Jack Yan
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The Persuader

My personal blog, started in 2006.



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01.04.2011

Someone’s doing something right inside Google

The troubles with Google that I’ve faced—privacy breaches, Ads Preferences Manager not honouring its claims, fighting for six months on behalf of a friend over a deleted Blogger blog, Chrome being buggy (but not nearly as badly as IE9), phantom entries in my Google dashboard, unanswered messages—would suggest, to anyone studying business or a graduate from B-school, that there is something very, very rotten inside the company. It’s being evil.
   Judging by an article I linked yesterday from Techcrunch, there probably is something rotten.
   It’s sad to see that Techcrunch didn’t have the ethics to keep an off-the-record comment off the record—it even plays an answerphone message on its site, which I am sure its speaker never intended for broadcast—but it does make an interesting guess of the company’s internal problems.
   I’ve heard of similar things second-hand and, in at least one case, first-hand, but this one illustrates that the problems could be at quite a senior level.
   With all the internal politicking going on, a few people are doing their jobs correctly, and honouring Google’s commitment to its users. In 2010, I named Rick Klau at Blogger as being one of them. I reckon the other has to be Matt Cutts, whose initiative to cut down content mills and Google-spam I applauded some weeks ago as being one of the company’s right moves.
   Matt has done his job so well that it has cut down even Google’s own content mill, the Google Places site.
   He deserves even more applause because he’s not singling out his own employers for special treatment, which means, as far as the rest of us are concerned, we face a level playing field getting on the site.
   He’s even stated, ‘Google absolutely takes action on sites that violate our quality guidelines regardless of whether they have ads powered by Google.’
   What is interesting is that it has pissed off certain people inside Google, who have become accustomed to the search engine biasing results toward itself—something it has admitted on some occasions, contradicting its stated policy on other occasions. Élitism much?
   Among the content mills Matt’s team has targeted includes the sites of Demand Media, who I had a run-in with as well over contradictory terms and conditions and the company’s refusal to respond. (In fact, it continued to pester me to integrate an account I had with a firm it had acquired even though, legally, under its own terms, I could not.)
   Reading the Techcrunch piece, Matt Cutts is a hero for fairness and for running things exactly the way netizens expect. Some commenters agree. He might even be the guy who saves Google from being an élitist, unethical monster. He’s done exactly what he set out to do, and Google needs to realize that if it is to recover any mana for its misdeeds of the past few years, it has to clean its own doorstep first.
   If the article is correct, other Google senior staff—Nikesh Arora, Marissa Mayer (who has already revealed that Google publishes biased results)—are part of the problem, and why Google is so desperate to violate its own stated policies repeatedly.
   And if that off-the-record comment on Techcrunch is accurate, then Marissa Mayer probably believes that users are stupid. Way to earn that goodwill, Marissa.

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Filed under: business, culture, internet, leadership, politics, publishing, technology, USA—Jack Yan @ 23.45

4 Responses to ‘Someone’s doing something right inside Google’

  1. Guardian angel says:

    You have got to be the most retarded blogger in the world today. Those were all April fools posts that you’re referencing. Something is very wrong in your brain, not at google.

  2. Jack Yan says:

    So why did the Techcrunch piece come out on March 31? You do know that April Fool’s pranks come out on April 1, right? You know, like my post?
       A post that was written after most people wrote comments that it was an April Fool’s gag?
       Why did you think I used so many ifs and if the article is correct? Precisely for people who come into this later. People like you who might not get it.
       Or why I mentioned in the piece previous to this that the incident passed for humour inside Google?
       However, the main points still stand, because it was a fabulous way to highlight the issues that have gone on inside Google. The ignoramuses are those who like to think that all is well inside the Googleplex. Looks like I’m responding to one right now.
       Thank you for being the most retarded commenter in the world today.

  3. jaklumen says:

    “Guardian angel”? I would say more “Guardian boor“.

    I figure “Guardian boor” is probably unaware or willfully ignorant of the full context of your other posts, which you know I have been following and have responded to in various ways.

    I say “boor” because I think developmentally disabled folks, or “retards” if you will, often display better manners. Whether or not “Guardian boor” is right or wrong about your fuss over posts believed to be April Fools pranks, I say the boorishness remains. An April fool indeed, although not on April Fools day.

  4. Jack Yan says:

    Thank you, J. G. A. seemed to have an overdeveloped sense of exaggeration. And you are right, those with developmental disabilities are better mannered.

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