I thought Google was a search company…

Hmmm, I thought Google hired all the world’s smartest search-engine experts. Don’t they have a few PhD’s hanging out at Google? So, please explain these results as of 11:15 p.m. PST:

IceRocket, two links to the InformationWeek article about Google’s new business service offerings.
Sphere, 57 links
Ask.com, 33 links
Technorati, 9 links (and their numbering is off)
Google’s Blogsearch: zero links. <<– Google, your blog search is an embarrassment. It’s at the top of TechMeme right now (if you click on the options on TechMeme, you can turn on a search bar where you can click on blog searches around the Web).

UPDATE: Yahoo went even further and just turned off its blog search altogether and says “it’s retooling.”

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Google sticks its toe into enterprise waters (is Google hiding from bloggers?)

Remember on Friday when I was talking about big-company PR? Yeah, Google went to the New York Times to leak tomorrow’s announcement of new business-focused services. Information Week got a good look too. It’s already at the top of TechMeme.

Hey, lookie here, 107 news stories about the exact same thing. On a Sunday night, even! I had no idea so many journalists were even working on a Sunday. (Hint: they aren’t, this was written Friday and held).

OK, most of that is big-company news sources. See how this works? One, or a few reporters get an exclusive, then everyone has to jump in too.

So, I figure since it’s Google that the blogs would be all over this one. Over to Google blogsearch I go (I like Technorati better, but this is a story about Google so you’d figure that they’d get at least a few bloggers to talk about it, right?)

I can’t find a single blogger who got leaked this information along with the big-city newspapers.

Surely they’ve given Mike Arrington or Om Malik an early look, right?

Nope and nope.

UPDATE: Om says he was invited to be on the beta, but turned it down because he didn’t like the privacy disclosure.

How about John Battelle, search engine expert who wrote a book on Google. Surely he has the inside track, right?

Nope. He had to learn about it from a spammy mail sent to customers.

How about Danny Sullivan, most important influential in the search industry? (According to Google’s founders). Nope.

Dan Farber? He writes for ZDNet (professional press, surely he got in on the news) and covers Silicon Valley like a glove. Nope, he’s reduced to linking to Information Week.

Damn, did we all piss off Google PR or something or are they trying to hide something?

Well, hope that PR strategy works for Google. In the experiences of other companies that have gotten lucky enough to get all that PR it really doesn’t work out all that well unless the influentials also back up the hype.

The funny thing is that at PodTech we’re actually using most of the “Google Office Suite.”

I hate it. It isn’t even in the same ballpark yet as having an Exchange server.

Maybe that’s why Google didn’t want to show it to influentials first. They’d tell the big-city press crew to take a pass on this until it at least gets close to Microsoft’s enterprise offerings.

And, yes, I am meeting with Google this week to show them just how far off the mark their offerings are in the Enterprise space.

Please note: that doesn’t mean Microsoft should sit back and celebrate. They are gonna get their ass kicked in this space because of their lack of attention to the Macintosh. That’s the #1 reason I’ll probably be using Google’s stuff over the next year instead of Microsoft Exchange, Outlook,ย and Entourage.

But more on that another day. For today Microsoft is safe from the Google onslaught.

When Google starts showing normal everyday bloggers (not even self-important jerks like me, but the “z list” that no one usually cares about) their stuff, then Microsoft should worry big time.

If I were a product planner, I’d be hanging out at Apple stores

I just had an evil thought. In every Apple store there’s several computers setup where you can get on the Internet, play around, basically do everything you want.

What if Apple were logging everything you do and studying that for marketing information? After all, they would be able to predict what Web 2.0 sites were getting popular before anyone else.

But, even if you don’t log what’s going on, just watching over the shoulders of people tells you a lot about what people do on their computers. I just took a quick tour of the store here and saw Friendster, 123 Greetings, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, some sort of Oracle email app, Google maps, and Yahoo messenger being used.

UPDATE: On second tour I saw two different people using Bebo. I never have used that before. Looks like a nice blogging/social networking tool. Lots of people are using Google and Yahoo to search for travel sites. I saw both Travelocity and Expedia up on screens. Three people here are using MySpace. One guy is surfing YouTube.

I bet if I stayed here all day I’d get a pretty good read on what people are actually using.

If I were planning a new Web product I’d send teams of people to Apple stores all over the world to do market research and just hang out in the stores and watch what people do on their computers.