When Google bought Blogger, I thought they went too far. Then they bought Youtube, and although I understand why (advertising), it was a step too far again: Google search results are full of Youtube videos. It’s not fair. Now, they’re starting a wikipedia-like site. I am now giving up on Google. They’ve lost their way. They should point to information, not host or own information, because the temptation to promote their own stuff in the search engine is too big, even Google can’t resist. “Dark side” comparisons are appropriate: from the moment Google starts to promote their own content in their search, they’re no longer independent, and the value of their search goes down. They gave in to the dark side, and as any Star Wars fan knows, at first you feel like you’re getting extra power. So you want more. But it’s the first step towards your own doom.
Startups that want to do search and crush Google: you’ve just been given an in. Just say: “We don’t own content and don’t promote our own stuff.” Positioning yourself is suddenly much easier, now that the GOOG has a flaw.