Google: 3 strikes and counting

Google ruffled online feathers last week, three times:  1) “Do You Google?”Un-Googley public admonishment at the official Google blog warning the world about using Google’s word, “Google,” the wrong way:  While we're pleased that so many people think of us when they think of searching the web, let's face it, we do have a brand to protect, so we'd like to make clear that you should please only use "Google" when you’re actually referring to Google Inc.

Google ruffled online feathers last week, three times: 

1) “Do You Google?

Un-Googley public admonishment at the official Google blog warning the world about using Google’s word, “Google,” the wrong way: 

While we're pleased that so many people think of us when they think of searching the web, let's face it, we do have a brand to protect, so we'd like to make clear that you should please only use "Google" when you’re actually referring to Google Inc. and our services.

Usage: 'Google' as noun referring to, well, us.
Example: "I just love Google, they're soooo cute and cuddly and adorable and awesome!"
Our lawyers say: Good. Very, very good. There's no question here that you're referring to Google Inc. as a company. Use it widely, and hey, tell a friend. 

Usage: 'Google' as verb referring to searching for information via any conduit other than Google.
Example: "I googled him on Yahoo and he seems pretty interesting."
Our lawyers say: Bad. Very, very bad. You can only "Google" on the Google search engine. If you absolutely must use one of our competitors, please feel free to "search" on Yahoo or any other search engine. 

REACTION? 

John “The Search” Battelle: GOOGLE PLEASE, No f’ing way.

2) “Amazon to Google: Hands off our trade secrets” 

Google’s underhanded, hypocritical move to snare direct competitors into revealing confidential, proprietary details of competitive operations to the “do no evil” Google is temporarily thwarted in the courts by Amazon:

Google will apparently do anything to ensure its $144 billion market cap free-content by Google's “fair-use” business model steam rolls on.

Google is using the courts to force Yahoo, Microsoft and Amazon to hand over their proprietary, confidential, competitive information to Google in a shrewd, Google-centric ploy in its efforts to fight copyright lawsuits over its book-scanning project…

Google is asking for confidential information from its rivals that it doesn’t disclose itself.    

REACTION? 

Me: Rather than “do no evil,” a more apt Google slogan is “has no shame.” 

3) Google-ComScore "Big Brother" routine?

Google, in collaboration with ComScore, is tracking the online activities of people to aid in the sale of its new video ad products, according to The Washington Post

People who visited the AutoTrader.com site this summer were shown an image of a Volvo sport-utility vehicle advertising the car for lease at $389 a month. ComScore placed "cookies," or tracing files, on the computers of visitors and tracked how many typed the word "Volvo" or "Volvo SUV" into a search box weeks or months later. During the Web campaign for the Volvo's XC90, Google said 39 percent of Internet users who were exposed to the ads later conducted online searches for Volvo cars.

REACTION? 

Mathew Ingram: “Is Google flirting with the e-word?”: 

Who is helping comScore put this little package together? Why, your friend Google. 

Does that seem just a little bit evil? It does to me… 

I know that Google has to find ways of making its ads more relevant for advertisers. Not only is AdSense click fraud a potential cancer eating away at the heart of the massive Google profit machine, but the company obviously wants to expand into new markets, and so it has to find ways to convince advertisers that its advertising works. I just wish it didn’t have to look over my shoulder and watch what I’m doing — and then give it all to an advertiser — without telling me. 

What will Google come up with next?

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