Monday 27 Apr 2009
Spring has sprung! Time to beat the rugs, shine the window glass for the best view of the explosion of new life outside; time to mop, scrub and dust all of those elusive corners inside that you let slide all the sleepy winter long. Time to get your house spic and span, in keeping with the season of new leaves turning and new sunshine lighting up all the once-dark places that deserve your special attention right now so that you and your house are greeting the world with a bright springtime face.
Google’s house in Mountain View is 6 years old as of 2009 and it has begun to show signs of both aging and, I’m sorry to say, neglect. As Mike Blumenthal’s most recent article on the gunk and debris in Google Maps illuminates, it is to be feared that our Google has become that distasteful thing Mother warned you never to be – a slovenly housekeeper.
Google reports that it has recently put safeguards in place to prevent future spamming of the kind we have witnessed on so outrageous a scale in the locksmith and florist industries, and yet, all past pollution continues to sit in the 10-packs and maps. As Mike says:
Local data is hard enough to get accurate when all the players are honest and focused on that goal. However, leaving this detritus in the index takes the quality to a new low. As I noted in a previous post, when the plumbing breaks you don’t just seal the leak in the pipe you clean up the mess from the broken sewage pipe.
As I see it, Google has been trying to keep house without a vacuum cleaner since the inception of Maps. Now they say they’ve got one, but apparently, they only intend to clean up future messes. They’re going to let yesterday’s dirt lay on the floor, indefinitely. You and I and Mother know, that’s no way to keep house! I mean, really…yuck.
And the trouble with a slovenly housekeeper is that everyone who enters her abode is made to feel uncomfortable and dirty. They hurry home to take showers. Did you see the smudges on that silverware? I wouldn’t eat at her house if you paid me! And what about those strange, seedy people that seem to have taken up residence in half the rooms of her house? I feel like I’m forced to rub elbows with criminals whenever I have to go there. Heavens!
Or, in the case of the local business owner, being included at a Google house party can mean losing as much as 75% percent of your business if your data is incorrect or hijacked by one of those criminals dwelling in the back rooms of Google’s local index. I get that 75% figure directly from a business owner I was speaking to just days ago, and we’ve heard other figures of 60%, 50%, 30%, etc. All because the businesses found themselves in Google’s house, without invitation or warning, trying to swim in a tide polluted with the flotsam and jetsam of accidental error and intentional sabotage.
Google’s plumbing is broken and their house is a jumble of neglected past messes. Google is an incredibly busy chatelaine with dozens of keys and duties to manage. They have to prioritize and schedule their attentions – we really do understand. Perhaps the winter has been a hard one with too many irons in the fire to properly manage all.
But now it’s spring! Come on, Google! Start beating those rugs until the spammers fall out. Start vacuuming up those musty corners where hijackers and criminals are crouching in the unseemly dust of your 6 year old house. 6 years isn’t so many. There is still time to save your reputation in the local community. It will take major elbow grease, but in the end, your local neighbors could be saying of you, “Google’s house is so clean, you could eat off the floors.”
What are you waiting for, Google? It’s a great bright day to begin.