Googlewatch – updated

Posted February 2, 2009 in strategy  |  No Comments so far

Before Christmas I suggested that Google may have reached its apex during 2008, especially as it had, for the first time, allowed a dubious new feature – SearchWiki – to infiltrate the product that sits at its core – search.

And over the weekend, Google spent an hour saying that every site in its index was potentially harmful. This was the result of human error – namely, someone listing a harmful site with the URL “/” and this being treated as a wild card across the whole index.

I don’t really subscribe to the view that this was an apocalyptic error on Google’s part, but I do think that, like SearchWiki, it’s a small but significant example of the fallibility of Google search. And for a company with Google’s visibility, perceived fallibility can be every bit as harmful as actual fallibility.

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