Google gaffe on blogging tools – old style marketing collides with web reality?

Seth Dillingham posted. When I first posted that I thought it was just a repurposing-DMOZ-problem, so it was a question of how Google looked, not anything they had actually done. But then Seth Dillingham posted a pointer showing that Radio UserLand is actually on the DMOZ list for weblog tools, so Google modified the list to take Radio out. This is surprising, and imho, requires an explanation. Did they modify it? If so why? And do they modify search results to favor their products and services? This is scary stuff. [Scripting News]

I’m inclined here to view this as a case in point of “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity” (Hanlon’s Razor). Now the stupidity in question may likely be that of some techno-challenged marketing type who still insists on viewing the universe through a lens of “customer as couch potato,” where this sort of tweak could and would work because anybody who might catch the “error” would have no effective way to communicate to the masses of other couch potatos out there. Ironic that the error is about the very tools that are continuing the shift in power from organizations to people.

It will be interesting to see how quickly this mistake gets corrected and whether the explanation will be rooted in a classic couch potato marketing mindset or something else.