Is it me, or is Google becoming really frustrating? As an active Googler and advertiser I have become particularly sensitive to the way Google has started bombarding me from left, right and centre without giving a whole lot back in return for the poorer user experience. The most frustrating part about all of this, is that there really is not a lot of choice when it comes to alternatives. Let me elaborate..
Google Peeve Number 1: I got snubbed!
Yes, I am going to bring a personal interaction from a Google “account manager” into this blog and air my dirty laundry! I used to spend BIG with Google having run paid search at other gigs. And that afforded me an account exec (not always local), but, never the less, they made an effort, and that was nice. Recently, having consulted with a new start-up, I contacted my former rep and asked him to help me out with some menial account management. You know what he did? In 3 short sentences and a hyperlink (to the public support forum) told me that we simply did not have enough spend to justify account management (that hurt).
Contrast this with Yahoo (who also run Bing paid search), we sat down with a person, had a conversation and laid down a plan about how to spend more money with them! Lovely! So, in the great words of that super annuation commercial, “compare the pair”. One treats me like dirt, and makes me feel like a needy lover always coming back for more even though it is unhealthy, and the other wants to have a relationship with me, but is too immature! The worst part of this situation is that I can never leave (because Google has custody of advertising kid), and I see no way of resolving this without further reinforcing the negative elements of the Google advertising system (by spending more cash).
Google Peeve Number 2: Youtube Pre-rolls
I love to go to sleep by putting on some relaxing sleeping music and streaming it from Youtube (perhaps too much information?), but just as I get into bed, just as the video stops buffering, my low heart rate is spiked by some obnoxiously loud commercial that thoroughly sobers me and makes me jump out of bed to mute it! It seems like any time you want to stream anything from Youtube these days you have to endure those pre-rolls that you absolutely have to watch or wait to skip! Fine Google, monetise your monopoly of video content too, but what do I get for sitting through the ad, that I didn’t get when Youtube was good?
Google Peeve Number 3: Search Results
I am not a fan of personalised search. Which is what Google has been doing more aggressively over the last couple of years. Storing browsing history, levering social media signals and pushing what is popular up to the top of the results page. Sure, Wikipedia comes up first for most factual searches, but is that enough? Why show me what is popular, rather than what is worthwhile first? They are not the same thing. Clearly, displaying a popular result will yield higher click through rates and more revenue, but is that really the right thing to do?
Perhaps I was naive to believe your “do no evil” spiel Google, perhaps I really hoped for more from you, or perhaps it is the fact that I have been spending too much time with Billy Tucker, but I tell you this much… My default search engine right now is Bing! And I will suffer through it out of spite!