefore I'm certain you can all blame me for the recent performance.
    • That's not bad luck. That's just stupid.
    • Stick with it. Google stock may not continue to rise at an astronomical pace, but it's still a growing, profitable company. In the long run, it will be worth it.

      I find that as a stock investor as long as you invest in healthy, profitable companies, stocks may falter from time to time, but you will do well in the long run. Google stock may be out of fashion right now (good time to buy), but I have confidence that its continuing profitability will pay off in the long term. BTW, by "long term" I don't mean
  • to make money for their stockholders, because that what they are required to do as corporation.

    Remember folks, Do No Evil is a marketing slogan, not legal contract.

    • You do realize that you are grossly oversimplifying the issue don't you?

      I propose you be added to the 'mindset of a political hack' category, because your knee-jerk reactionary antics aren't helping anything.
      • that they are a corporation, whose some purpose is to make money, right? Look, I am aware that they put out some fantastic spin on the issue, such as alerting Chinese users that they are being censored.

        But that will only last as long as the PRC regime decided to allow it. Then, Google will bend over, and sell out again.

        • Is it spin to say at least google is making a noise intead of quietly rolling over like the other two have in both China and the US. They are not saints but they are certainly the least "evil" of the big three.
    • Ah, so letting the Chinese censor Google themselves, as well as degrading the performance of the service in the process, was a better solution? Looking at everything as black and white (or good and evil) without acknowledging the grey areas in-between is an indication of a simple minded person.
    • by That's Unpossible! (722232) on Friday March 10, 2006 @08:37PM (#14895617)
      Sold out to the Chinese? How so? They aren't preventing Chinese people from getting to google.com, China may be, though. All they did was add servers in China that make trade-offs: you get better, faster access to our site, but we filter some results (and tell you about it).

      they are required to do as corporation

      Typical ignorant statement repeated ad nauseum by Slashdot socialists. It's wrong on so many levels. You guys like to think that a corporation is legally required to do whatever it takes to make a profit, and you're flat out fucking wrong about that point. But you just never let it go. One of these days you should take Economics 101.

      Remember folks, Do No Evil is a marketing slogan, not legal contract.

      Actually it's a mission statement, which most companies have. Theirs is just succinct. Good and Evil is black and white. Operating your servers in China is a shade of grey. They never said Don't Be Grey, they said Don't Be Evil. Just because you have a problem with something doesn't make it evil across the board.

      I think the China move was a smart one, I don't have a problem with it. Then again, I seem to be one of the few that can look past the B.S. and see what they actually did -- added some services for Chinese users, while leaving existing services alone. If that's evil, call me Darth Vader.
      • They aren't preventing Chinese people from getting to google.com

        Actually they do: if google can detect your country, you get redirected to the url of your country. I am pretty sure this is the same in china as it is in my country.

        This will also change the results you get: the french google will return results in a different order than the german or the english one, apparently some sort of positive bias for the right language

        There are ways around this (very annoying) redirect, but they are not easy to find f
  • by CosmeticLobotamy (155360) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:18PM (#14895036)
    Great. It's been a while since I read 750 comments with the words "don't be evil."
    • One comment with 750 "don't be evil."'s

      ******
      Lameness filter encountered.
      Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.
      ******

      Ok, ok - so that was going to be 750...
  • Does anyone believe that it's reasonable for a technology ccompany stock price to continue shooting straight up without falling down at some point? Investors should be disappointed. Not in Google but themselves for riding the rocket without wanting to suffer the crash as fuel runs out.
  • by Josh teh Jenius (940261) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:26PM (#14895095) Homepage

    What I can't understand is how it is legal for Google and Overature to continue downplaying the effects of click fraud.

    Here is one such effect: I recently spent $150 on an advertising campaign, without finding a single sale (I usually get 5-10 for $150). Later I found out why: an ex-employee who had since become a competitor already knew all of my "favorite" keywords, and was working diligently to click every ad he could find. But what happens when someone applies a DDoS-technique to click fraud? At what point would Google and Overature have no choice but face this issue head-on?

    Using only IP logs and a date stamp, any "PHP-for-dummies" graduate could eliminate 90% of click fraud overnight. With the amount of data Google has, I simply *have* to think they already know the average time "between clicks" for any given keyword/ad placement anyway, and how often the same IP will "normally" click on the same ad. Anything outside those "norms" should go unbilled. It's not as if Google is facing any variable costs per click (nominal at best).

    I don't want to believe that Google and Overature are "evil". However, I'm not really sure what alternative makes sense. Consider: Google and Overature currently have the power to (1) bill clients whatever they want (2) settle lawsuits with more ad credits and (3) use "leading technology" to justify absurd market-caps, only to turn-around and plead helpless to stop "click fraud".

    Be 100% honest for a second: if *you* were in *their* shoes, would you run to the press and say "something must be done!" or would you walk directly into an attorney's office and ask flat-out: "How much should I take before I retire?".

    • >Using only IP logs and a date stamp, any "PHP-for-dummies" graduate could
      >eliminate 90% of click fraud overnight. With the amount of data Google has,
      >I simply *have* to think they already know the average time "between clicks"
      >for any given keyword/ad placement anyway, and how often the same IP
      >will "normally" click on the same ad. Anything outside those "norms" should
      >go unbilled. It's not as if Google is facing any variable costs per click
      >(nominal at best).

      Google already does this,
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:27PM (#14895109) Journal
    Analysts and marketing gurus say that when it comes to communicating with the public and shaping its image, Google has some growing up to do. "It's inevitable that at some point [Google's technological edge] is going to be neutralized, and online search is going to become a Pepsi-and-Coke market -- that's when marketing becomes much more important,"
    Except... Google is (currently) like Wal-Mart. You can't afford not to do business with them.

    I don't think it's inevitable at all. As long as Google's results are relevant, there is no incentive to switch. Google makes sure you've got no reason to switch, by introducing a million and one free extras to tie you into their web.

    G-mail, Google Talk, Google Chat, Google Calendar, Google homepages, Google maps... and they're still innovating.
    • Webmail, online chat, online calendars, maps and homepages are google innovations????
      • No, the ideas aren't, but what you said is about as dumb as saying OS X doesn't contain any innovations because its just an Operating System. Gmail contains the conversation view, which I consider very innovative. I like the labels concept. Gmail was the first webmail service which I could stand to use (and now like better than traditional mail clients).

        I'll give you chat, Gtalk is pathetic. Calendar I haven't seen yet, so I won't comment. Their mapping tools (Earth and Local) are pretty neat, and I have ye
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Google went public when it became a corporation and sold shares on the open market. They now have an implacable stakeholder, the share owners. Their duty (by law) is now to maximize shareholder value. They can no longer behave as they did previously. If they think they can they should consider the example of Conrad Black who was brought low by the shareholders of Holinger.

    Corporations generally behave like psychopaths. The people running them may be wonderful decent people but the corporations still be
  • Fuck Wall Street. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mikelieman (35628) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:33PM (#14895150) Homepage
    Playing the Wall Street Game isn't Google's game.

    Just be glad, Wall Street, that they even let you in to play.

    • Just be glad, Wall Street, that they even let you in to play.

      Even the Google fanboy in me would be hard pressed to attempt an argument like that... It's the other way around.

  • Yes, Google will hire a mouthpiece as soon as they get tired of swimming in money. Sheesh. If the market wasn't happy with them, their stock price wouldn't be astronomical.
  • Naive (Score:3, Insightful)

    by XMilkProject (935232) on Friday March 10, 2006 @08:06PM (#14895424) Homepage
    It's sort of naive to assume that these things are 'gaffes'. There is no reason to believe that they are not all intentional.

    The article is saying these gaffes are hurting google, but personally, I'm not seeing google hurt at all... Maybe they are alot smarter than they are getting credit for.
  • but why? And who is to say or can claim with any degree of certainty that these "gaffes" were bona fide, that is truly inadvertent? Yeah, let me think, a 100MM dollar company with 5000+ employees, committing public "gaffes"... well, they must be drinking gasoline at Google! Please... I'd treat it more as mooning than anything else.. they're trying to get attention. Maybe they're expecting a worse (downward) plateu than they were hoping for in their stock price.... All those paper millionaires would like to
  • I hate marketing guys too, but suggesting that Google should have a Chief Marketing Officer to officialy lie to the public about what they do is laying it on pretty thick as to what that position is really all about.

    As far as I am concerned the people at Google should continue to do the best they can without the help of trained professionals in the art of making stuff sound better then it is.
  • Eric, oh Eric. Your time is up. A $350/share stock is just not acceptable.
  • Earlier this week suggestions that Apple needs a Security Czar, now that Google needs a CMO. Next week: Microsoft needs a good CEO, CTO, CSO and CMO, RedHat needs a Chief Hackers Officer and Novell a Kernel Czar.

    I am also looking for a job, but I'm not suggesting new (unnecessary/redundant) jobs to any company's I would like to work at.
    • Earlier this week suggestions that Apple needs a Security Czar, now that Google needs a CMO.

      You beat me to the punch. I saw this article and thought, "What, is it Backseat Driver Week at BW?" Since you're looking for a job, maybe you could head up their Redundancy Detection Department. Apparently they need one.

  • At first glance, I thought the title was Gauging Google's Giraffes ...

  • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:07AM (#14897877) Homepage
    Let me see... in the past few days BusinessWeek have suggested that Apple's recent security problems mean they should hire a security czar [slashdot.org]. And now if Google have public relations 'gaffes', obviously the answer is to hire a chief public relations officer. It's pretty clear how to create new BusinessWeek editorials:

    - Pick a company X;
    - Suggest the company has had vaguely defined 'problems' in field Y;
    - Therefore, X must hire a chief Y officer!

    I look forward to many more of these editorials linked from Slashdot in the future!
  • ...Google has problems, and instead of calling upon Google to fix them, Businessweek suggests they hire a Chief Marketing Officer?!

    If even the people who target CxOs admit implicitly that all a Chief Marketing Officer does is try to put spin on problems, then what does that say about Marketing in general?

    Mart

"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -- Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Working...