Google May Be A Geek But It’s Socially Stupid

Now that you have watched the two videos I posted below, you know a little more about Google and Facebook and just how important the social aspect of the Internet is and where advertisers are going to spend their money.

Marissa Mayer is one of Google’s first twenty employees and is currently Vice President of Location and Local Services. This is what she said about social media and how Google missed out by leaving a big opening for companies like Facebook to fill:

“One of the things that we’ve learned is that Google hasn’t gotten social right yet. That said, social is really important; it’s something that we’re working very hard on. I think that we will get it right,” Mayer said. “I think that if you look at some of the main platforms of the Web, it’s search, video, mobile and social. We’ve done really well in three out of those four, and we’re working very hard on the fourth.”

She’s absolutely correct, Google did screw up by not getting into social media. This is of course assuming that even if they tried to get into social media before Facebook’s launch that they would even succeed. They have failed before with other attempts at being social, mainly having to do with privacy (I will discuss this in future posts).

The question that arises is how is it that Google cannot succeed in social media – what is wrong with Google that prevents it from connecting in this way? You have to look at the culture of Google. This is not a company where it respects or appreciates social aspects or public relations. It’s a company that looks down on others and there is an arrogant elitist culture that celebrates being a “geek”. It’s always about mathematical solutions, algorithms, and lots of charts. They lack the ability to make a genuine connection on a social level, a human level, with the common people. Google lacks emotional intelligence and relies heavily on computer intelligence to always show them the way.

The CEO, and one of the founders of Google, Larry Page, despises marketing or public relations. Larry Page told his, intentionally minuscule, public relations department, of just about 130 people in 2008, that he would only allow for 8 hours of his time of an entire year for press conferences, speeches, or interview.

Just 8 hours of an entire year allotted for him to interact with the public! The level of arrogance and secrecy should be off-putting to most people.

It certainly was for a former Google employee who quit the company in early 2009 out of frustration. Douglas Bowman was hired as Google’s first visual designer in May 2006:

“When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems…reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove all subjectivity and just look at the data…And that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions”  

Google simply just does not get it.

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