I'm really not sure if Marissa simply drew the short straw again or if the person who wrote this text never took a critical thinking class. But in the mildly defensively titled Yes, we are still all about search is an unsupported assertion:

Google Desktop 4 gives you another way to improve search, by personalizing your desktop. New "Google Gadgets" deliver an array of information--ranging from games and media players to weather updates and news--straight to your desktop.

There's a bit of a leap in there. Do you see it?

We're told that Google Desktop 4 improves search, but that's not backed up by any evidence at all. Instead, we're presented with a non-sequitur about gadgets you can use to increase your day to day information overload.

How exactly does that improve search?

Posted by jzawodn at May 10, 2006 08:56 PM

Reader Comments
# BillyG said:

leave it to a search guy to spot that one, apples and oranges, you're right lol

on May 10, 2006 09:03 PM
# Jason Schramm said:

You're right, personalizing your desktop doesn't improve search. Unless there's a gadget that modifies search, which there isn't. I know there's one that lets you search more file formats on your desktop.

on May 10, 2006 09:07 PM
# Paul Querna said:

Do not question the press releashe^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H blog post.

on May 10, 2006 09:12 PM
# Peter said:

I know the Google Eyes and Tetris Google Gadgets aren't about search but most of the geegaws for the sidebar are about access to information of one sort or another -- stock quotes, weather, the location of the International Space Station -- which is what Google says it's about. Not sexy, and not well made, but I think that was the point.

on May 10, 2006 09:26 PM
# Jason said:

Isn't "searching" just obtaining information that you are specifically interested in from a larger pile of information? Weather gadgets most certainly do that. Media players? Yeah, sort of. Games? Hmmm, probably not. So I see Marissa's point -- "Gadgets...deliver an array of information." But I also see yours -- sometimes Google tries a little to hard to rationalize everything under one umbrella.

on May 10, 2006 09:33 PM
# Ken said:

Gadgets? Why don't they call them widgets like everyone else.

on May 10, 2006 10:04 PM
# Joseph Hunkins said:

Unless I'm mistaken the answer came from the new Google Gadget which converts all corporate commentary to "we do it all to enhance the user search experience, regardless of how hard it is for us to cash all those humongous advertising revenue checks"

on May 10, 2006 10:05 PM
# rick gregory said:

Yeah, I hate it when large companies trumpet how their widgets will help people get at information...


on May 10, 2006 10:09 PM
# chickboy said:

bitter, bitter...

on May 11, 2006 02:32 AM
# Danny Sullivan said:

They don't. But with them finally announcing so much else focused on search, I felt bad raining on the obvious "one of these things is not like the others" situation :)

Yahoo Widgets are in the same boat, of course. They aren't really search to me. But then again, both Widgets and Gadgets might evolve into some more searchlike applications. I mean, some of them do have search within them already. That's just a subset of all the apps -- but it does tie into the idea of search not just being in the browser.

on May 11, 2006 03:24 AM
# vanderwal said:

From what I heard most of the announcements yesterday did not have much that backed up their claims. I played with Co-Op and was completely disappointed as it seems to focus on mainstream media sources, which is only a slice of what I value. I like human filters, but it seems Google is not playing in that game too deeply. It could be why I like what Yahoo is doing, as well as where it seems Microsoft is heading with Live.

Yes, Co-Op is about search, but a faceted search on traditional sources. It seemed one could add their own components, but it was not simple (did not pass my test with relatives or my partial attention test). Google does interesting things that get the other players in the market to light fires under their own behinds, but it usually misses the mark with design and simplicity, but they also do not seem to iterate. Bugs stay bugs, half-built features never evolve. Clumsy interaction design does not get streamlined and affordance is a longtime coming, if ever.

Is Yahoo better? The core of the company seems to be thinking in the right direction. Iteration seems to happen quarterly (some like Flickr are close to being back to regular iterations that rock).

on May 11, 2006 06:42 AM
# Dan said:

As someone that finds most of the different search engines to be dispicable (sp), mostly in the way that they hog processor even though they say that they don't, you could say that the idea of Google Desktop 4 leaves me with the same feeling in my mouth as Rocky 4. The first one was sensational, the second one was cool, it all just went down hill from there...

on May 11, 2006 06:42 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Rick: nice try. But I don't believe Yahoo claimed that they'd "improve search."

on May 11, 2006 07:02 AM
# Mike said:

In a desperate bid to sidestep the One Trick Ad Pony award, Google unleashes "schmidgets", mini-apps for your desktop, and a concept it calls "schmagging", a way to label things to be easily found by others.

I know competitors in any industry must mimic each others' features to stay relevant in the market, but doesn't it seem like Google is just phoning it in?

Is this bundled with the *highly coveted* AcrobatReader/Firefox/RealAudio combo? :|

on May 11, 2006 11:03 AM
# Dimitar Vesselinov said:

Nick Carr has something to say:

War of the lopsided octopuses
"You've probably noticed by now that this kind of competition goes against all the basic rules of strategy. The web conglomerates are competing not by making themselves different but by making themselves the same. Not only that, but they're all feeding on the same food source: ad plankton. Either the old rules are all wrong, or eventually we're going to have some sick octopuses."

on May 11, 2006 11:36 AM
# Paul Pencikowski said:

In my "Systems World" my guru is Peter Senge (MIT). He has "Rules" which are pretty neato... Here's #1 and #2

1) The #1 reason for system failure is faulty assumptions

2) The #2 reason for system failure is *over-reliance on tools*

With Google, I see massive assumptions as to why "life is better w/Google-widgets" and regarding "tools" I see a world where problems outside the tool-space go unsolved.

What ever happened to "logical thinking"?

on May 15, 2006 10:27 AM
# Eric said:

I agree, it is kind of an absurd statement. Especially when there's certain aspects of searching with Google Desktop Search which could still be greatly improved upon.

Frankly I don't get what widgets have to do with desktop search at all, and why they don't have two separate applications, one "desktop search" and one "sidebar/widgets"? Makes no sense the way they're doing it now.

on May 16, 2006 01:23 PM
# Andrew S said:

The point of all of these gadgets/widgets/dashboards/etc is to have a search box on the desktop, such that when Microsoft adds such a thing to windows next to the start button, users won't all suddenly convert to Microsoft's search.

Now, I thought Microsoft would have added a web search box to windows about four years ago...but they are slow.

on May 19, 2006 04:11 PM
# DJ Neawedde said:

HAHA, yeah, how does that improve web search again? Google Desktop is ridiculous and it only works with Windows? Come on stick with web apps.

on May 27, 2006 06:05 PM
# Rolex Replica said:
on November 20, 2006 12:41 AM
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