Jeff Jarvis says Google is not the enemy but for many it’s also clearly not a friend. Panelists yesterday at Digital Hollywood’s Advertising 2.0 conference cited $Goog for creating an environment in which consumers expect that information and entertainment will be free, and for confusing the idea of capturing and engaging consumers, getting them involved in a marketing message, brand and the like. “Google is the culprit, they’re not interested in engagement,” said Jonathan Klein, CEO of Getty Images. “You come in, and then go out.”
This, just a couple days after The Wall Street Journal’s article on the Justice Department taking a closer look at Google’s deal with publishers to put books online, in the context of a broader push toward antitrust investigations in the technology industry. Clearly, a portion of Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s job is going to be focused on battling Washington, and wooing the advertising and publishing industries. And, of course fending off competition from a host of companies and products like Microsoft’s Bing that are, in the words of Warren Lee, Venture Partner at VC firm Canaan Partners, trying to “out-Google Google.”
For most though, though, Google is simply an “is.” It has to be dealt with and understood. Its analytics are useful for those who want at least an entry-level solution for Web analytics. Its search, and sometimes its ads, and office tools can be used to good effect -- again, especially for those who don’t need large enterprise solutions, or don’t have large staffs to build them. It has a valuable, if not highly diversified, business model, and a model that is not the panacea for media, but rather a component of some media businesses.