Google: Owning the Internet
I read “Google Is Breaking the Internet.” The write up addresses the issue of links between and among other Internet accessible content. The discussion focuses on search engine optimization. Google has a problem with relevance related to generating revenue. The pressure Google is exerting with regard to links is a logical reaction to the situation that Google has created. Once the relevance horse is out of the barn, Google has to send out search parties and take extraordinary actions to find the horse, get the horse under control, and put the horse back into its stall. Web sites desperate for traffic want to let horses out of the Google barn. An arms race for ad related relevance control is underway.
The author makes one of those statements that make sense from the point of view of a non Googler; for example:
Remember, Google doesn’t own the Internet, they just crawl and index it for profit. We own the Internet, and it’s up to us to decide when something is link worthy or not, regardless of Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Many years ago I pointed out that online services concentrate into services that deliver convenient, speedy, and good enough access to information and services. I whipped up a diagram for my 2003 monograph The Google Legacy. A version of this graphic was included in a BearStearns’ investor note:
The information I reviewed for the Google Legacy indicated that Google was using its platform to provide a common foundation for a range of other advertising-related products and services.
Google’s been around for more than a decade. Analysts just now waking up to the trajectory of Google is an indication about a lack of understanding about Google.
Changing Google in a substantive way is going to take more than “the sky is falling” approach. Europe wants to modify Google’s policy of “all the world’s information.” Good luck with that. The more traffic Google accrues from connected devices, the more impact Google has. Google may not be the Internet. The company is giving it the old college try, however. Concentrated services will lead to clashes between Google, Amazon, eBay, etc.
For now, it seems to me that quasi monopolies are the name of the game for the powerful, smart companies.
Stephen E Arnold, May 19, 2014