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November 19, 2009

Are Google spreading themselves too thin?

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I know that seems like an odd statement for the most valued brand on the planet. However, I was just perusing the latest news from TechCrunch this morning and read 2 articles one after the other, the first was The Google Phone Is Very Real. And It’s Coming Soon and the second was Google Holding Chrome OS Event Thursday. Complete Overview And Launch Plans To Be Revealed. Now I realise that there are tons of money to be made from alternative revenue streams, but is Google deviating from their core business and spreading themselves too thin? Are they moving TOO far away from their core business and cash cow i.e. search?

search engine

Danny Sullivan did a series of posts fairly recently that criticise the relevancy of certain Google Results and another post with a similar theme, that is The Myth Of Great Search Engine Results. Now I have to agree with Danny on this one, either I’m expecting too much or the quality of the SERPS is decreasing somewhat. You would think that with the recent competition from Bing, Wolfram etc, that Google would be piling their resources into improving and advancing search. They may be doing that in terms of engineers and PHD’s but what about a guiding force? Most interviews or news by the big 3 of Google ( Sergei, Larry and Eric) involve wide ranging topics, from the purchase of a mobile advertising company, Google Chrome for Mac and the Google Books, not much on search.

However, I must cut Google some slack, with every advance they make in improving search quality, there are another 1000 spammers trying various very smart methods to game the system. There is also the ever increasing amount of sites being added to the web and therefore the index. Google also has to sift through these sites as well as older sites that are being given an SEO varnish.

There are many thousands of people at Google that know exactly what they are doing and I am sure they have 101 good reasons for diversifying ( not least, trying not to repeat Microsoft’s example of not identifying a potential new technology and getting involved right away i.e. the internet). But are they going a step to far?

What do you think? Do you think that by Google diversifying, they are harming search, their product that made them famous (and billions)? Or is it outside factors like social media, exponential amounts of sites being added to the index and new technologies like Ajax that is making the SERPS’s less relevant?

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No responses to “Are Google spreading themselves too thin?”

  1. Jeremy writes:

    All the time given to employees for innovative projects are coming to fruition. Google’s view is Launch early, fail fast. Let the market decide on it’s usefulness or lack thereof. Ultimately Google will provide many apps, from email to maps to search to operating systems and guess what, have more place to put their ads and leverage a great ad placement management system in Adwords. Good strategy, they are not spreading themselves too thin.

  2. Aaron Goldman writes:

    Google’s been scrambling for years and it’s proven to be a successful model. Wrote something for Media Post on this topic back in ’06…
    They sure haven’t slowed down since.

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