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Sunday, April 22

Google backlash, latest versions

The Google backlash now has it's own meme. amongst those contributing:

  • The New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund, who think they're blocking quotes by their spokesman, the legendary Dr John, from Google News because of their criticism around the New Orleans maps controversy.

  • The ex-owners of DodgeBall, whose SMS social networking software was acquired then mothballed:
    "The whole experience was incredibly frustrating for us - especially as we couldn’t convince them that dodgeball was worth engineering resources, leaving us to watch as other startups got to innovate in the mobile + social space."

  • The American Blind & Wallpaper Factory (ABWF), the US's biggest reseller of window blinds, whose legal case for trademark infringement is going forward. AdWords allows the use of competitor's trademarked names.

  • Three US public-interest groups who've brought a joint complaint to the Federal Trade Commission about a potential threat to consumer privacy following the acquisition of DoubleClick.

  • Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of the WPP advertising group in the UK, who also criticised the DoubleClick deal, claiming it would give Google an 83% share of the contextual and targeted online advertising market.
    "Google is a short-term friend and a long-term enemy and probably the shorter term just got a little bit shorter and the longer term got a bit closer as a result of the DoubleClick acquisition."

    "I think the DoubleClick acquisition clearly raises some regulatory issues which a number of media owners, publishers and competitors like Microsoft are very exercised about."

    He also said that it raised issues, "as to whether we are happy to let Google have our client's data and our own data which Google could use for its own purposes."
  • The Daily Telegraph, who following the recent Belgian court case where Google was ordered to stop aggregating a Belgian newspaper's content, are making similar noises.

  • Video content providers (including the TV Networks' owners) are lining up against them. AdSense is being geared up to distribute content.

  • As part of Rupert Murdoch's general clearance of competitors from MySpace, they've launched a Google News competitor.

  • The New York Times added lustre to the anti-Google meme with a feature this week.

    Complaints range from them hoarding all the talent, causing a 25 to 50 percent salary inflation for engineers in Silicon Valley, to the belief that Google is using up all the good "ideas":
    That's just the way it works in this country. Any time any thing gets too big, it eventually starts to die a slow death from the backlash that always rears its ugly head. I certainly can see why people are comparing Google to Microsoft. It does look like they are following in their footsteps… But, I'm pretty sure that Microsoft will be glad that there there is someone else to take the heat off of them.

However
this meme has history. Back in 2003, when PageRank lawsuits were appearing in the courts and people were complaining that blog posts were prominent in SERPs, Salon wrote:
Google's halo is beginning to tarnish. Much of this has to do with the influence the firm now wields in virtually every corner of the Web ... Google is so good that it's now seen, in some ways, as an arbiter of truth, a kingmaker.

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