I guarantee that if John Markoff’s article about Google in the New York Times is correct this is what much of the blogosphere will be buzzing about this week:
On Monday, Google is planning to introduce a second-generation version of its downloadable computer search tool, Google Desktop. It will come with both personalization and software “agent” features — learning capabilities — plus an invitation for independent programmers to develop small programs to extend the capability of the system. Both capabilities are likely to be seen as further competitive threats by Microsoft, which is focusing on similar information retrieval and organization advances in its long-delayed next-generation operating system, Windows Vista. “We’re really trying to make this into a platform,” said Nikhil Bhatla, product manager for Google Desktop. As with Apple Computer’s popular Dashboard feature, the idea is that it will be simple for programmers to extend the reach of Google Desktop by adding custom applications, known as live content panels. Google executives say they plan to unveil on Wednesday a “communications tool” that is potentially a clear step beyond the company’s search-related business focus. While executives would not disclose what the new software tool might be, Google has long been expected to introduce an instant messaging service to compete with services offered by America Online, Yahoo and MSN from Microsoft.
My advice to Internet marketers? Don’t get sidetracked by reading the tea leaves about new Google products — leave that to the pundits.
As with everything Google does, it will attract incredible amounts of ink but it will take time and reflection to understand the the direct impact on how you market online. If you think about it, how have the introduction of Orkut, Gmail, Google Maps, or other recent Google roll-outs directly effected your Internet marketing strategy? Unless you are competing in these spaces, it probably hasn’t changed much.
None of this is to say that you shouldn’t pay attention to what Google and the other big players do. It’s just to point out that letting the dust settle first and then digging into the deeper impact of their strategy on your strategy is probably a smart move.
Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on August 22, 2005.