To Google or Not to Google – That is the Question?

By Brett Williams
Contributing writer, [GAS]

For at least a year now, I’ve been thinking that Google is getting awfully bloated. With its rampant acquisition spree of companies, creating market consolidation, its behemoth status has been confirmed as absolute. Last week, the Economist published an article titled: “Who’s Afraid Of Google?” and I for one am very happy that a mainstream publication has decided to take this story and run with it, because I am very afraid of Google.

A couple of weeks ago I read that Google was going to cease and desist with PageRank value. I don’t believe that I’m the only one who saw through this. Google is upset that its creation of PageRank has enabled many individuals to develop valuable Internet real estate, value that Google does not receive anything directly for. So, like a spoiled child, it wants to take its toy out of the sandbox.

So what does this mean to us, the loyal and devoted? It means that if we are not to be hypocrites, we must, like we have done with Microsoft, label Google as ‘evil.’ I put quotation marks around ‘evil’ for the purpose of designating it a colloquialism that has been adopted in our modern Internet language to mean something that threatens the original and much tested origins of the Internet – decentralization.

Why am I afraid of Google? I’m afraid because up until now there has been little to no discussion about its predatory and consolidator nature. For the most part the traditional press and the blogosphere has left Google alone, seeing it as a white knight amongst an army of dark armored opponents. That is the farthest thing from the truth. In all of recorded history, I cannot think of one instance where a government body or business organization has accumulated power and continued to be open and honest to the people. What makes Google different?

I know I’m not the only one who is feeling this, but I’m curious to hear the arguments as to why Google should not be lumped together with Microsoft.

The Economist article can be found right here.

Advertisement





17 Responses to To Google or Not to Google – That is the Question?

  1. I believe that the reason most people don't fear Google nor do they count it as Evil is that they have not betrayed our trust. When I go to the search engine, it delivers reliably. Much better than other choices in the market. I usually have to search once or twice and bam, whatever it was I wanted is presented. Sure they advertise, but a decent percent of the time, the advertizers are relevant. Accuracy and presenting me with people that want may business, that are related to what I was searching for, why fear that?

    Next down the broad list of things that Google has not done is sell the information that they gather from me across my travlings of their sites. Google single handely could know who I decide to transact business with (google checkout, Google Product search, Gmail) what my bills are (e-statements from my bank in gmail), who my friends are (orukut, grand central, gmail/google chat, ) what I think about the world (blogger, and Google notebook). The point is in the service sector I have banked with Google. I know that there are executives at Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL that would literally cut themselves to have that kind of access to their customers so they could sell it. AOL tried very hard to lock you in to their ecosystem and sold the right for people to target you. Yahoo, would roll on you to please the Chinese Government, and Microsoft give Hollywood/entertainment industry a reacharound every product they release.

    Does Google have its flaws? Sure, they should have done more that apologize for using the Chinese database for their translation, they should be aware of XSS attacks, and do more to prevent them, even more they should be very sure that Spam and malware sites never show up in search results. Sure I hope they improve on many issues that put them at less than perfect, but I have a hard time calling a company that stood up to the Justice dept to not turn over our search records evil, when Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft complied without batting an eye.

    • I agree some of Google’s actions have taken have been positive, but I still think we should consider this.

      In my opinion:

      There is only really one scenario that will be played out given the current situation.

      Google has collected a vast amount of information on a lot of people. Your firsthand account seems to support that idea.

      Here is where things get tricky. It actually doesn’t matter why Google is collecting the information, but it matters that is has successfully done so and is continuing to do so. There are no borders in Google world; Google is doing something that no government has been able to do but wants to, collect information on everyone in the world.

      Governments want Google’s information and that want will grow exponentially with the amount of information Google collects. You could have multiple governments demanding Google release information simultaneously.

      Google, like its online business is subject to attacks because of its vast amount of information.

  2. I believe that the reason most people don’t fear Google nor do they count it as Evil is that they have not betrayed our trust. When I go to the search engine, it delivers reliably. Much better than other choices in the market. I usually have to search once or twice and bam, whatever it was I wanted is presented. Sure they advertise, but a decent percent of the time, the advertizers are relevant. Accuracy and presenting me with people that want may business, that are related to what I was searching for, why fear that?

    Next down the broad list of things that Google has not done is sell the information that they gather from me across my travlings of their sites. Google single handely could know who I decide to transact business with (google checkout, Google Product search, Gmail) what my bills are (e-statements from my bank in gmail), who my friends are (orukut, grand central, gmail/google chat, ) what I think about the world (blogger, and Google notebook). The point is in the service sector I have banked with Google. I know that there are executives at Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL that would literally cut themselves to have that kind of access to their customers so they could sell it. AOL tried very hard to lock you in to their ecosystem and sold the right for people to target you. Yahoo, would roll on you to please the Chinese Government, and Microsoft give Hollywood/entertainment industry a reacharound every product they release.

    Does Google have its flaws? Sure, they should have done more that apologize for using the Chinese database for their translation, they should be aware of XSS attacks, and do more to prevent them, even more they should be very sure that Spam and malware sites never show up in search results. Sure I hope they improve on many issues that put them at less than perfect, but I have a hard time calling a company that stood up to the Justice dept to not turn over our search records evil, when Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft complied without batting an eye.

    • I agree some of Google’s actions have taken have been positive, but I still think we should consider this.

      In my opinion:

      There is only really one scenario that will be played out given the current situation.

      Google has collected a vast amount of information on a lot of people. Your firsthand account seems to support that idea.

      Here is where things get tricky. It actually doesn’t matter why Google is collecting the information, but it matters that is has successfully done so and is continuing to do so. There are no borders in Google world; Google is doing something that no government has been able to do but wants to, collect information on everyone in the world.

      Governments want Google’s information and that want will grow exponentially with the amount of information Google collects. You could have multiple governments demanding Google release information simultaneously.

      Google, like its online business is subject to attacks because of its vast amount of information.

  3. I have to acknowledge that I don't love google anymore!

    I think it become an evil as Microsoft. and may be that's because they become monopolists

  4. I have to acknowledge that I don’t love google anymore!

    I think it become an evil as Microsoft. and may be that’s because they become monopolists

  5. Pingback: .:: ju ::. » To Google or Not to Google - That is the Question? | Geeks Are Sexy

  6. You can't fight Google. Their corporate ascension cannot be stopped.

    Surrender now, and your servitude shall be made comfortable.

  7. You can’t fight Google. Their corporate ascension cannot be stopped.

    Surrender now, and your servitude shall be made comfortable.

  8. I'm surprised, there has not been one overt Google supporter to post anything contrary to my perception yet.

    Am I to assume that the rest of the world is in agreement?

    I really thought that I would have gotten way more push back on this assertion of mine – anyone?

  9. I’m surprised, there has not been one overt Google supporter to post anything contrary to my perception yet.

    Am I to assume that the rest of the world is in agreement?

    I really thought that I would have gotten way more push back on this assertion of mine – anyone?

  10. The thing with the "Evil" thing is that there has to be something better. Its going to be a very difficult task to label Google as evil. Even if you do, I am sure you would most like be on the extreme side of the bell curve.

    Few years back hotmail or mailcity was God. They became evil when Yahoo came. Yahoo was God. Now Yahoo is evil or the bad boy because there was Google. The next big thing can only make it "evil". Evilness is a relative term here.

  11. The thing with the “Evil” thing is that there has to be something better. Its going to be a very difficult task to label Google as evil. Even if you do, I am sure you would most like be on the extreme side of the bell curve.

    Few years back hotmail or mailcity was God. They became evil when Yahoo came. Yahoo was God. Now Yahoo is evil or the bad boy because there was Google. The next big thing can only make it “evil”. Evilness is a relative term here.