We recently spoke to a former Googler about Google’s new “personal search” pages, which promote Google’s proprietary Google + service at the expense of Twitter, Facebook, and other social companies.The former Googler was startled by the move and described it as a “turning point” for the company.
When the former Googler worked at Google (through a couple of years ago), doing something like this would have been “unthinkable,” the former Googler says. realising that Google is now willing to do it, the former Googler says, was a “sad day.”
The former Googler is surprised that there hasn’t been more outcry over the move, especially considering the increasing regulatory scrutiny of Google’s market power.
The former Googler now works for a company affected by Google’s decision to promote its proprietary service above those of third parties, so this attitude is, to some extent, self-serving. But the former Googler’s surprise about the move does seem genuine.
As we noted last week, the move is a big departure from the idealistic “don’t be evil” vision Larry Page laid out in the pages of Playboy prior to Google’s 2004 IPO. Then, Larry specifically said Google would not promote its own results over others because this would be worse for users.
That view has clearly changed.