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Google Exec Gets Googled, Doesn't Like It

Says it Will Freeze Out CNET For a Year

Google has reportedly told CNET's News.com that no one from the company would speaking to CNET reporters for the next year, in response to a recent CNET article in which Google CEO Eric Schmidt was googled.

The CNET report revealed a lot of personal information about Schmidt, including his home address, and was based on information that a reporter simply googled over half an hour's time.

The point of the CNET story was to reveal the vast amounts of information, often very private and personal, that can be easily found through google searches today. In the wrong hands, be they criminals, government investigators, or vengefel ex-spouses or ex-business partners, revealing such information raises serious privacy concerns.

Google has tried to be an unorthodox company, from the unusual spelling of its name to its coy IPO to its non-sequiter core value of “don’t be evil.” Even though its search capabilities have established clear market leadership in these early days of search, Google actually makes most of its money through by matching up small text ads with editorial at the millions of sites who employ its AdSense program.

But in this area, Google apparently acts like many an old-fashioned, Industrial Age corporation by maintaining strict control over information. It does not share with its partners the percentage of revenue it keeps from the AdSense program, for example, and frequently changing what appear to be unwritten rules about how it derives compensation for these partners.

Google also plays an important role to thousands of online publishers by aggregating stories and listing them in response to specific user searches. In this area, too, Google does not share with the companies whose stories it aggregates exactly how it does this or how stories make it into the top search results.

This latest googletwist provides new evidence that Google may, in fact, be not unlike most corporations. The message of the day appears to be insult its executives and it will freeze you out. One guesses that the company may not react well should, say, Michael Moore show up at its door some day.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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