Having snarked on Google before (here and here), it would seem disingenuous to let this latest opportunity pass by without again jumping onto the dogpile. So, “woof woof”…here goes…

Google has made some big mistakes recently. (For the record, I don’t own any GOOG…for that matter, I don’t own any stock at all…curses!) And, for a company made up of only the smartest and brightest (snark alert), one would expect better.

A week or so ago, BenBarren posted a link to a pdf of a Google Analyst presentation. I downloaded the file, scanned it quickly, and thought little of it. Turns out, the presentation included some projections which Wall Street has found troubling. Uh oh…

Now, the company has since announced that the info was dated and shouldn’t be considered seriously as a guide for revenue growth. If so, why was it published? Was it truly a mistake? Maybe we have a little spin after the fact goin’ on here. Maybe the info is true…but, they want us to think it isn’t…knowing that we will think it is…but, they think we think they think we think…to infinity and beyond…(BTW, amazingly, the link is still working…the file can still be downloaded.) The metaphysical mental exercise here is a little daunting. What is truth after all?

This gaffe come on the heels of the Google CFO telling Wall Street that their growth may plateau. Uh oh… Sure honesty is the best policy. But, I doubt he meant to say what he did and get the reaction he got.

And, third, the company is settling click fraud lawsuits. Yesterday, a $90 million settlement was announced. And there are more out there currently in play. The payola for the adsense fraudola could have some potentially huge ramifications.

Also, concerns about Google and privacy have really started to gain traction lately. Whether it is the congressional questions and stuff going on in China, or just the product line up (gdrive and gmail for example) announcements, Google has raised more questions than they appear willing to answer.

Check BW for the full story.

In their defense, Google claims:

“Our aim is to be transparent in our communications about Google’s finances and as part of that to add clarification when necessary. That, we believe, is the responsible thing to do.”

And, their faithful followers and users will surely come to their defense. They will probably claim “Google is a new kind of company and shouldn’t be required to play by the same kind of old school Wall Street rules.”

All well and good if not for their “public status”…and for the fact that their warchest is publicly funded. Their product lineup, both present and future, will be funded from that warchest and public investment. They owe their investors (and the users of the internet for that matter) a certain amount of responsibility that transcends the mere “don’t be evil” and “take it easy on us because we’re different” defense.

Wall Street is hammering them. (yes, I like the irony of using Yahoo Finance to chart Google’s stock price.) They are currently down about 2-3% today…and down over $100 in the past couple of months. Or, put this way…

“This signals that investors continue to have anxiety over the direction of the stock,” Foster said.

The anxiety could also be caused by a realization that the stock was overpriced and they need to get out. But, still…the current gaffes don’t help.

Google does many things right.
Google does many things wrong.
One would expect this to be the case…as it is for any company.

But, this one claims to be different…and smarter…

Maybe they have too many smart people there…a “too many cooks in the kitchen” type of thing. Maybe they need some better marketing people. Or, maybe, like Thomas Hawk says, “they need some better PR people”…