Wait, Is Google Gears down? Or is Google gearing down? (Or, How not to write a headline)


This post has
nothing to do with
Google Gears.

I just ran across this WSJ.com headline that says, “Google Gears Down for Tougher Times.”

That shocked me. Why would Google shut down Google Gears, I wondered. It seems a bit core to what they’re trying to do to compete longterm with Microsoft, I thought. Obviously, I clicked through to the story to seek an understanding of why Google would shut down software that allows me to work on Google documents on my computer while I’m offline.

Ohhhh! I get it. Google gears down is what the headline writer means. As in, the entire Google enterprise is trying to figure out what big companies do during lean times — like by not hiring everyone who walks through the door with a ubber-high IQ.

OK. Got it.

Note to WSJ.com: That headline failed.

  • Rex, ha ha ha! I hadn’t thought about it that way — but now I see what you mean! Yes, a confusing headline for sure.

    But I liked the article because it was even-handed and put things into perspective. Google is going through a standard life cycle adjustment, and growth is bound to slow at some point. Sure the economy is down and their slowed growth is in part due to that, but that doesn’t explain everything affecting Google.

    The article could easily have been spun as a “what a terrible economy, let’s all commit hari kiri because the next Great Depression has arrived, and it’s even hit Google!” I can’t deal with those morose kinds of articles where everyone is predicting the end of the world — they make me want to give up hope and I just won’t do that.


  • Anita, I agree. While my post was a cheap shot at the headline writer, the article is well done. And I’m with you (although not everyone who reads my blog is), enough with the apocalyptic coverage of the economy. It’s amazing what the world has endured before — perhaps because I read so much history that focuses on when the U.S. was a mere idea, I can gain some perspective of the long view. Also, as a small business owner, I have no choice but to always be profitable — so expanding and contracting with our market is a reality I’ve been forced to accept.

  • haha, that’s exactly how I read the headline as well.