Everyday I sign online more than once, more than twice, often more often than not. I immediately open my Firefox web browser which opens to the Google Homepage. My first two stops are always the same: I sign in to Google’s Gmail and my WordPress accounts, in that order. Then, I usually visit my iGoogle page to check my feeds and blog alerts. I then go on to search the web, depending on where I am and what I need to accomplish for that online session. In the past few years, Google has become, in most cases, the center of my online activity, providing me with news, services, and the information I am looking for at the exact time I want to find it. Below are the top ten reasons why I both love and hate Google.
10. It doesn’t test a new idea for 6 months before making it public. They let users try out by placing it in the Google Labs area of Google’s site. A lot of sites are too reluctant to post material immediately after being created. They feel it needs to be extensively tested before releasing it for public scrutiny. Google simply throws out its ideas to see if they’ll work on its real users. If it is a successful ideas, it “graduates” from Google Labs and makes its own home somewhere on a page on the Google website.
9. Their brand name has become a generic name for “search,” similarly to how the brand names Kleenex, Q-Tip, and Band-Aid are now used as the generic name for all brands of that product. Although many still use the term “search,” most individuals “Google it,” even if they are using a different search engine.
8. Google Calendar availability: I usually keep track of my conferences and appointments with my Outlook calendar, but since I have two offices, and therefore two different Outlook calendars, it just seems easier to keep track of everything on Google’s Calendar.
7. Gmail– A step above other emails. As an avid user as many different online email providers, Gmail is simply better, filtering my junk mail more accurately than any other service I have used. I also love the incorporated chat function within Gmail. AOL instant messenger is also now built into Gmail, which makes it easier if I’m using a computer that doesn’t have the AIM software already downloaded to it.
6. iGoogle– a one stop location to all of my news updates! I simply open up the site, sign in if I’m not already, and my RSS feeds, recent email and blog alert notifications are all viewable to me in one, easy to access location. To hear more about what I think about iGoogle, visit my October 2007 post, iGoogle and More Web 2.0.
5. The option of using Google mobile. Although I don’t currently carry a mobile phone plan that supports mobile online web searching, I have used these types of phones before and understand the need for web pages designed specifically for the mobile phone. After all, not all of us can invest in an iPhone right now.
4. The morphing Google “doodle,” or logo: the logo located on the main Google search page changes, depending on the time of year and any special occasions. It never gets old; I love it.
3. They are willing to adapt to change. Unlike many companies, Google embraces the new world of new media. They have the ability to evolve with the times. For example, in 2006, a survey revealed that the Chinese found it difficult to pronounce the word “Google.” Google took this into consideration and re-named it’s Chinese search engine to “Gu Ge,” which was easier for them to pronounce and would serve as a much more suitable brand name. Read more about this announcement here.
2. They are so secretive about their search engine ranking and rating algorithms. It seems they are coming up with more and more ways to more accurately rank the relevancy of websites so that their customers, the individuals searching, are finding the exact information they want to find. They consistently make statements declaring that search engine optimization does not exist and site designers should simply focus on creating an ideal site for their viewers, and yet we know that this is not true. Keep utilizing SEO, by the way, as it is more important than many know.
1. It’s everywhere. It seems that no matter where I go, I’m hearing news about Google, which I hate. They’re sucking up every good idea on the web and adding it to its list of acquired success stories, regardless of how bizarre or out there the idea seems to the market. They are always looking for ways to simplify the online life of its users, which I love.
Be sure to check out a similar list, Top 10 Google Products You Forgot Existed, in which you re-discover one of the many other Google applications and options available.
If this post interested you, then I would suggest you to read a book that outlines the “Google story” up until August of 2006, when the book, The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media, and Technology Success of Our Time, was published. Even though a lot has changed since its publish date, this book helps you to understand the Google company, so that you may better understand where Google has gone and may one day go in regards to endeavors they take on and companies they decide to purchase. This book is a must have for Google enthusiasts, Google haters, and even those with a conflicting love / hate relationship with the brand. Check it out here!