Are we still getting good tips from Google?

The growing discussion on the blogosphere whether Google has already crossed the line of self-promoting its own products and services started out at Blake Ross’ entry on “Tip: Trust is hard to gain, easy to lose“.

Google blogger Matt Cutts agrees that it’s already kinda irritating especially when the tips aren’t that relevant or poorly targeted.

It’s actually more disconcerting especially for those companies who have competing products with Google. I went in and tried several keywords — including the search term “wordpress blog” as though I wanted to create a free blog on See what Google suggested I use instead:

Google Tip

Surely, the top spot should really belong to but Google wants the searcher to try Blogger instead. Now, that should be a cause for concern for the other Matt.

So ok, people are already used to Adsense for search but those are labeled as such — sponsored links. It’s one thing to say this link is paid for by an advertiser and another if it’s Google’s personal recommendation.


  1. says

    Google has been doing this for a while. People only started to notice this when they added the orange “B” to the message.

    I do not see this as a big deal (as Yahoo! and others also do the same).

    If this is so bad, then why didn’t people complain before when the tips were only text?

    Note: Google does similar “tips” with News, Groups, etc. I think people are only reporting this because it is a slow news day.

  2. says

    The holidays are usually slow news days (well, except for the Taiwan quake that borked our ‘net connections). Even my mainstream media contacts are emailing and texting me for leads .

  3. Frustrated Gmail User says

    What really annoys me is that if you send a meeting invitation to a Gmail account from Outlook, Gmail no longer allows access to the .ics meeting request as an attachment that can be opened in Outlook again, Gmail forces you to use their Calendar. For me, this is clearly abuse and breaking of standards since I no longer have access to the attachment.

  4. says

    Somehow, I think google is just doing things with a little bit of their business interest in mind. However, the tip’s position is somehow too prominent and may actually take away some attention from the number one search result.