The last two days in the search world have been interesting and pathetic all at once. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version. Google caught Bing copying Google’s search results. Bing said it pretty much does that then denied it. Both companies look childish and make many people realize that this kind of activity is really search insider stuff and the rest of the world could give a crap.
Thankfully Google has been talking about some innovation beyond their core search product. In fact, it’s starting to look like Google is piecing together a semi-social offering that goes across some of its strongest products of Places and Maps. The emergence of Hotpot and even the reintroduction of Latitude have put all of the pieces in place to be neatly bundled together to create a powerful recommendation engine (that’s if you can get your friends to get involved).
The problem? It’s still not a mass market offering despite the nice videos and such that Google puts on its Mobile blog like this one.
I hope Google does get it some day. It’s funny that for all the credentials that are required to become a ‘Googler’ that they have so little understanding of people. Nothing new I know but their apparent unwillingness to make their offerings more accessible to the wide market pretty much ensures that Facebook will continue to clean their clock and maybe even sneak in and take the Places crown at some point. Who knows?
So as Google reaches beyond search and the petty sniping that it seems to be thriving on in this Bing fiasco, I hope they figure out how to speak to people and create products that we can all use.