Google Calls Operational Pause On Products & Yes, New Rollouts Were Hurting Search


Google Puts Lid on New Products
from the Los Angeles Times is great news
from Google — Sergey Brin leading an attitude change of "features, not
products" to get Googlers to improve what they already have rather than push out
new stuff. From the story:

He said the campaign started this summer when Google executives realized
that myriad product releases were confusing their users.

"It’s worse than that," said Brin, Google’s president of technology. "It’s
that I was getting lost in the sheer volume of the products that we were
releasing."

Pretty honest — and even more so was this:

Google admitted this year that its internal audits discovered that the
company had been spending too much time on new services to the detriment of
its core search engine.

Like I said, good news. It’s what I was hoping for when I did my
25 Things I Hate
About Google
post earlier this year. From the opening to that:

Google’s purchase of Writely sort of drove me over the edge last week. When
I saw the news confirmed, I exclaimed out loud to myself, "Oh, give me a
break." A break from what, freakishly talking to myself? No, a break from
Google going in yet another direction when there is so much stuff they haven’t
finished, gotten right or need to fix.

Honestly, if Google wants to be as "ubiquitous as brushing your teeth" (see
here from October and here earlier this month), then they need to make sure
the Google toothpaste tastes good or that you can squeeze it out of the Google
toothpaste tube (beta) without it getting all clogged up.

I normally loathe Google-specific articles, because the constant "Google,
Google, Google" obsession of such articles continue to put the
Marcia
Brady of search
in the spotlight when the Jans of the world deserve
greater attention. They also tend to credit Google too much or blaming it for
problems that others have, as well.

Despite that loathing, I’m making a personal exception this time. Perhaps a
little Google fixation will be just the cathartic experience I need to cleanse
my jaded search soul. Consider this an open letter to a company I’ve been
writing about since before it was formally a company, a to do list of things
it would be nice to have completed, a hope for an operational pause in the
land grab it has embarked upon.

Of course, Google’s had a flurry of activity over the past two weeks. How’s
that mesh with the entire improve features versus to do products mantra.
Scanning our headlines, actually pretty well. Here’s what’s completely new:

Here’s what’s been improved:

So far, improved is well beating new stuff — and that’s just looking at
items we actually blogged about.

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