Want To Know Why Google Sucks?
In this post I give just a few examples of why Google sucks.
You might not agree, but read on and let me know if I’m wrong in a comment.
Don’t get me wrong, Google is great, I use their products each and every day and they really have a lot of them. That being said, I just had to make this post to speak my mind about a few things that Google sucks at. And when I say that they “suck” I mean that they are really bad in things you would expect them to be very good. Hey Google, sorry, but it’s your fault since you do so much so well that people have high expectancy levels about everything you do.
1. User interface design and logo design
Let’s take a look at the old Google logo designs since 1998 till today. I know that there will probably be a lot of people disagreeing with me and that’s fine, but I just find that the old Google logo is so bland. The new Google logo is not that different. Over the years they have modified it slightly by changing the font and going from beveled letters with shadow to the flat design icon today, but still I don’t see the message that an icon should convey. Kind of unimaginative from a company that is so creative.
Also, I feel that Google applications have always suffered from lack of beauty on the UI side. Leaving aside the search engine, which one might argue that does not require a fancy look and feel, if you take a look at Gmail for example, it is anything but beautiful.
I think that Google always knew that it didn’t have what it takes to create beautiful UI’s, so one of the best moves they did was to hire Matías Duarte, the creator of the Material Design specs. I’m not saying that Material Design is the best thing since sliced bread, but it’s a huge improvement in the approach that Google showed regarding UI. Material design is the equivalent of iOS Human Interface Guidelines and I think it is the missing link that Google needed.
2. Application naming
Let’s say that you work for company and you develop an app that sells books. Your boss asks you to think about a name for the app and you come up with the name Books. What would you expect your boss to say. Well, in case of Google apparently somebody said “Great idea!” if you look at Google Books. Well, that kind of sucks, where is the creativity. The same goes for Google Maps.
Apparently naming applications at Google is not only lacking creativity, but sometimes things that don’t make too much sense come up. I asked a friend, which is totally agnostic of smartphone technologies what he things Google Play is about. First try he said “A place to download music?” and then, when I said wrong, he said “A place where you play games?”. Well though the second attempt was closer to the truth, it still does not make too much sense that the place where you download and install Android applications is called Google Play.
I will not go on and explain why Google Drive is also a bit uninspired – I know it started as a competitor for Dropbox, but now it’s doing a lot more than you would not expect from your “online drive”.
Google Now – I wouldn’t even know where to start to explain the relationship between the name and what the app does. It shows you things now? Guess all apps do that.
The last example is YouTube Red, the paid, ad free service from YouTube. What’s wrong with that, nothing except sounds too much like RedTube, a well known porn website. Ooops!
3. Google image search
I have to admit that technology-wise the image search is quite impressive if you look at the fact that you can actually search similar images by uploading an image directly in the search field. So why did I add the image search as a reason to why Google sucks?
Well, first of all image indexing is quite chaotic. For at least the last 7 years people have been complaining about Google’s inability to stop spammers getting top ranks in the image search results. Maybe I’m missing something, but how hard is it to figure out where an image appeared first?
Among other websites I’ve been involved in is PSDDude a website that presents Photoshop tutorials and resources created mostly by me. It’s a very image-centric website and the content is original. However, though images from my site are indexed and show up in the search results, after only a week or two they are replaced with the results from other websites that use my images (with, but mostly without permission). Either hotlinking (images linked to my site directly) or not the result is the same, my images appear in the results but link to the other sites using them. Disappointing, but that’s the way it is.
Another thing that sucks in Google images is the fact that you have to click several times on the image search results until you get to the actual image. I can imagine that Google wants to keep you on their site as long as possible, but come on! Hey Google, do you really want to get to a stage where you iframe photos from websites just to keep us forever on your site? Not nice.
4. Google Now search based suggestions
Here’s a story to explain why I think this is another reason why Google sucks. I have a mobile phone running Android and I also have an Android TV dongle. Both of them have a Google Now widget on the desktop. One morning turned on my TV and on the desktop I got stock market info for Compass Diversified Holdings (CODI). Just that you know, I’m not into the financial market in any way.
So, how the heck did I get CODI on my TV and later poping up every day on my mobile? It’s simple: I remembered trying to reach this site “coding-dude.com” by hitting enter too soon after “codi”. Did that only once, but that was enough reason for Google to think that I want the stock price every day for CODI. I really don’t and would like to know more about other things that I actually access every day.
5. Site indexing and avoiding spammers
I know that site searching is Google’s primary business and their starting point and one might argue that since they are number one they are doing a great job. I partially agree. Here’s my arguments to why I say Google search indexing sucks.
I’ve often heard that Google search indexing and search ranking is “democratic”. That’s simply not true. Considering that backlinks from .org, .gov and .edu have greater value than from other domains, and the fact that these links are often obtain via donations and sponsorship is only democratic in the big corporation kind of way. The reality is that it’s extremely difficult to make it really big on the web today without funding and without ads.
But, that’s not even half of the reason why I say that Google search sucks. I’m talking about the fact that Google seems to have a hard time to keep pace with spammers. I mean sites ranking higher due to higher quantity and not quality. Websites ripping off content from other websites will always have more content than websites actually producing content. But Google will always move up websites that publishes “fresh content” 3 times a day, even though that content is not produced by that site.
Google Search Engine Is Getting Worse Not Better
Google updates its algorithms periodically to try and make it as fair as possible for everybody. I realize it’s not an easy task and that they have made a lot of progress on this line. There is a “web spam team” at Google and you can file spam reports with them, though it’s my impression that the team is fairly small and that they try to make it difficult enough to fill in such a report such that they are not swamped with reports.
6. Google Hangouts sucks
Google’s text and voice/video chat tool is a replacement for the desktop Google Talk app that was terminated in February 2015. Replacement is not an exact word for this since Hangouts it not a desktop app and works in the browser only. But my reason for saying that Google Hangouts sucks refers to the mobile app.
First of all being logged in in Hangouts on my Samsung Galaxy S2 will drain the battery in aprox. 10 hours. So, I always have to micro-manage it. It’s true though that the latest versions seem to have improved on battery usage.
Another thing is that signing out from Hangouts is a 3000 XP points quest. You have to search for the “Sign out” button somewhere in the settings of the app, and in the last version I think that they’ve moved it again. Not too great, especially because here’s what happens for me: I’m logged in on Hangouts while on the road to “hangout” with my boss. That all works great, we can chat if there’s anything urgent, but then I get in the office and I’m on my desktop.
Whenever I get a chat my desktop blings, my mobile blings. That is very annoying Google. Because you are already telling me that due to traffic I’m going to be late for work by 5 minutes, wouldn’t it be a good use of tracking my location and figuring out that I’m already at the office and not bling-bling my brains out? Or better yet, if I’m already logged in on my desktop, why would I want my notifications also on my mobile? That just sucks.
7. Why Google Sucks At Fairplay Against Competition
“Don’t be evil” says the Google motto. Very good motto I would say, but very difficult to keep by. When it comes to being fair to competition Google, like any other “respectable” huge corporation simply sucks. And that’s not just me talking. Recently the European Commission has been investigating Google practices that violate anti-trust laws. Here’s quote from the EU Commision saying that Google
“has abused its dominant position by artificially restricting the possibility of third party websites to display search advertisements from Google’s competitors”
That does not sound too good. It actually sounds kind of evil. So, Google, don’t be evil!
8. Google Chrome updating and version numbering
Ok, now I’m going to get technical.
I’m going to talk about why Google Chrome sucks at version numbering. For those of you who are not familiar with version numbering, it’s just a group of numbers tagging a certain software so that you can identify it as to when it was developed.
Usually it’s 3 groups of numbers separated by a comma indicating the major release number, the minor release number and the patch number. Every time the software gets a patch or a new release the respective number is increased.
What’s wrong with Google Chrome version numbering? Well it’s plain weird. In my view major releases are about “major” changes in the software – pun intended. The major release at the start of 2016 was 48. Half a year later we are at version 54 in beta. Whoooa! That’s one major release every month!
Hey Google, are all of those actual major releases? If I had a major change in my life every month I would probably go insane. And that’s not all. It seems that the frequency of major releases is actually increasing. So, we will probably reach a stage where we have one major release a week and then one a day. Well, that will be fun…
And that my friend is why google sucks at managing version number assignment.
As recently as a month ago an online study created a fake social network website. Its TOS agreements required giving up first born—and users gladly consented. Also, the study said that participants also agreed to allow data sharing with NSA and employers.
10. Google Navigation and Google Maps offline
I’m referring to Google Maps, the mobile app.
I’ve often found myself on vacation abroad and bound by charges limitations on my mobile service. I think that Google Navigation is a great service and I wanted to use it.
However, I did not want to have Google Navigation download the maps everywhere I go since that would have costed me quite a lot. So, I thought “hey, Google Maps has an offline feature”. That is true, and I gave it a try.
To my surprise though Google Maps offline downloads the maps, but they are not usable for navigation. Well, how should I put that, it sucks! There’s probably a technical reason behind that, but come on Google, figure it out already.
Here it is, my 10 reasons why Google sucks. My only intention with this post is constructive criticism and to point out things that Google can and should fix. What do you think about this subject? I’m sure there are a lot of you that have at least one other item to add to the list. If so, don’t hesitate to drop me a comment and let me know what it is.
Other honorable mentions:
11. ReCaptcha Google Sucks
You have probably encountered in many places the ReCaptcha “I’m not a robot” component from Google. While very useful to prevent spam bots, it’s also very annoying sometimes when it provides challenges like identifying a store front or indicating tiles containing street signs.
I have ran into this problem multiple times and had difficulties in figuring out whether a building is really a store or not. Also, with the street signs, am I supposed to also select the squares containing the sign support feet? What about if a small corner of the street sign barely bleeds over into the next square, do I also select that?
Why Google sucks so much even at such a simple thing like captcha I have no clue.
If you think you can add to this list of why Google sucks don’t hesitate to drop me a comment.