Google, are they turning into the new Microsoft?
When I first started using google (I was the first person I know to do so) it had a wonderful brand personality (The Goooooooogle images were one great touch). It was renowned for being a great tool designed by students, which made searching so much easier.
However now I worry that they are simply turning into the next conglomorate. They produce lots of useful consumer tools, but they appear to be fleecing businesses for all they can get.
The google ad words system, whereby businesses pay to appear on search results is the big point here. Their new system has just appeared which pushes the already massive costs of using the system even higher under the guise of improving results for consumers...but it is most effective at raising costs.
Google are literally printing money with ad words, some terms make them over £10 per click; with up to 10 people advertising on that one term. Yet:
Google know a large number of their clicks come from competitors clicking terms to raise other competitors costs. But they tend to ignore it.
They allow dodgy ads on terms. Including those which quite literally steal chunks of other sites to make money. Helping consumers?
For the particular terms we use, we currently find other search engines to be upto a quarter of the cost for the same results!
Google know they have so many visitors they can keep raising costs as much as they like; but in doing so they are seriously risking their brand image. I hope they see sense soon.
[Ironic of course that Blogger is owned by google...]