With Google headed off in nearly every direction at once in their product development, I wonder why they don't offer a service to corporations (and even individuals, like politicians) that seems much closer to their core business. The service I have in mind is the Internet version of the old clipping service (where some PR folks would watch the papers and keep a file of articles about you or your company, bitterly clipped out of the papers).
Let's say I am Dell, and I would like to see what people are saying about be. Well, if I search for "Dell," the first 30 or 40 hits are probably the same -- retailers and such. What I really want is anything new that popped up in the search today vs. the search yesterday, and which might be buried hundreds of items down in the list. This is something that a third party could certainly do, caching the search each day, but it would be a layup for Google. I'd think this service would be pretty valuable, certainly saving money over having employees manually troll blogs and comment boards. I can think of 10 ways right now this base service could be improved over time with more value-added services hung on the basic structure. I could sell it to retailers as a way to uncover pirates or illegal channel activity. You could even charge premium pricing for fast spidering, where the Google spiders go looking in certain places the client cares about more often.
If I have reinvented the wheel here, and someone is already doing this, let me know in the comments.