No Surprise: Few Know Of Google Docs

    December 18, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The blogosphere has chattered about a study that found nearly three out of four people haven’t heard of Google Docs or other online productivity suites.

A survey of 600 people by research firm NPD found little awareness of web-based alternatives to the Microsoft Office juggernaut that occupies space on millions of desktops around the world.

Joe Wilcox at Microsoft Watch said 73.2 percent of those surveyed never heard of or tried an online productivity suite. Another 20.8 percent heard of them, but haven’t tried them.

That adds up to an uncomfortable 94 percent of the sample group. Though Wilcox called Google Docs the "most visible" of web-based alternatives to Office, we feel that misses the truly relevant issue:

Google doesn’t advertise its products heavily.

Other than targeted campaigns for AdWords, Analytics, or Apps, it’s impossible to recall Google touting its services beyond the niche Internet media, and that usually comes through a blog post.

Sometimes Google extends its favor to hand-picked media outlets that can be counted on to write favorably of a product, but other times news emerges in one place, bubbles up through blogs, and maybe receives notice in mainstream media.

When Google does advertise, they tend to do so in the relevant search results for that service. Search for ‘site analytics’, and Google Analytics gets the premium position at the top of the search results, in the ad box.

If people aren’t diving in to Google Docs, it’s more of a lack of awareness than anything else. Let’s see Google do an style ad campaign for Docs and see what happens.