Updated. I have been saying this for a while – Google is forgetting its core DNAand instead chasing Facebook and other competitors. It isn’t going to end well. Others such as influential publisher & technology observer Tim O’Reilly are starting to wave the red flag as well. In a Google+ post bemoaning the emphasis of “time on site” as a worthwhile metric for an information utility like Google, O’Reilly writes:
Google used to pride itself on the speed with which it helped you find the information you want, and then get out of the way. ‘Time on site’ is a terrible metric for an information utility! — Tim O’Reilly
Tim argues that in chasing Facebook, Google has started to lose its Google-ness and is going to fall into the Yahoo-trap.
There’s a real danger here that Google will fall into the Yahoo! trap, forgetting who they are by pursuing the competition. Yahoo! was a terrific content destination, and lost its way trying to be a search engine. Might Google be doing the same in trying to become a social destination?
Maybe now Google should pause and listen.
This post was updated at 1:01 pm to clarify the context for O’Reilly’s comments.