Google Touts Enterprise Search in Forbes Advertorial

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-10-27 Print this article Print

Google's enterprise team, which needs to work harder to garner attention in the mammoth shadow of the company's search engine and advertising machines, continues to remind people that it's alive and well.

Nitin Mangtani, lead product manager for Google Enterprise Search, has written an editorial for Sponsored by SAP, the piece, published Oct. 24, describes Google's quest to make search as efficient for business users as it is for consumers.

That would be a heroic feat no matter which vendor was trying to achieve it. But if you listen to some of Google's own folks, they aren't happy eating their own internal search dog food.

Take, for instance, comments from Udi Manber, a vice president of engineering at Google, as reported by David Needle of InternetNews. Manber recently said Google has deployed a search tool for internal use that needs work.

"It's not that good -- I'm complaining about it," he said.

Hmmmm. I realize what Manber is talking about is different from the enterprise-grade search being sold to customers via the Google Search Appliance. But if one of Google's top engineers is calling one of his company's search tools deficient, such comments might give you pause as you weigh whether or not to add those half-dozen GSAs at $3,000 a pop or more to your budget.

Incidentally, Stephen Arnold, who is forever getting under Google's skin, takes Google to task for writing an "advertorial."

Google, for its part, denies the piece is an advertorial. A spokesperson told me today:

"It is editorial, not advertising. The article was written in response to an op-ed titled 'Why Google Isn't Enough,' published in Forbes a few weeks prior. We reached out to Forbes, and they expressed interest in having us join the conversation, so one of our product managers contributed a piece to provide insight into Google's philosophies and approach as an enterprise search provider."

All apologies to Google's PR team, but the piece is an advertorial because it A) enables Google to inform users about its services and B) explains why Google is well-positioned to offer customers solutions they could need. Makes for quite the sales pitch.

What better advertising is there? But that's okay for a company trying to get the message out about product people may not know exist.

In the past year I've met quite a few people in the high-tech industry who had no idea Google sold search for businesses. They weren't surprised, but they had no idea. That's a perception problem Google is aiming to fix with written advertorials responses. |

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