Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

There Seems To Be A Google Backlash Building ...

Posted by Tom Foremski - April 11, 2011

Foremski's Take: There's a Google backlash building and there's probably nothing Google can do about it...

You can see evidence of it in a lot of places. One recent place is Hitwise, the market research firm, releasing its numbers for market share in search during March.

Microsoft's Bing increased its market share in search to 30.1 per cent in March. And there has been lots of media coverage of this achievement.

But when you look closely, Bing grew its market share by just 1.5 points.

Why all the media coverage now? Especially since Bing has had greater gains in market share in the past but with far less media coverage.

Google definitely seems to have worn out its welcome with many of its constituencies. It has done well for a very long time but these days there is an "embattled" feel about the search giant.

- Google has been criticized by the digerati of Silicon Valley for "broken" search, that its PageRank algorithm results are overrun by spam sites.

- Google is going through a massive reorganization under new CEO Larry Page (inventor of PageRank - the key to Google's algorithm).

- Facebook is growing far faster than Google and Google is scrambling to meet the challenge. Larry Page has made every employee responsible for success in this market, anchoring 25% of everyone's annual bonus to this goal.

- Ex-Googlers are building new startups and achieving far more than they could have done at Google, which has forced Google to try to retain key people with huge option grants that reek of desperation.

- Investors aren't too enthusiastic. GOOG stock price has barely budged from a year ago and has been in a plateau for the past six months.

And there's more, its book scanning project problems; anti-trust investigations. The stuff former CEO Eric Schmidt was supposed to be "running interference" over...

Google has had a great honeymoon period but the backlash in the media is not going to abate. And there's nothing it can do about it. These things have to take their course.

Take a look at Microsoft.


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