As long ago as yesterday we were asking ourselves whether Google is your friend or competitor and yet the new Hitwise figures that got released the day before yesterday point out that for more than 70% of the US Internet population Google indeed is a best friend. The hitwise statisctics show a 2% increase in searches over the past 2 months and a 10% increase compared to search volumes of July last year.
Where the new Googlers keep on coming from? No idea. It is remarkable though that despite Google’s huge growth and increasing success, many blogs have been reporting severe problems about Google related products and services in the past few days.
Search Engine land reported heavy complaints from Gmail users earlier this week. In Twitter one could see live how many people were simultaniously complaining about downtime of the service and log in problems. A rather unusual sight.
Then there is the story about how easy it is to fool Google News. The post points out that Google does not use human editors to pick their headlines on Google News and the author uses a personal example to illustrate this. A well edited fake news article, closely related to the true story, yet completely false, appeared on the Google News frontpage, ready to be read by hundreds of eyeballs.
There is more. Search Engine roundtable reported yesterday several complaints on Google Groups related to the hacking of Adword accounts. Fake campaigns were launched by hackers and amounted up to several thousands of dollars charged for click throughs. Google has already declared not to charge the victims, but a thorough investigation of such hacker attacks will be more than necessary if Google wants to keep up its image.
Finally, search marketer David Naylor wrote about his experience of logging into Gmail and ending up in someone elses Adsense account . So that makes one thinking, right? Has Google become too big? Is Google being under attack by malicious forces, fed up with its search monopoly? Knowing that for 70% procent of the internet population Google is an absolute best friend, they might have to watch out and deal consequently with security problems.