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.
It’s not that I hate Google. I’m not a hater. 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.
On your Android devices you can say “OK Google” and the device will listen for voice commands. But, did you know that if you say “OK Google you suck” it will ask you to give feedback? I have to admin, that’s pretty neat.
OK Google, you suck! And here’s my feedback to you
1. I Hate Google’s User Interface Design and Logo DesignTweet Reason #1 Why Google Sucks
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.
Besides my daytime job as a programmer, I’m also a graphic designer. I don’t pretend to be the top authority in logo design, but let’s take a look at this:
Did you know where the Google name comes from? It comes from googol, which is what mathematicians call the number written as a 1 followed by 100 zeros.
Well, if the logo is a reference to that number with a lot of zeros, I have to ask this:
Why are the “G” and the “e” in the Google logo not based on perfect circles like the “o” is? Why does Google suck so bad at logo design?
I know what you will say: What does this guy know?
But listen, if you think I’m the only one that though the new Google logo sucks, let me show you something.
Google released their new logo on September 1st, 2015. There was even a doodle for the new Google logo. Now, let’s take a look at the following graph from Google trends.
Google Sucks Search Trends
There’s a spike right between August 30 and September 5 2015, when the new logo was released. This shows that people were searching for “google sucks” about 100% more times than usual. Coincidence, I don’t think so.
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. I Hate Google Application NamesTweet Reason #2 Why Google Sucks
Why does Google suck at naming their applications? Why do they seem to lack any kind of imagination in that area?
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 SearchTweet Reason #3 Why Google Sucks
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 suggestionsTweet Reason #4 Why Google Sucks
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 popping 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.
Google now was removed from service in October 2016 and replaced by the Google Assistant.
5. Site indexing and avoiding spammersTweet Reason #5 Why Google Sucks
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 obtained 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 sucksTweet Reason #10 Why Google 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.
Google Talk is no longer available. It was first replaced with Google Duo (another great name) which was later replaced in 2022 with Google Meet – a feeble attempt to compete with Zoom and MS Teams.
7. Why Google Sucks At Fair-play Against CompetitionTweet Reason #7 Why Google Sucks
“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 numberingTweet Reason #8 Why Google Sucks
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 offlineTweet Reason #10 Why Google Sucks
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 SucksTweet Reason #11 Why 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.
12. Google Wallet Is Now Google Pay Send. Android Pay Is Now Google PayTweet Reason #12 Why Google Sucks
I already mentioned that Google sucks when it comes to naming apps. But, they’ve done it yet again. In February 2018 Google changed the name of their payment apps from Android Pay to Google Pay, and from Google Wallet to Google Pay Send.
I got this info from former head of the webspam team Matt Cutts saying that there are probably memes running in Google about this:
“Wait, they’re renaming the payment stuff again? So Android Pay is now Google Pay, and Google Wallet is Google Pay Send? I wish I could see the internal memes about this.” (Matt Cutts Google+)
13. Google Search Engine Is Getting Worse And People Are Looking For Google Search AlternativesTweet Reason #13 Why Google Sucks
People have been complaining about Google search for quite some time now. You might think that this is very subjective, but here’s some evidence from Google trends. A lot of people search for Google search alternatives right on Google. Here’s the latest trend for DuckDuckGo search engine:
Please note that this chart shows percentage. You can clearly see that the trend is going up quite fast. I’m not promoting DuckDuckGo, but I think that competition is always good.
14. When Google Goes – It Goes Down With A BANG!
On December 14, 2020 Google was down. Virtually ALL of Google’s services including YouTube were affected.
The error was due to lack of storage space in authentication tools causing system to crash. Google has suffered a worldwide outage, with failures reported across the company’s services, including Gmail, Google Calendar and YouTube. Beginning at about 11.50am GMT, the outages appeared to have affected the vast majority of Google’s services.
What is really amazing is that the company’s automated systems reported no problems for any services for the first 30 minutes. At 12.25pm, the company published an update, saying
“We’re aware of a problem … affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access [Google services].”
The outage was caused by a failure in the company’s authentication tools, a Google spokesperson said, which manage how users log in to services run by both Google and third-party developers.
“Today, at 3.47am PT, Google experienced an authentication system outage for approximately 45 minutes due to an internal storage quota issue,”
– Google spokesperson said
15. Google Search Algorithm Updates
Google regularly updates their search algorithm, presumably to make improvements.
That’s all fine, but sometimes their timing really sucks. For example, their major update at the end of 2020, they decided to kick out right before Black Friday and Christmas.
Why is that a problem?
Well, for preparing this algorithm update, they suspended manually submitting URLs for indexing for more than 60 days. 60 DAYS?!?
Can you imagine the disaster this spelled for businesses that prepared landing pages for their Black Friday and Christmas offers? They were unable to submit them for indexing, and basically some of them got indexed in time some of them not.
16. Google Filter Search
You probably never realized this, because you use it so often. Under the search bar you have the quick Google filter search tabs. It’s a way to only search results within a specific type of content. This is sometimes referred to as “term by method” and in the Google search URL parameters you will find this as the parameter
tbm. This parameter can be one of the following:
- All – tbm missing; this is the default filter, searching all types of results
- Applications: tbm=app the search is done within applications only
- Blogs: tbm=blg used for searching blogs
- Books: tbm=bks will search in Google Books
- Discussions: tbm=dsc will only search within discussions
- Images: tbm=isch does an image search
- News: tbm=nws searches within Google News
- Patents: tbm=pts search within patents
- Places: tbm=plcs search for places
- Recipes: tbm=rcp does a recipe search
- Shopping: tbm=shop searches for shopping products
- Video: tbm=vid searches a video
This is all great, so why would I say that Google sucks? Well, these search filters are great, the only problem is that Google will not list them all and in the same order. 90% of the times, the order will be “All, Images, News, Videos” and this creates a so called “muscle memory”. This means that most times, users search for a result, then click on Images for example to look at the results.
Google knows this very well. Because they know this, they sometimes change the order and instead of images you will get Shopping for example.
Do not think this is by accident. Do not think this is only to “improve” user experience. This is a conversion “trick”. They want to push users towards buying.
17. The Feedburner Google Mess
Google Feedburner is a product that allows you to subscribe to and aggregate RSS feeds for a better reading experience. Lots of websites have been using this service including websites I manage. You can use Feedburner to allow users to subscribe via email to RSS feeds. Once subscribed, users receive email updates with the latest content of the RSS source.
However, as with other products, Google decided to pull the plug and Google will stop Feedburner. Starting July 2021 email subscriptions for the service will not work anymore, killing a huge part of the product’s usefulness. This means that hundred of thousands of websites that were using RSS email subscriptions through Google Feedburner will have to find a Feeburner alternative and make changes to their websites.
Why Does Google Suck? – Conclusion
If you think you can add to this list of why Google sucks don’t hesitate to drop me a comment. Also if you are interested in critical analysis about other platforms, you can check out my other article about the many reasons why Facebook sucks and why it’s one of the most toxic social network.