SMBs: Google's too Big for us little guys

Friday, October 27, 2006
Posted by Brawlin Melgar

My Google Wish List

by S. Housley

There are a number of "wishes" that I have for Google's future. While I would like number one ranking for all of my important keywords and phrases, but I would be willing to settle for Google acknowledging at least a few of my wishes that will benefit the search community as a whole.

Google started out as the beloved child, a fledgling start up that was all heart, and today they are a "hated" brand. Why the fall from grace? In some ways Google is a victim of the too big, too powerful, and too successful affliction that attacks companies that achieve a level of success that few companies dream of. Now that does not mean that I am giving them a pass, they have room to improve and I really do not hate them. I just think there is a lot of areas they could improve.

I sat down and wrote an open letter to Google about my wishes and dreams for their future:

Dear Google,
Please consider the following for areas of improvement.

1. Usenet and RSS.
Please, I'm begging, (groveling if it will help) create RSS feeds for Google Groups keyword searches. Think of the value, you could monitor Usenet for company or product names using RSS feeds. This would be an extremely easy way for businesses (and Google users) to stay in tune with what is being said on Usenet and in forums about specific topics.

2. Privacy Policy.
Clarify Google's privacy policy, and tell me EXACTLY how you are going to use the aggregate data you collect. While most of us realize that the personal information collected is of little value, the aggregate data is extremely valuable. Google is an extremely powerful company, and this collective data gives them a huge advantage in negotiating acquisitions or determining trends. Many of us respect Google, its size and power, but do not necessarily want to contribute to Google's additional growth. Implement a way for customers wishing to pay a fee, to opt not to have their data aggregated or tracked.

3. Protect Your Customers.
For goodness sake, don't make it so easy for people to rip off software companies. Why do you suggest cracks or serials on the Google Suggest tool? Please help protect the intellectual property of your customers!

I login in to Writely (now Google Docs) and feel as if I am being stalked, you monitor searches, you monitor tracking through analytics, you monitor advertising through Google Adwords, you monitor money earned as a publisher through Google AdSense, and now you have connected many of the accounts together. Please give users a little privacy, or the ability to easily manage multiple logins.

5. Tell Me How Much I Make!
Clearly tell publishers what percentage range they can expect to receive when they serve AdSense on their content websites. Now, I understand that it might vary publisher to publisher, but disclose a range. Or at the very least, consider adopting a model similar to Amazon's where publishers percentage of revenue earned is based on their volume.

6. Google Alert via RSS.
The current Google alert system is from the 1990's (figuratively speaking) please offer an option to receive Google alerts via RSS feeds. I know you can setup a Google News search using RSS, it seems silly that it is not available via Google Alerts.