Google’s Customer Service the Worst in the World?

I love Google, you love Google, the whole world loves Google, but that love is unrequited–at least when it comes to Google’s customer service.

It seems that Google believes it can provide enterprise level services without actually offering enterprise level support. You won’t be shocked to learn that Google Apps suffered an outage AGAIN this week.

A Google official posting status updates on the Apps forum wrote that the problem affected “a small subset” of Apps users, without being more specific.

A “small subset?” Google Apps is reported to be used by more than 10 million people! If that small subset were just 0.1% of users, that left 10,000 users with no access to email, calendars, or documents for about 15 hours!

Google Loses Mad Money on AOL Investment; Maybe it Should Hire Jim Cramer?

I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a stock picker. If I invest in a company, invariably the stock price declines. It seems I share my talent for destruction with Google.

AP is reporting that Google has filed notice that it believes its $1 billion (5%) investment in Time Warner’s AOL unit is a dud.

[Google told] the Securities and Exchange Commission that the 5 percent AOL stake that it bought in 2005 “may be impaired.” Impairment is an accounting term used to describe an acquisition or investment that has eroded.

“There can be no assurance that impairment charges will not be required in the future, and any such amounts may be material,” Google said of its AOL investment.

AdYouGoogleTubeWords

First let me tell you that I am not a big online video viewer. When I allow myself to get sucked into the world of YouTube I will look for things like obscure music video from the way back machine. It’s the stuff that could only rarely be seen before the internet made everything seem normal and commonplace.  That’s fun for a bit but after I have let 30 minutes slip by without doing anything other than staring at the screen I feel a bit useless.

Well, appears that Google is really making a push to make sure that my “downtime” is productive for its advertisers. In an article aptly titled “Google Goes Gaudy With YouTube Ads” NYT reporter Saul Hansell looks at the less than subtle technique being used by YouTube for our “benefit” so we can see even more “Ads by Google”. I don’t know about you but I get chill bumps at the prospect! Hansell states:

Google Trends Spin Off Google Insights for Search

Google Insights for Search is like candy for Internet marketers fascinated with Google. It will surely lead to hours of searching and plotting. We are very interested in getting more information about how, why, and when people search the web. Google Trends was already useful but Google Insights gives much more information.

If you run a paid search campaign, or if you’re looking for ideas for a press release, or figuring out where the bulk of your customers come from, Insights could be particularly insightful.

I typed in “fundraising” and found that Vermont is the state with the most searches and the top search relating to fundraising is “fundraising ideas.” Here are some more ways you can use Google Insights for Search.

Google Sells off Search Marketing Division of DoubleClick

Last March Google acquired DoubleClick and it’s affiliate and search marketing arm Performics. That sent some chills up the spine of a lot of companies who saw it as a conflict of interest. Today it was announced that Google is selling a part of Performics, to Publicis Groupe, one of the top four global advertising companies.

Just this June Google rebranded Performics to the “Google Affiliate Network” but seemed to have done little else with the division. That was a relief since Google is the world’s largest search engine and they owned a company who tried to get their clients to the top of search results.

Pilgrim’s Picks for August 6

The big news in Raleigh, NC? The daytime high for this weekend is expected to be 84F! Time to grab a scarf!

Here are today’s delectable Picks:

New Google Insights: Fact or Fiction? You Tell Me

Google has announced the latest iteration in its quest to provide more analytics–Google Insights. Building on the recent updates to Google Trends, Insights offers better filtering, related keywords, keywords with “rising” popularity, and a global heat map.

It’s a smorgasbord of data.

Google claims Google Insights is…

“…a new product designed with the advertiser in mind. It provides more flexibility and functionality for advertisers and marketers to understand search behavior…”

I think it will appeal greatly to those of us that don’t have access to more comprehensive market research–which is probably 99% of us–but I’d caution building your entire marketing campaign around the data provided by Google Insights.

For example, take a look at this data for the keyword “iPhone.”