Google Gulps Goldfish (and Amazon Apes Google)


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Okay, Google doesn’t really eat goldfish. But “gulping goldfish” is a quaint term of derision for someone (in this case something) with loose wing nuts. And both these outfits – at least parts of them – are real spinners.

With Google, at most times on most days when you type in keywords such as “customer-alignment,” “customer-centric process,” “business/technology alignment,” or “visual workflow,” on the right side you’ll see a High-Yield Methods sponsored link to our website. Signing up for these keyword links is a purely self-service function provided by Google on a site it calls “AdWords.” Huge business for them. Huge pain-in-the-neck for companies trying to use AdWords.

I swear, I’ve rarely if ever seen a more poorly designed website. How in hell can a company that’s supposed to be the king of the Internet create such an un-navigable monstrosity? This thing looks like a product of locking a half-dozen free-lancers into closets with laptops – in total isolation from each other – and asking each one to independently build one piece of the total functionality. You practically need the code to move from point A to Point B. And yes, I do know the old saw about “shoemakers’ children,” but can you believe this from Google, which touts itself as the Grand Poobah of the Web?

But not to be left behind, Amazon is doing a great imitation of Google on its Amazon Advantage site – which would be better named Amazon disAdvantage. AA is a B2B site Amazon uses to order books and other merchandise from publishers. Because HYM publishes research, we have to use the site to pick up and confirm orders. Hey, at least this website looks like one team developed it – but a team that’s lost its wing nuts. Just confirming receipt of a simple order has regressed from confusing to requiring divine intervention. After the last downgrade, we couldn’t ship for a day while we waited for the Advantage crew to e-mail instructions – to a site we’ve been using for eight years now! And whoever’s responsible continues tweaking the damn thing, making it less and less decipherable. Can you believe this from Amazon, which touts itself as the Grand Poobah of the Web?

What a “competition” between the two – a race to achieve maximum dysfunction. And these sites are both such losers I’d have to call it a tie.

The irony of this situation keeps making me want to smile. But I can’t grin through my “user pain.”


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