Friday, July 01, 2011

Google's Goof

These days, its virtually impossible to visit the 'net without touching, however indirectly, the usually benign touch of Google along the way. Google has become the de-facto 800lb gorilla in the search space, and seems on its own inexorable path to dominating its own little corner of the electronic world - with few missteps.

Until now.

In what was surely viewed as an innocuous change to its web search interface, Google introduced on Thursday (30 June) a new design to its erstwhile simple and unobtrusive web search page, now featuring a particularly unaesthetic black bar across the top. In a word, ugh.

It didn't take long for blogs, help engines, and message boards to take to the net and air its displeasure with the ugly black nemesis, along with at least with instructions on how to get rid of it.

To now, Google has been innovative, brusque, and unrelenting in its effort to dominate the web. And, for the most part, users have greeted their web tools and offerings with generally open arms. But not this part. Like a gang of hungry movie reviewers eager to jump on a Pixar flop, Google users around the world are pounding on this ugly misstep. Some have already jumped on the black bar as Google's own "New Coke" goof - and in the history of marketing flops, that puts Google's decision in a very dark historical light.

The question is, will Google heed the masses, and at a minimum make the ugly toolbar user-configurable? Or is this issue going to emerge as a next-step in what some perceive as Google's arrogance?

Lower the bar, Google. In fact, just get rid of it.

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