This Week's Spin On Google - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
2/16/2006
02:44 PM
Tom Smith
Tom Smith
Commentary
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This Week's Spin On Google

It's been a fairly typical week in techdom, with much of the news focusing on Google, including several strategic initiatives that, if successful, will expand the footprint of the company's search technology. Of course, Google and several competitors came under Congressional fire for their responses to Internet censorship by the government in China. Among this week's key developments:

It's been a fairly typical week in techdom, with much of the news focusing on Google, including several strategic initiatives that, if successful, will expand the footprint of the company's search technology. Of course, Google and several competitors came under Congressional fire for their responses to Internet censorship by the government in China.

Among this week's key developments:

  • The news: Consulting firm BearingPoint is forming a group dedicated to integration of search technology into specific vertical industries. As such, Bearing Point is elevating search to the stature of ERP and CRM.

    My spin: The best news of the week involving Google. Search (and not the Google-specific variety) will ultimately be more important and more valuable than these software behemoths because it's a step in the direction of order and greater intelligence about business, while being a step away from the chaos these other systems so often create. Getting search tuned to the specific information needs of your industry could be a huge advance.

  • The news: Google bought the blog measurement tool vendor Measure Map.
    My spin: It's apparently a small deal since the value wasn't disclosed, yet we shouldn't dismiss the potentially wider significance. Google clearly recognizes, even before some mainstream Web sites, that blogs are now a primary means of expression -- and reporting -- for the Internet audience. The lines between blogs and other forms of content are blurring, and by making an aggressive move in this direction -- aimed at helping publishers get more value out of their blogs -- Google only accelerates that trend. You can't be a legitimate web publisher without a real blog strategy.

  • The news: Google allied with Vodafone Group PLC to offer search capabilities on the latter's Vodafone live! 3G mobile service.
    My spin: Mobile phones increasingly serve as the interface to data services, while mobile computers are ever more central to end user information and web access. Google could bring some order if its search technology becomes the de-facto interface to content through mobile devices (and it already has a similar deal with Vodafone rival T-Mobile that increases the chance it dominates in the medium). I would be first in line for a phone that, when in data mode, is preset to the Google search interface.

  • The news: Google, Cisco, and major Google competitors Yahoo and Microsoft came under fire in a Congressional hearing for complying with Chinese government requests that have been widely deemed objectionable. In Google's case, the company blocked politically sensitive terms on its new Chinese site.
    My spin: Pity the Google executives that need to reconcile what's going on in China with the company's informal "Don't be evil" motto. But I'd also ask whether, by doing business in China, Google is turning a blind eye to the situation there to any greater extent than the countless other U.S. and non-Chinese companies that are profiting in the Chinese market. What do you think? Should Google and its competitors be held to different standards as it relates to competing in China than other U.S. companies? Weigh in at our poll.

Finally, on my question from last week of whether the security controls in Google Desktop's enterprise version gave your fellow readers the confidence they needed to deploy it, most said no. More specifically, 46% said no, 26% said yes, and 28% were unsure. There were 436 responses.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
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