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Google's (Staff) Index Poisoned by Microsoft

Rupert Murdoch - WEF Davos, 2007
Image from Wikipedia



Summary: Google makes a mistake by hiring from the company that's attacking it, but Microsoft is left without response to Google; Microsoft and Murdoch turn out to be colluding, Icahn style

ONE hour ago we wrote about mistakes of hiring Microsoft staff. Google does not learn any lessons, unless its recruiters too have come from Microsoft. Last week we wrote about Google hiring a Microsoft "evangelist" [1, 2], which is euphemism for professional AstroTurfer on the company's payroll [1, 2, 3, 4] (Boycott Novell was a victim of one who offered no disclosure). As part of "perception management" [1, 2] for Microsoft, this "evangelist", Don Dodge, was promoting Novell's patent deal with Microsoft and sometimes attacking Google. As Gawker puts it: "Will Evangelize Your Tech Company for Food" (like Andre Da Costa [1, 2, 3])



Don Dodge used to be an official evangelist for Microsoft, hyping the company's software and insulting its competitor Google. Then Microsoft laid him off, and Google hired him. Cue the bitter, flip-flopping blog post in which Dodge loudly switches sides.


There is a lot of coverage about it in the news, but most sources refuse to say that Don Dodge is shill for hire; you pay him money, then he acts as a marketer. It's like a little Scoble, whose business model is similar.

We have already warned about hiring corporate poison and forgetting what lies inside. How could Google allow itself to absorb people from the company that is currently conspiring against Google in very vicious ways? As Seeking Alpha puts it, Rupert Murdoch is being stupid and his help to Microsoft we have covered in:



Rupert Murdoch once said that "everybody in the communications business is paranoid of Microsoft, including me." Well, now it's confirmed that his attack on Google has something to do with Microsoft. A reader has sent us this pointer from BoingBoing: "Murdoch-Microsoft deal in the works"

But there's one gamble which does make some twisted sense: that Microsoft is an irrational consumer. It's easy to believe that it may spew senseless riches into publishers' pockets, radically distorting the news market, just to spite Google. In this case, Murdoch could be wringing cash out of a market he knows is doomed to implosion or assimilation. And he doesn't even have to be an evil genius, either: he just has to be smarter than Steve Ballmer.


From the Financial Times: "Microsoft and News Corp eye web pact"

Microsoft has had discussions with News Corp over a plan that would involve the media company’s being paid to “de-index” its news websites from Google, setting the scene for a search engine battle that could offer a ray of light to the newspaper industry.


This very well explains Murdoch's attack (indefensible public outburst) on Google. Let us remember what Microsoft did with Icahn against Yahoo! Microsoft uses rich people against search engine rivals.

As we showed yesterday, Google also hurts Microsoft's operating systems franchise, so Microsoft loses partners.

How Microsoft Blew Its Verizon Deal (MSFT, VZ, GOOG)



[...]

It was a huge coup: the search underdog teaming up with the largest mobile carrier to try to create some momentum in the next great digital battlefield of mobile. So why, then, is rival Google all over Droid, the object of Verizon's $100 million holiday blitz?


In what seems like a "suicidal attempt," as one site puts it, Microsoft is attempting to "change search engine dynamics."

Doing it by collusion?

This whole thing is another stain in Microsoft's reputation and the New York Times has published this item calling for a boycott of Microsoft search (see Slashdot for context).

If you search a term on Bing that is politically sensitive in China, in English the results are legitimate. Search “Tiananmen” and you’ll find out about the army firing on pro-democracy protesters in 1989. Search Dalai Lama, Falun Gong and you also get credible results. Conduct the search in complex Chinese characters (the kind used in Taiwan and Hong Kong) and on the whole you still get authentic results.

But conduct the search with the simplified characters used in mainland China, then you get sanitized pro-Communist results. This is especially true of image searches. Magic! No Tiananmen Square massacre. The Dalai Lama becomes an oppressor. Falun Gong believers are villains, not victims.


This was mentioned before and it adds to the belief that Microsoft is going nowhere in search, despite huge investments (spendings).

Several months after the extravagant launch of Bing, Microsoft executives still recommend Google.

Interop: Microsoft Exec Says 'Google Me'



A Microsoft executive speaking at Interop Thursday unwittingly highlighted the challenge his company faces in building brand recognition around its Bing search engine. The exec told audience members seeking his contact info to "Google me."


Priceless.

How does Microsoft feel about being surrounded by non-Windows users who favour Google? Truth hurts. From Microsoft's shareholders meeting:

I don’t really think this shareholders comment will come as a surprise to anyone.
All four of my kids in undergraduate got Macs. When they went on to graduate school, they all got Macs. They claim that 65 percent of college students have Macs. They claim that Microsoft, the evil empire, is stodgy on the current ad that Apple has, you all look like a buffoon.
If Microsoft are not aware of the stiff competition it appears in my opinion that atleast its shareholders are:
Just a really short question. I’m a rather new shareholder and I would like to know why Microsoft can’t beat, together with Nokia, Apple iPhone, and Google’s Android. What are you going to do about it?


As stated earlier, they lose to Linux, partly because of Google (Android). The enemy of the enemy can sometimes be a friend, even a temporary one.

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