Interesting post over at Insta-Glenn’s place.

Normally, I’d not bother; his usually ARE at least of some level of interest, and he gets basically all the links I’ll EVER get, in one day, and thereby doesn’t need the help.

In this case, though, I think he’s hit on something that’s going to need some additional attention. This is something that affects us all; readers writers site managers webmasters, and so on.

He quotes an article over on :

Taken in a vacuum, a fairly trivial thing happened a few days ago. The co-founder of Firefox, Blake Ross, wrote a post criticizing Google called “Tip: Trust is hard to gain, easy to lose”. He takes issue with a new Google search feature that promotes certain of their own products over organic search results. See Google searches for Calendar, Blogging, Photo Sharing and others and see Google pushing Google Calendar, Blogger and Picasa, respectively, above what is supposed to be the most relevant results – Google search. Even a search for Yahoo Calendar has these Google results above the obvious destination the user was searching for.

I say this is trivial incident taken in a vacuum because, quite frankly, Google has every right to promote their own products on their website. But I think Ross’ post may be a sign of a change in attitude towards Google that’s been percolating for the last year or so, and is beginning to manifest itself. The fact that a highly respected entrepreneur finally spoke out should be a wakeup call for Google.

He goes on to repeat his comments of awhile back that trust in Google has been declining for a long time now. He seems to think, and I agree that local should be taking this a lot more seriously.

But, then, he makes a rather strange comment; which is why I open my editor at all on this issue, tonight;

He says all you needed to take your business elsewhere than Google is to type a different URL. and perhaps, just perhaps, that is the reason that Google is making this move just now. With about 3/4 of the known world having Google’s toolbar up on the top of their browser, by virtue of its cooperation with another monopoly, Microsoft, the ability of Joe Average to “take your business elsewhere” is somewhat more complex than it might be.

It’s true enough; all one really has to do is type in the other URL, but given the convenience factor, and the factor of habit, as well as the factor of Google’s reputation, (a reputation they seem willing to sully in an effort to capitalize on it)… how many people will? Google is clearly gambling that it won’t be all that many.

Then again, Yahoo and AOL made such a gamble not long ago, as well… as the Techcrunch writeup suggests.

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