The “Ten things Google has found to be true (archive.org)” list is an interesting view into some of the ideas that drive Google. It was first put online in 2001 and starts with a great title: “Never settle for the best” and goes on with a list of ten things that Google seems to find important. (Silly me, I thought those “10 things” lists started when Digg came up :-) )
I wonder how things have changed since the list was originally put online. Is Google sticking to it’s ideas, slightly changing them or changing some of them completely?
For sake of completeness: here are the links to the two documents I am comparing (I will only list the differences that seem to make a difference or changes - or even unchanged text - are interesting to look at):
Old: GOOGLE TODAY
New: Our Philosophy
It looks like the list has grown up, from a short lived status report to “Our Philosophy”. That’s quite a big step.
Yes, it makes sense. But is Google really giving up numbers for text? :-)
Old: Google does search. Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat.
New: Google does search.
This is actually mentioned in the footer of the current version. Horoscopes? I haven’t seen that directly from Google. The next big step?
Old: Innovations like Google’s spell checker and the Google Toolbar, which enables users to search using Google from any website, make finding information a fast and seamless experience for millions of users.
New: Our dedication to improving search has also allowed us to apply what we’ve learned to new products, including Gmail, Google Desktop, and Google Maps.
Old: Google’s entire staff is dedicated to creating the perfect search engine and work tirelessly toward that goal.
_New: As we continue to build new products* while making search better, our hope is to bring the power of search to previously unexplored areas, and to help users access and use even more of the ever-expanding information in their lives._
A slight change with the new products, but that’s to be expected. It’s interesting to note that they explicitly mention Gmail, Google Desktop and Google Maps - are those the Google showcase-applications?
Old: Google found thousands of networked PCs to be faster.
New: Google found networked PCs to be faster.
Why no thousands? Are they up to millions now?
Dropped: Another recent venture by Google into mobile computing is an effort to integrate Google search into BMW’s new line of Internet-ready automobiles.
I wonder if that was dropped before or after they dropped the site from the index? I guess it’s just a technology that looked neat at the time but was not ready for prime time.
Old: Google is a business, and a profitable one.
New: Google is a business.
Old: The revenue the company generates is derived from offering its search technology to companies like Yahoo! and the WashingtonPost.com and from advertising sales based on keyword targeting.
New: The revenue the company generates is derived from offering its search technology to companies and from the sale of advertising displayed on Google and on other sites across the web.
Things change ;-)
Constant: However, you may have never seen an ad on Google.
I really wonder where you would have to go to not see an ad on Google.
Old: That’s because Google does not allow run-of-site ads that appear indiscriminately on every page of our results.
New: That’s because Google does not allow ads to be displayed on our results pages unless they’re relevant to the results page on which they’re shown.
Constant: Google firmly believes that ads can provide useful information if, and only if, they are relevant to what you wish to find.
Old: Text ads that are properly keyword-targeted draw much higher clickthrough rates than flashing banner ads appearing randomly.
New: Google does not accept pop-up advertising, which interferes with your ability to see the content you’ve requested. We’ve found that text ads (AdWords) that are relevant to the person reading them draw much higher clickthrough rates than ads appearing randomly.
So now we have flashing banner ads, but not appearing randomly or in pop-ups. Pop-ups traded in for flashing banner ads … is that better or are both just annoying?
New: Thousands of advertisers use our Google AdWords program to promote their products; we believe AdWords is the largest program of its kind. In addition, thousands of web site managers take advantage of our Google AdSense program to deliver ads relevant to the content on their sites, improving their ability to generate revenue and enhancing the experience for their users.
Old: … the ability to search more than 330 million images …
New: … the ability to search billions of images …
Stepping up to the next level. It’s hard to beat billions, but I suppose in a few years they’ll have to revise the text again.
Removed: What Lies Ahead - Google’s pursuit of the perfect search engine has lead down many interesting paths, not all of which were obvious at the outset. Spell checking, automatic result translation, image search and integration into automobile internet systems all flowed from Google’s goal of making information available to everyone, anytime, anywhere. As Google continues to innovate and iterate on its breakthrough technology, expect more improvements in the way you find information - or information finds you. Whatever is to come in the way of search technology, you can be assured that Google is working to make it faster, more accurate and even easier to use.
This was just a general outlook, it does not belong in their “philosophy”.
The more things change … the more Google stays the same. Some numbers have changed, products have been added, but the general direction and the general philosophy seems to have remained. Is there any other large company that is even remotely similar? Is Google just too hard-headed to fit in with other world-wide corporations (and will have to adapt sooner or later - or has adapted already and just keeps the front up?) or is this a strategy that could be followed by other companies as well?
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