If you’re not a Googler, please ignore this post.
Okay, it’s just us Googlers now, right? I’m sure you’ve seen Danny Sullivan’s post about 25 things he loves about Google and 25 things he hates about Google. If your service got a shout-out on the love list, congratulations. There’s a ton of stuff that Google is doing really well, and lots of groups listen to what our users want and work hard to make that happen.
But: the list that everyone should mull over is what Danny hates. You’ve been handed detailed bug reports (for free!) from one of the foremost experts in search. Bug reports? Yup, that’s how I’d treat them. Sure, I’d disagree with a few (#3, #4, #9, and #16 are the ones that I’d respectfully disagree with the most). But the criticisms that Danny gives should be addressed, even if the issue is mostly perception.
The blessing (even if sometimes it feels like it’s not) of working at Google is that everyone has an opinion on Google and what they want Google to be doing. Of course we’re working hard on core search quality. Of course we’re working on great products. But I implore you, gentle Googler, to listen to users, webmasters, advertisers, and publishers whenever you can. Find out what issues are hot with our user support team. Browse the feedback from the “Dissatisfied” link. Read the feedback we’ve gotten on how to improve our products, search quality, communications, webmaster-related ideas, webspam, and miscellaneous feedback. We’ve been collecting feedback for years, and if you talk to users on a regular basis, it keeps you grounded and working on the right things. We don’t always have the time or cycles to fix every issue that a user asks about. But we should always strive to. And when a someone outside Google tells us something that they wish were different, we should look for scalable, robust ways to tackle it.