Google Goes Geocities On Us

Now they’ve gone and done it, Google has gone Geocities on us.

Anybody can now use their slick AJAXian interface to build your own personal web page or set of web pages.

I gave the interface a test run, and it’s very easy to use and seems worthwhile if you need to put up a web page very quickly and you don’t mind hosting it at

Apparently this was one of Google’s famous “20% time” projects where employees get 20% of their time to work on fun tools or projects different from their main job.

I think the question is though, how do all these tools fit in a larger strategy? Do they plan to run Adsense on these pages at some point? Split the revenue with the user? Is it just another tool for Google to get as much data and usage as they can? Is it just another thing they’ll offer that will confuse the general web population? Or is it just another tool like Blogger that will be eventually used by spammers to create more crap? Thanks Google, I guess?

  • Josh

    And as with another famous recent Google product release (Analytics) they have apparently underestimated demand. Here’s the message I just got when I tried to use the new tool…

    “Google Page Creator is having a little trouble right now.
    This is not because of anything you did; it’s just a little hiccup in our system that will hopefully go away soon. We apologize for the inconvenience, and recommend you try reloading this page.”

    I understand that “you get what you pay for” theory – but on the other hand for a company whose business model is mostly based on monetizing individual usage of free applications (ads on search, ads on content, ads in Gmail) the fact that a few of their recent free apps have missed the mark (capacity wise) would be troubling to me as a Google shareholder.

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  • Andrew Johnson

    Eventually used by spammers? They were already thinking about how to exploit this when the news broke last yesterday ;)

  • Pat McCarthy

    Hah, great point Andew. There’s probably already more spam pages than real web pages already.

  • Nir Ben-Dor

    Google is about to take over the business of eBay by providing everyone with the tools to build onlile stores. Google pages is the first step.


    I read & write @ Linkadelic Magazine. You can too.

  • Pat McCarthy

    While Google may be heading in that direction to provide the tools to build stores, in no means do I think that means they’re about to take that business from Ebay. Other major players like Yahoo and Amazon (who both have more ecommerce experience than Google) tried and failed to gain market share in the auction market.

    Not that it can’t be done, but Google just launching that ability doesn’t mean they have all the integrated powersellers and buyers that eBay already has established. There is a lot of power in eBay already having the marketplace built.

  • Aram Herschensohn

    eBay is moving towards the “Buy It Now” system. So Google is in fact trying to get into the “online store” market in which eBay, Amazon and Yahoo are already players.

    The consensus online is that people are tired of auctions. They want to buy items immediately, and not have to wait 5 days to see if they win an auction. Five years ago, auctions, priceline, shopping bots and mail-in rebates were all the craze. People are lazy now.

    I find it amusing that people can’t wait 5 days to buy a product that will take another 5 days to ship to them. It’s like Meatloaf: “I will do anything to get the best possible price for merchandise, but I won’t do that.”

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