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March 24, 2013

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Andrew Cooper

It seems astonishing that Google are degrading their services like this. I set up a couple of Google alerts recently (the first time I'd tried using the service in ages) and wouldn't have realised that there was a problem until I came across your post. (Which I found, incidentally, after visiting the blog looking for alternatives to Google search after your post on that!)

It's bad enough that Google are withdrawing services, but to downgrade/neglect a service like Alerts without telling users seems insane. They're not only burning up the goodwill they've built up over so many years but are also building up a reputation for unreliability and untrustworthiness - the last thing they'd want, surely?

I assume this is part of their move to ditch services that aren't widely used. I guess these services take up some of their engineers' time and some Google cash to maintain but surely only tiny amounts of both? And although the numbers of users may be small they are likely to include people like you who play a big part in forming opinions about the company.

It seems that virtually all businesses reach a point where their execs only measure their progress and success in cash terms and neglect long term value provided to their customers. Such short-termism will harm them in the long term but, in the meantime, the execs will have earned so much (in a single year those at the top are earning many times more than most people would need for a reasonably comfortable lifetime) they're unlikely to care.

Rant ends. Keep up the good work!

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