As mentioned on Slashdot, Google Blogoscoped posted an article about Google’s internal goals, and it’s actually really interesting. It mentions some upcoming projects like a revamped Google News, Gmail 2.0, Google Archive Search, and “Another interesting feature foreshadowed in the Google papers was to grab relevant locations & dates from web pages allowing users to ‘view results on a timeline of map.'” I’m not entirely sure what the last one might look like, but it certainly sounds interesting.
What interested me the most about this post, however, was the note that Google intends to “Count total number of Google products and reduce by 20%.” When I first read this, I found it somewhat worrisome – I use a lot of Google products, and I’d hate to see a much-loved product hit the chopping block.
But I don’t think that’s going to happen – not that I don’t think they’ll reduce the product count by 20%, but that I don’t think that means many products will disappear. There are basically 3 ways they could remove a product from their product count:
- The obvious: dump the product entirely. I’m sure this will happen to some products.
- The unlikely: sell off products. I doubt if this will happen to any Google products; if they see fit to keep it online, they’ll keep it in-house as well.
- The sneaky: combine disparate products into a cohesive whole. E.g., Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools might become a single, combined entity.
Since they’ve already stated that they want to tighten up integration between their various products, I see #3 as being a highly viable option for them to use to reduce product count; it lets them kill two birds with one stone without actually having to “kill” a product.
At least, I hope they pick #3 if they’re looking at slimming down one of the many Google products I use on a daily basis.