For two years in a row now, Google has gone back on major promises it made about search. The about-faces are easy fodder for anyone who wants to poke fun at Google for not keeping to its word. However, the bigger picture is that as Google has entered its fifteenth year, it faces new challenges on how to deliver search products that are radically different from when it started. In the past, Google might have explained such shifts in an attempt to maintain user trust. Now, Google either assumes it has so much user trust that explanations aren’t necessary. Or, the lack of accountability might be due to its “fuzzy management” structure where no one seems in charge of the search engine.
Interesting post, centering around this idea:
Reversals aren’t bad; it’s the failing to explain why you changed your mind that is.
Reeks of arrogance. Imagine the coverage in The New York Times, or WSJ, if Apple made these reversals.1
That’s not to say Apple doesn’t make reversals — they do, and do so frequently. ↩