Google Self-Promotion Over the Top?
I've been reading some criticism of Google's promotion of its own services on top of other search results. Blake Ross posts Trust is Hard to Gain, Easy to Lose and Phil Bradley says Google Admits It's Failing. Both criticize the "tips" that Google has introduced recently hawking Blogger, Picasa, and Calendar above regular results (but after the top ads, if there are any). One example that Blake uses seems especially egregious. A search for blogs.ca brings up that Canadian free blogging site, but right above it is Google's self-promoting "tip" to try Blogger.
To expand the rant a bit, I've also been annoyed by the increasing toolbar and search box promotion by Google and Yahoo!. For example, I got the following push to install the Google toolbar, along with further promotion for Google Desktop and a link to change my default home page to Google:
That image is from a fairly small browser window, which is why the toolbar ad obscures some of Google's actual search links. When confronted with such a large ad, I, for one, just decided to post my complaint rather than install a toolbar I don't want and rather than search Google when it is that annoying.
Update: As of early January, the tips are gone. See more at Tips Tipped Over.