Anyone recall the original Google mantra of Do No Harm?
It was nice while it lasted.
Now it’s digressed into a simple thuggish threat:
Ignore Google Plus and Google search will ignore you. – Google CEO Larry Page
We are hard-pressed to see the difference between this and your run of the mill Mafioso threat: Buy our “insurance” or sumtin’ bad might happen to your business.
All we can conclude from this thug-like behavior is that people aren’t using Google +. Yes, they are being forced to register for it. After all, Google has made it next to impossible not to magically find yourself with a Google + account at some point.
If you are involved in SEO to any degree you will understand the bizarre quarterly SEO algortithm gyrations that Google has been making for the last few years. These have turned Google from the friend of small business and entrepreneurs into their worst enemy. Now this latest threat comes along.
But it gets worse as Set Godin points out.
From his Is Google jumping the shark? blog piece:
These places don’t run out of creativity. You don’t jump the shark because you’re empty, you do it because there’s pressure to be greedy.
Google has been found to have hacked and stolen user data, circumventing privacy settings. They’ve recently announced that without asking first or sharing the upside, they may be selling the names and faces of people who use Google + to advertisers, to be included in endorsement ads. People expressing themselves online might soon find themselves starring in ads as unpaid, unwilling endorsers.
How does this happen? Public companies almost inevitably seek to grow profits faster than expected, which means beyond the organic growth that comes from doing what made them great in the first place. In order to gain that profit, it’s typical to hire people and reward them for measuring and increasing profits, even at the expense of what the company originally set out to do.
Every company at a certain stage ends up with two sorts of employees… some that work hard to improve the experience and value for the original customers, and some that tear down that experience and value in order to please shareholders in the short run.
This is now the perfect opportunity for another search engine to take a huge bite out of Google’s market share. Alas, the only competition, Bing, is far too inept to seize the day.
In the meantime, we recommend trying plucky little GoDuckGo the search engine that respects your privacy.
So congratz Google. You are now officially “the Monsanto of the online world.”
Facebook is a distant second because at least the smart people can avoid it.