We have to talk.
Yesterday, a friend of mine, Philipp, wrote a great article about Google Shopping.
It’s smart, far-sighted, well-written – a must read.
And I totally disagree.
He says: “There was no need for merchants to optimize their selling processes and increase their conversion rates because of the free traffic from Google’s vertical. Free traffic means free acquisition.”
First: the use of Google shopping never was simple. As a merchant, you had to structure your information, fitting it into Googles taxonomy, optimize pictures and so on.
Second: every website gets free traffic and won’t sell anything without optimizing their processes.
The crucial point is: is a product so different from information, news and services?
When I am searching for something, I want you to show me the best results. It doesn’t matter if I am searching for shoes, Edgar Allen Poe or cat content.
In other words: Google, you started selling search results.
I never expected that. For years, I was so proud saying: “Google can’t surprise me!” But you did.
And what are you saying?
“We believe that having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date. Higher quality data—whether it’s accurate prices, the latest offers or product availability—should mean better shopping results for users, which in turn should create higher quality traffic for merchants.”
Oh, of course:
“it is not what it looks like!”
“I never wanted to leave you for somebody else, but I think it’s better for YOU!”
That’s too harsh?
You think I take this too personally?
Well. We had a very intense (maybe, a little bit one-sided) relationship for over six years now. I always defended you when critics raised concerns about you, your increasing power and the danger of misuse.
You proved them wrong.
Of course, you ARE powerful (and it makes you sexy…) and you earn a lot of money, but besides all these superficialities, you are a great search engine.
You know, I am an information scientist. Yes, nerdy. For me, search is not business in the first row. It is about information management, information retrieval, user experience, needs and solutions. It is awesome. And your search was awesome.
You made some mistakes in our relationship. Such little things like replacing “Video” with “YouTube” in your video search. But you know: real love means patience, tolerance and forgiveness.
But you ruined it.
Google+ was the beginning of the end.
Google+ is not a good product. Sorry. But you made two big mistakes:
1. There was no unsatisfied need Google+ could fullfill. The solutions where already there. So, if your product isn’t new or needed, you need a good marketing.
2. Your marketing didn’t work. Okay, you started running commercials. But believe me: nobody sees you as a social plattform, a cosy little hobby room where I can meet friends. No. You stand for public information and insufficient data protection. You are the chatty friend that can’t keep a secret. “Talking about my private life on Google+? But they took a photo of my house! That’s enough!” Your commercials where beautiful. But they couldn’t change the way people see you.
Once again: for me, search is not business.
You disagree? Well, then meet your friends in your own social network. They are all there. Every f*** online marketing guy is “active” in Google+, because they know, they have to. You force them. Google+ increases your rankings increases your income increases your influence…
Enforced friendships… mmhhh…
Google, you are smart. Very smart. You went to highschool, for sure.
I have never been in an american highschool, but I know them from movies.
There are so many movies about these guys who are totally incompetent in social relationships, self-absorbed, rich and spoiled. But every time they throw a party, a lot of people are there.
That’s not about friendship. The cinema audience know: it just because their pool is bigger. Because their daddies are influential.
But these people aren’t real friends.
Google, you can find your friends on Google+.
I am out. Meeting some friends.
There is a lasagne in the fridge.
Don’t wait for me.