Short Honk: Google and Expedient Abandonment

February 1, 2015

It happens to husbands and wives. It happens to do good project. To see how Google deals with abandonment, navigate to “Never Trust a Corporation to Do a Library Job.” There are two operative words in this title: Trust and Library.

The article documents projects with academic merit that Google has kicked to the curb. The shift from do good to make money began in late 2006 and has accelerated since the miracle year when Google was at the peak of the finding hill and heading for a thrill ride.

Read the article. I want to highlight a couple of statements in the article that amused me:

  1. “In the last five years, starting around 2010, the shifting priorities of Google’s management left these archival projects [Groups, Books, News Archive] in limbo, or abandoned entirely.”
  2. “Even Google Search, their flagship product, stopped focusing on the history of the web. In 2011, Google removed the Timeline view letting users filter search results by date, while a series of major changes to their search ranking algorithm increasingly favored freshness over older pages from established sources.”
  3. “The Internet Archive is not Google.”

So what?

For the young at heart, research in Google is not comprehensive. The information may not be findable even it it is in the index unless one knows some old school query methods. And Google faces a future in which mobile devices threaten the growth and profitability of what was the spawn of Backrub.

No big deal. Just interesting that “experts” are surprised at Google’s morphing for money. I anticipate more antics. Apple, after all, earned more in 12 weeks than Google did in 12 months. And the Xooglers at Facebook seem to be on to some advertising methods that on the surface at least look promising. Google is doing the balloon thing. Oh, abandonment is present as well.

Stephen E Arnold, February 1, 2015


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