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As a professional researcher, I’m now officially and utterly fed up with Google. This week’s announcement that they are eliminating Google Reader sent me over the edge. From being a quality resource that researchers could trust, my team and I now have to operate so many workarounds to get the information we need that using it has become a chore. But we can’t stop using it – it’s terrible but it’s the best there is.
To eliminate filtering, we need to use Verbatim. They’re taking away iGoogle and Reader, and so we have to find alternatives. Personalized search means we need to empty our cache and clear cookies daily to avoid skewing our results.
Google’s emerging raison d’etre is clear: to be an ad-supported social search network. One that appeals to the 99% of the population who don’t care that what they see has most of the information filtered out. Information that’s sitting there in the vast Google cloud – and potentially useful – but eliminated, based on a person’s previous search history.
In fact, information personalization is exactly what most people want. And you’ve got to give the people what they want. But for me and others in my profession, Google has become the reality television of search, appealing to the most common denominator. With this latest announcement about Reader, like Fonzie on the television show Happy Days, Google has jumped the shark.
But I have a solution.
I want to give Google money. I want them to charge me to gain access to everything in the Google universe. Unfiltered. No ads. Just information. All of it – from Google Anguilla to Google Virgin Islands and all of the other country-specific databases in between.
I want them to let me pay for the ability to do advanced searches. Proximity searches. Date searches. Location searches. Boolean searches.
I want Google to do a deal with deep web sources like Lexis Nexis, Bloomberg, Factiva, Reed Elsevier, Bureau van Dijk, Dow Jones, and Highbeam. And federal, state, local and provincial governments worldwide. Also publishing houses, nonprofits, think tanks, trade associations and anyone else that has data of value that they want to share.
Google could become a true information hub for the future; they’ve got the brains, the money and the clout to do it. Think of it – research and information availability could go from so-last-century to the computer on board the USS Enterprise. Google Drive meets Warp Drive.
I want this for all of us professional researchers, Google. The ones who made you the number one search engine back in the day and who helped you become the behemoth you are now.
Give the people what they want.