Google: Advertising Company & the Corporate-Mandated Focus
It is always interesting to hear people's rationale about leaving or joining a company. Yesterday a former Googler hit hard with "The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus." James Whittaker criticizes Google's heavy-handed move into Google+ and social networking to increasing ad revenue via learning more about its users.
It is an interesting and seemingly very honest soul baring. "Google+ and me, we were simply never meant to be. Truth is I've never been much on advertising." He ends by giving Google a -1.
James is not alone. The recent Search Engine Use 2012 survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project reports that "73% say they would NOT BE OKAY with a search engine keeping track of your searches and using that information to personalize your future search results because you feel it is an invasion of privacy." See also Danny Sullivan's analysis of the report.
On the other hand, I can see where Google's new emphasis and concerns originate. Facebook is changing the way the web operates. James Fallows' article in The Atlantic "Facebook, Google, and the Future of the Online 'Commons'" provides a great overview of those issues. If you have some time for search engine reading, this combination of links will likely pique your interest.