New Media Trainee

March 6, 2007

Google Taking Over the World…

Filed under: Uncategorized — tenftpole @ 4:23 pm

Chap 7. begins with a sad story about a gentleman named Neil Moncrief who sold large shoes via an e-commerce business that depends heavily on search. Unfortunately, Google made a tweak to its algorithm in 2003 and Moncrief’s listing fell to the fiftieth page. He lost most of his business for months until he was basically forced to buy adWords from Google. Bummer for him, but that’s what happens when you throw all your cards in one pile. What this story does tell me is how important search’s impact is on global commerce.

Battelle also describes a hypothetical scenario of TV and search linking to bring a person custom advertising based on the history of their search and TV habits. I believe that this is realistic scenario. It’s already happening with Ad/Words Sense by Google. I click on ads a lot more than I have in years past to find products I’m searching for and it generally works for me. Local search is another natural extension for Google to generate even more revenue based on customers intents. Battelle also suggests that the future for google is to sell music, television episodes, movies, etc. They’ve already launched a free software suite (cheaply priced for businesses) to compete against Microsoft’s office package, and they are even taking on You Tube with google video. I can only imagine that iTunes is next.

After all, now that Google is an IPO, there’s even more reasons for Page and Brin to generate more revenue….in comes
China. Google’ search is now available to a billion more people, but has limited its search engine per the Chinese government. It was smart if you ask me. This insures that they have a future in
China, along with Yahoo and Microsoft which have also made the jump. It’s  a major sellout for the company, but Chinese people need google too even if it’s government regulated.

I love Google. I love their products. I can’t say enough good things about them. But, here’s the thing: They’re HUGE and they’re RICH. They are yielding a ton of power with all that information and money. What happens if they meet the goal of IBM’s WebFountain to improve our pursuit towards the perfect search? Holy google bots, Batman!! Battelle says Google continues to fail at failing but it’s going to happen sooner or later. I can only imagine that it’s going to happen as a result of goverments getting together in some way to force them to give access to their databases of intent. That scares the bejesus out of me.

Thank God they didn’t give into the DOJ subpoena in 2005. It would be  Mcarthyism all over again.

Perhaps I’m a bit paranoid, but history has funny way of repeating itself. For now, I believe that Google is still not evil and that the good they do outweighs the bad. Thanks to John Battelle for taking what could have been a horrifically boring topic and turning it into an enjoyable and educational read.


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