Google Housecleaning more than a Cost-Cutting Exercise
The first rule of business is that you do not compete with yourself. Those who staunchly believe in this, however, often find themselves overtaken by rivals they never saw coming. Competition inside a company and a questioning spirit about doing things better are crucial to development, innovation and, at the end of the day, bottom line health.
Google is one company which believes in both questioning its own practices and competition and it has never been shy of experimenting. At any given time a number of lab experiments are carried out in Google. Quite naturally some of these lead nowhere, though they provide valuable expertise and, in other cases, they are overtaken by initiatives from other parts of the company. The ‘killing off’ of Google Video and Google Tags, announced this month, is just such an example.
When Google started the Google Video service YouTube was a competitor site which Google desperately wanted to beat. In 2005 Google acquired YouTube which has since become one of the most visited websites in the world and Google Video began to look like an anachronism whose time has simply come.
Google Tags is a similar case. It was the familiar red tag pin which would appear on Google maps and include information and details input by a user, about a place. This work is now done much better and in a more organised, verifiable way by Google’s Boost service which puts little blue pins on Google maps. Google Boost ties in beautifully with Google Places, which helps Google provide a place on the web for local business even if they have not got a website.Continued on the next page