Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Interview with Google CEO about Blogger purchase

As all of us keep scratching our heads about the Google purchase of Pyra Labs (former owner of Blogger), a recent interview with Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO, was intended to perhaps shed some light on things.

When asked in the AlwaysOn interview about the prime reason for the purchase, the response was:

"What we really bought was a team. With these little companies, the asset that you get is the knowledge in the people's heads, and that's what we care about. They will be enormously creative in the next few years."

"The next step in general for information is the self-publishing part. If somebody takes the time to write something, having Google understand that is very important to that person. So if you view the world as one person at a time, getting that person, that author to understand that we value, we index, we search, and we care about their information is a very important part of our strategy."

So, Google seems to be saying they wanted Evan Williams and the other Blogger creators as part of the Google team, and they want to lend some sort of importance to what everyone has to say. I'm sorry, but I don't think I buy any of this. Does anyone really think that "I had a cheese sandwich for lunch" is important? We refer to blogs that go through the daily humdrum of someone's life --what they had for lunch, for example --as "cheese sandwich" blogs.

Search engine strategy isn't about making everyone out there feel good because whatever inane thing they say is picked up and indexed by Google. Why? Because the importance of a search engine is from the searchers viewpoint. A search engine is a tool, and a very important tool at that --perhaps the single most important tool anywhere on the Internet. If I do a search on "cheese" I want to know how cheese is made, or the history of cheese, or the relationship of cheese to Wisconsin. What I don't want to know about is the cheese sandwich someone had for lunch.