Opinion: Is Google Losing It? - InformationWeek

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Opinion: Is Google Losing It?

When you use Google Search on consumer and small-business products and services, Google hacks and totally unrelated sites keep popping up to the top. The problem is getting worse. Meanwhile, Google is fiddling around, creating e-mail, instant messaging and other services. Is Google losing focus?

Remember when Yahoo was just a search engine? In its day, Yahoo was the Web's best search tool, but after adding Web mail, instant messaging, news, maps, desktop search capabilities and goodness knows what else, Yahoo lost sight of its search technology. And that left an opening for Google to fill.

But now we're wondering if Google is making the same mistake. Since gaining dominance as a top search engine, Google has been adding all sorts of ancillary features, including e-mail, IM and, last month, Google Talk, an XMPP-compatible public IM server. There's a real danger that Google is losing its edge in search technology.

Nowadays, when you use it to do a comparative search on consumer and small-business offerings, Google hacks and totally unrelated sites keep popping up to the top--and the problem is getting worse. Yet instead of solving the problem, Google is creating more e-mail and IM services.

Google Talk won't set the world on fire. Businesses have little need for it--it's really a consumer product. All these ancillary capabilities may or not be good business for Google, but the company needs to recognize that its bread and butter, the search engine, is losing its superiority. Google, please, let your next project be cutting down on Google hacks.

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