free html hit counter Back When Juju Was Freely Shared... | John Battelle's Search Blog

Back When Juju Was Freely Shared…

By - April 05, 2009

Matt reminds us of a timeretro-links1.png when Google used to promote its competition just in case you didn’t find what you wanted on Google. Can you imagine such a thing happening now? My, how the times have changed.

It’d really be a shock to see this attitude now, and Matt’s post reminds me how common it was back then to point to competition. Sad, in a way, we have lost something as the industry has “matured.”

To compensate, Matt points to a greasemonkey script that brings the juju sharing back. Not that anyone will use it, of course (I mean, really, the number of folks who actually install scripts is probably less than those who use advanced search.)

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7 thoughts on “Back When Juju Was Freely Shared…

  1. ty says:

    Type GOOG into Google and you’ll see Google linking to multiple competing finance sites.

    Neither Yahoo nor Live does anything of the sort when you type a stock ticker into their search engines.

    “Juju” was never “freely shared” by anyone except Google.

  2. Shakir Razak says:

    Hi,

    ty, Have you thought that might be down to algorithm and market-share:

    Yahoo seems to point to enough alternatives beyond Yahoo-Finanace:
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=goog&ei=UTF-8&rd=r1&fr=yfp-t-501&pstart=1&b=21

    finance is also a specific vertical.

    There’s nothing to stop Google doing this again, yahoo used to have a policy that still applies to get users to the relevant website as soon as possible wherever it may be (i’ve been referred to google assets by Yahoo! often enough), and Ask? (at least in the UK) still offers links to look up queries on alternative engines.

    The same thing happened to bloggers when the late-comers/money-chasers got involved, except that such people don’t realise that when you offer such “idealistic” transparency you add value to and trust from users – the type of thing that helped google to get where it is with all the “warm and fuzzy”.

    If enough people cared, and built up a groundswell, I think it’s of nominal cost that google wouldn’t be ideologically against doing it – and they’d still be able to earn revenue by the Adwords-alternatives!

    Kind regards,

    Shakir Razak

  3. Hey ty, try searching for GOOG on Yahoo. Or searching for YHOO; it doesn’t return a Google link, but it does return an MSN link in the top three results.

  4. Bertil says:

    At that time, Google was trying to force people into comparing websites, because they knew their service was better and the other sites and more users. By offering that option, they became the engine to go to because it was both nice, and was closer to the other engines — draging enough attention to force the other engines to either do the same and show their technology, or avoid it, and be fled by users prefering the possibility of choice.

    I don’t think that was “being nice” as much as inserting a well-calculated wedge.

  5. What I find more interesting is the CustomizeGoogle Firefox extension, which not only allows you to re-route your query to other engines, but also blocks all ads on Google sites. Google obviously doesn’t support it, but it doesn’t care enough to block it or shut it down either. I’ve noticed that the latest version of the Gmail interface breaks it, but I doubt that’s deliberate.

  6. JG says:

    I’ve said many times here that Google should not only offer this sort of easy switching, but should actually let you run your query side-by-side with any other engine of your choice, so you can see the results yourself, in real time.

  7. Yes, I — in a very intimate way — remember when GOOG indexed and referred to the competition. Oh do I ever…