Am I the only one that’s scared? Am I the only one that’s not eating the “Google Blue Pill”?
If you’re not scared it’s my intention to shake you up a little bit. Let’s see what Google has done and what it’s trying to do.
Google controls over %70 of the Web Search Traffic, and over 57% of all advertising on the internet
Google started as a Search company and they’re supposedly great at it (until someone else can show us better) so everyone uses their search and that means Google knows what everyone wants on the internet, therefore giving it one hell of an advantage over everyone else when it comes to decision making of any kind. What technologies to build, What websites are successful (which services should they buy or compete against). They know about all trends of all kinds. From lottery ticket search, to medicine search, to what new website is being searched for.
Their great search capabilities made them hit gold when they started advertising next to search results. They made so much money that they were able to buy lots of ad networks including very powerful ones like DoubleClick ($3 billion, April 13 2007) which together with Adsense control 57% of the market share of Internet advertising.
Just know that pretty much almost every ad printed on the web puts money in Google’s Pockets, the company that controls search. I wonder if their PageRank algorithm also includes the eCPM of the ads shown on the target sites, if not, it’s a direct consequence of being on the top search results that you’ll get more visitors thus making your CPM pay higher… it’s all a little fucked up the amount of control they have.
And let’s not to forget that the little publisher on Adsense Gets Pwned with probably less than 10% of the cost of the click (Google gets $2 a click, you get less than $0.20 for that click), a percentage that is never shown to the publisher, a percentage that Google can adjust to their liking however they want. If you can sell your own ads, do so (and then tell me how).
On top of that, there’s tons of money to make on statistics for all of that search data. You may want to read about a company called DemandMedia.com , in short they buy a lot of search engine data (probably Google’s included in there) so that they can generate a list of the things people want to know about every day, then they match that data to marketing databases (to see what the highest priced keywords are, data which may come from Google Adsense statistics) and they make a list of about 4,000 video titles, which they shoot and distribute EVERY SINGLE DAY.
YouTube… owned by Google, gets close to 100 million unique visitors every month. They’re the most influential video service on the internet. There are companies that exist and thrive (making millions a year) only because youtube is there (think again if you believe youtube is not making money). Oh and they know what you’re watching.
Let’s forget about Search and Ad Monopoly, that’s their money maker, let’s start thinking about the creepier stuff, power.
GMail alone as of July 2009 had an approximate of 146 million unique users during one month. That’s a lot of conversations being tracked in one way or the other. Can’t imagine all the money they make on Gmail alone, since it’s one of the applications that people keep open most of the day, and that’s a lot of contextual ads right there, plus a lot of tracking on clicks to external sites linked inside the emails you read.
So they did Email great, you gotta give them that, but then they also have Groups, GTalk (instant messaging) and more recently they were talking about redefining email with Google Wave (which has been in my perspective a total failure, nobody is ever logged in or replying to the waves, it needs to integrate with email in order to replace it, maybe that’ll be the key and since they’re smart they should know this but they’re waiting for the right time…)
This year Google has gotten super scary with all the announcements they’ve made, one of the scariest is Google Public DNS, the service that converts a domain name like “google.com”, into an IP address so that your computer can connect to it.
Boasting on their excellence and good performance they’re trying to convince system administrators to switch over to Google Public DNS.
What do we know if already our local ISPs have turned off their own DNS servers and just redirected all requests to 184.108.40.206 (Google’s DNS) to save on costs and to have one less thing to manage?.
This is pretty scary because Google now would know where you go, even if you don’t use Google.com
Another really scary thing is having this company also build for you the web browser. Not only they control all the traffic, but they want to control the application that you use to browse the web. They already own Firefox (a nice +$50 million dollar/year tax deduction) whose default search is, you guessed it… Google, and now they even want to make an Operating System that runs only their browser with the purpose of having you log in with your Google Account every time you turn on your computer (currently aimed at Netbooks, please install Ubuntu Netbook Remix and be safe)
If their plans go accordingly, they’d be controlling everything, from every request that comes out of your internet connection (DNS), to the kernel and browser in your computer, to your email, to your documents (Google Apps), to where you go (Google Maps), to where you are (Google Latitude).
And if that’s not enough, they want to give you a phone number (Google Voice) and transcribe your conversations and voice messages… but wait I forgot they’ve also built an operating system for your phone, Android, and next month they will sell their own phone.
Are you scared yet?
Google Healthcare (They want your medical records too)
Google URL Shortener (They want to track all the clicks inside Twitter and Facebook, they couldn’t let other companies deal with this, bit.ly FTW!)
Google Finance (They also know what stock quotes a lot of people are looking for)
Google Reader (They know what news and feeds you’re reading)
Google News (They want to control what news are read)
Google Blogger (They know what you write about, and bank on you)
Picassa (They want your pictures)
Google Maps and Driving Directions on Android (They want to know where you’re going)
Google Product Search (They wanna know what you’re shopping for)
Google Checkout (Do they have your credit card number yet?)
GMail (They know your contact list, who you talk to, who you do business with, what you want, what you hate, everything)
and so many other scary things… they must be so pissed they don’t own Facebook. Way to go Mark.
Google Buzz (They want to know conversational trends and what people are linking to amongst themselves, They couldn’t let Twitter take that piece of the cake)
The scariest part however is that everyone is just looking at how convenient all this free services are, praising Google but not thinking if there’s a hidden agenda, it’s like nobody could ever suspect the real intentions. At least with Microsoft you knew what to expect. Doesn’t it all sound like an internet monopoly? It’s becoming impossible to compete with such a big monster… however like a friend said “History repeats, all Giants fall eventually”
Google wants every byte coming in and out of you, they own every major piece of the action, it’s all becoming like big media and newspapers, like the food industry which is controlled by only a handful of corporations and we really have no choice in what we eat because everything is so cheap and convenient.
Google at this pace will own the internet, or should we call it The Googlenet.
Google Hypocritical on the Importance of Privacy (Superb read)