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Google Financial Services - are they kidding?

I don’t know about you but I’m even more confused than I normally am (and that’s not saying much). So someone please tell me, what is a blog vs. a collaborative media application? Or what is a search engine vs. a portal? It seems that every day the lines get even more blurred and today was no exception.

Google has announced its new Financial Services directory that’s reinventing its premier search engine status into an all-purpose Web site that includes free e-mail, news, photo sharing, instant messaging, shopping and mapping services. These are staples of one-stop Web sites that are commonly known as “portals.” This has sparked a fast and furious debate if Google is competing head on with its biggest rivals - longtime portals such as Yahoo and Microsoft’s MSN.

“There have been concerns that Google is doing just about everything these days but focusing on search,” said Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Watch, a closely watched industry newsletter.

Although Google dislikes being described as a portal, Sullivan and industry analysts said its new finance section leaves little doubt where the company is headed.

“They are being fairly careful about it, but they are walking very rapidly toward becoming a portal,” said Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li. “They have a lot of other services gunning for them, so they have become most keen about building user loyalty so the users don’t have a reason to go someplace else.”

It seems apparent that Google is intent on creating “stickiness” to its site to sell ads.

When Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded the company in 1998, they pledged to focus obsessively on Web search and avoid the temptation to diversify into other areas that might distract them.

“Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat,” Google once boasted. “It’s best to do one thing really, really well.”

That’s beginning to ring hollow much like it’s credo to “do no evil”.

Now that Microsoft has set its sites to knock off Google as the premier search engine, it had better get back to basics or it just might find itself another so-so reminiscing about the good old days.

Google is slipping. What, Google you say? That could never happen to Google. NOT GOOGLE!

Don’t believe me? Go ask AltaVista. You remember them don’t you?

Related Posts: blog, weblog, computers and internet, search engine, google, yahoo, microsoft, msn, altavista

Written March 22nd, 2006 by | Filed under: Search Engine Tips

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