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  • Writer's pictureNick Hague and Paul Hague

Is Google debasing its offer?

In all our discussions about customer experience we emphasize the importance of delivering the perfect offer. The offer has to be at the right price, the right quality, the right availability all wrapped up with delivery with a smile. And yet, life is not like that. Even companies that offer brilliant customer experience have setbacks from time to time. Some even have setbacks as part of their offer.


How many of us enjoy a good film or show on the television and are annoyed when it is broken up by the adverts? Those adverts drive us nuts. It's not just that they interrupt the show, it is the banal repetition of the adverts that makes them irritating. Sometimes they make you want to scream. And yet, we accept them because it is part of the offer. We know that without them, we would have to pay more for the privilege of watching.


We can remember when you did a search on Google and up came a clean list of results. But, Google, like the commercial TV companies, has discovered the wonder of adverts. Digital adverts on Google push paying companies to the top of the search list disturbing the objectivity of what we are looking for. Google's search results are also coming with more images. These get in the way of what used to be a truly free service and frankly spoil the experience.


This said, we still keep using Google instead of alternatives such as Bing (Microsoft's search engine). And what about DuckDuckGo? You are probably scratching your head and wondering what the heck that is. Well, we quite like it because if you type "b2b customer experience" into DuckDuckGo, our website comes up on page 2 (why isn’t it on page 1 we ask?) Put the same string into Google and you won’t find it in the first 20 pages. Who has the patience and interest in looking that far when doing a search? And yet, we keep on using Google because everybody else does. It is the default search engine and this gives it a huge advantage despite the adverts.


Where this will end we are not sure. Google is a great resource and it is likely to remain a favourite search engine for a long time to come. However, if it exploits ads too much it may be used mainly for searches when we are buying something rather than fact-finding. Working out how far to push consumers by debasing the offer is a fine line. That fine line can be crossed when a company gets greedy for money.

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