Google is talked about everywhere. It is touted as the best
search engine, the best
ad provider, an
in the Internet world, an
and a very
ambitious corporation. Google, it seems, is everywhere, crafting the Internet as it will be tomorrow, an internet that will be accessible, beautiful, fast and standard compliant.
Now, dare I ask someone here to load
in a browser? It no longer is a “bare minimum” page, as it contains links to services, a “Personalized home” shortcut, three preferences links, a copyright notice and decorative features but, at the same time, it is not clearly organized, has no navigation feature, no easily found site map — does “More” really help you find your way quickly around a site?
So, it may be standard I hear you say? According to the
W3 validator, it is a complete mess, a tag soup. Is it beautiful? Well, that is a matter of taste, of course, but, beyond very nifty
error pages, Google may want to learn how to properly
Of course, you can reasonably argue that GMail is the best e-mail client ever written (I would have to believe you, for having never used it seriously), that Google Groups actually is a wonderful source of information and that the search results Google returns are best. I would agree about Google Groups and probably tag along with regards to search. And yes, Google Maps is awesome.
But don’t you find it disturbing the very company that is supposed to open up the web doesn’t open its web site, doesn’t provide a straightforward interface and doesn’t apply their wonderful scripting capabilities to their site? Google Suggest, for example, still is tucked very below the radar and the neat Dock-like effect Google played with for a day has been promptly taken offline.
Yahoo is constantly criticized for its complex site and lackluster interface, with much reason, might I add. Looking closely however, I see little difference between the Google of today and the Yahoo of yore, as far as composition and graphical creativity go.
To me, the real question is not to know whether Google can create a kick ass service like Google Maps but it is to know whether they can find ways to apply their findings to pages everyone uses. If we ever want a Web 2.0 to happen, we need to take it out of the “killer apps” and apply it to the everyday sites and situations. That is the real test and, so far, it isn’t happening.