Is Google Enterprise Search a joke?

Why can’t Google make any serious money in Enterprise Search? I asked Google’s point man just that yesterday, at the Enterprise Search Summit in New York City.

dm51707g.jpg
Why can’t Google make any serious money in Enterprise Search? I asked Google’s point man just that yesterday, at the Enterprise Search Summit in New York City.

(See Google to big business: Google love belongs in the Enterprise!)

Just as he did not have a convincing answer, Google does not have a winning Enterprise Search case.

While the two-day event is touted to IT managers as the place to be for “learning strategies and building the skill sets you need to make your organization’s content not only searchable and findable,” consumer search king Google was not only the talk, but the joke, of the Enterprise town.

From keynote information expert insights to blustery IT consultant pitches, Google was a target of derision, an unusual position for “everyone’s favorite garage band” to be in.

From an “I don’t want to be lucky in enterprise search” allusion to the “silly” consumer facing “I’m feeling lucky” button at Google.com, to a Googzilla pastiche of Google’s Sergey & Larry founding duo, Google Enterprise was not accorded the hero’s welcome Google’s YouTube has become accustomed to.

No need to worry for Google, though. The company actually touts that Googley consumerization of the Enterprise is the “serious” way to do business search, as Kevin Gough, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Google Enterprise reasserted yesterday at the Summit.

Google to big business: Google love belongs in the Enterprise! I reported on the Gough presentation yesterday.

Shouldn’t enterprise love be of the tough variety though? No, Gough held up YouTube (surprise?) and MySpace as examples of IT innovation to be emulated in the enterprise!

Perhaps Gough didn’t get the Google memo that “recreational” YouTube and MySpace are deemed NOT to be enterprise friendly, banned by the U.S. Department of Defense, in fact:

The Defense Department will begin blocking access "worldwide" to YouTube, MySpace and 11 other popular Web sites on its computers and networks, according to a memo sent Friday by Gen. B.B. Bell, the U.S. Forces Korea commander. The policy is being implemented to protect information and reduce drag on the department's networks, according to Bell.

This recreational traffic impacts our official DoD network and bandwidth ability, while posing a significant operational security challenge," the memo said, AP reports.

Is a Google to the enterprise consumer rescue really a winning strategy? No, but it is the only one Google can “seriously” have, given the Google Enterprise products are rooted in Google consumer products, which Google proudly underscores.

Everyone loves Google: Bring Google search love into the enterprise therefore, to ensure employee happiness, such is the core selling proposition of Google Enterprise Search, augmented by slides showing how the Google Enterprise Search product actually looks and feels just like the beloved Google.com.

I asked Gough how Google will specifically be able to significantly grow Google Enterprise revenues, given the core products have 1) low price points and 2) no services income stream.

Gough asserted the low price point of Google Enterprise offerings make them a “natural extension” for Google’s existing small business AdWords customers. Google continues to rely on word of mouth buzz, as well, he said.

Sounds like the same pitch CEO Eric Schmidt is using to upsell AdWords customers to Google Radio ads!

Google Radio Ads: NO match for AdWords I analyzed yesterday.

AND Google Enterprise can NOT win with small business AdWords customer upsells.

UPDATE: How Microsoft battles Google in Search warfare

ALSO:  Google vs. Microsoft Office? NO: vs. Open Office (.org)! and Is Google Office really an enigma? and Google user data cloud: Do you trust it? and Google Apps goes Enterprise Professional: $5000 please