The Googleverse provided a pretty entertaining cat fight this week, as well as new acquisitions, comebacks and the usual concerns.
Fed Up with Microsoft
Seemingly sick of being harassed with the patent issue, Google’s SVP and Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond, wrote a blog post calling out several of his company's rivals -- Microsoft in particular -- for attempting to use “bogus patents” to destroy Android.
Google specifically called out Microsoft for teaming up with Apple to buy Novell’s old patents, implying that they did so in order to keep them away from Google.
Microsoft's response was tweeted by Brad Smith, General Counsel: “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no."
Unfortunately for Google, Microsoft also had proof of the invitation. Frank Shaw, Microsoft Head of Communications, followed Brad's tweet with one of his own: “Free advice for David Drummond – next time check with Kent Walker before you blog.” Walker, another Google SVP and General Counsel sent the following e-mail to Smith on October 28, 2010:
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you — I came down with a 24-hour bug on the way back from San Antonio. After talking with people here, it sounds as though for various reasons a joint bid wouldn’t be advisable for us on this one. But I appreciate your flagging it, and we’re open to discussing other similar opportunities in the future.
I hope the rest of your travels go well, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
Aside from making itself look stupid, Google's slip up reinforces the idea that the company wasn't taking patents that seriously until recently.
Google unveiled its Page Optimization Service, promising anywhere from 20% to 65% page speed improvement. Currently on a free, limited trial, the service supposedly improves page delivery and loading time by distributing the load across Google servers worldwide. But at what cost?
Google's Page Speed Service combines services and applications that Google has previously offered to help site speed optimization. As the service launches, it resembles a content-delivery network (CDN) and a cloud-hosting facility, and some webmasters have pointed out that the Page Speed Service is actually more of a hosting service rather than an optimization service. However, the main point of contention here is control.
As a web publisher, will you be willing to cede control of your website to Google?
Not too long ago, Google trumpeted its real-time search as adding value to current events. Then it vanished after arguments with Twitter, but could return thanks to the rise of Google+.
While nothing is certain, Google will be looking to improve the currency of its search results again when it comes to happening-now events, rolling news and mass-interest stories. It plans to do this by using Google+ feeds along with Facebook and other services.
So, the real-time feature could return, as was mentioned at a Churchill Club search panel by Google's guru Amit Singhal, one of the best in the business. As for Google+, new features are being added all the time, and the mobile apps are out there, so if you've curtailed your interest after the frenetic launch, now may be a good time to go back and see what's changed.
A Deal with Dealmap
Google made yet another acquisition this week, this time throwing cash at a special deals aggregator called Dealmap for an undisclosed price.
Essentially, Dealmap pulls together promotions put on by a number of other websites (roughly 450 sources) and sticks them all under one convenient umbrella. Likely purchased to boost Google Offers, the Internet giant's own deal service, adding Dealmap's crowd would extend Google's reach beyond that of its current limitations -- San Francisco, Portland and New York City.
Says the official Dealmap announcement:
We believe Google provides the ideal platform to help us accelerate our growth and fulfill our mission. We’re passionate about helping people save money while having great local experiences, and in Google we’ve found the perfect partner that shares this passion, as well as our vision and strategy. We believe that joining Google will help us innovate in new and unexplored areas of commerce.