Google have created a powerful brand based on creating simplicity from complexity (what all good IT is about). Their tools aren’t perfect, but they’ve made life easier for billions, and so I think they still deserve some free feedback from time-to-time. So, a few thoughts:
Mr. Google, please develop a podcast search engine. So much interesting content is now being released as podcasts (quick plug for my favourite: EconTalk), that it would be useful to be able to search them. All you have to do is invent a speech-to-text interpreter that actually works reliably. Simple. [Note: as I sometimes do, I wrote this post in advance of it being published. I’ve since discovered that such a tool already exists. However, I thought I’d leave the original prose here: Google, if you get one out soon, you could still corner the market]
Mr. Google, please stop developing so many interfaces - and plug them all together. If I want to do an exhaustive search for something, I now have to search Google Web, Google Images, Google Groups, Google News, Google Video, Google Blog Search, Google Book Search, Google Scholar, and possibly others. This is not a good thing - you’re straying from the simple search you started with. Some of those searches do show up in the main search results, but you could do a better job of tying them together to show what I’m actually looking for. This could be a real competitive edge, especially since the basic searches that MSN and others provide are now actually quite reasonable.
Google still have an edge in providing what people want - for a company so technically-focused, they either have talented marketers or are just lucky. Please, Google, keep it up.