First of all I’m a Google fan. I’ve said so before and until Google as a search engine stops working for me I think I’ll stick with it as my first choice.
Nonetheless, a comment by Diefenbaker on my post “A Day Without Google: sorry, no thanks“, where he states his unhappiness with Google mainly due to privacy concerns, made me look around the net and find what others are thinking.
While I’m still a Google apologist, the mad rampage at which Google is acquiring smaller companies (47 on this list since 2001) leading to a monopolization of the market is sure to raise some flags and provide an interesting subject for debate.
Ok, they are doing a nice job with all the applications they are making “freely” available but monopolization, albeit for now a strong word, is never seen with good eyes by the world. With monopolization comes dependency and since the effects with Microsoft are here for all to see nobody really wants anything like that again.
Google might already be the biggest personal information database on the planet with personally-identifiable information being stored for 18-24 months. Although it seems that for now it’s only used to deliver relevant information (what is relevant for them might not always be for me), the possibility for privacy breach is here and starts to worry. The most blatant one is of course Google’s servers reading any message sent and received on Gmail.
And many have publicly started sharing their concerns on Google’s privacy policies in general and how they handle information and even governments started to have their say (Germany and the whole EU in general are discussing it).
Is it something to be worried about? It sure is… Not many of us would deliberately provide private information to marketers without a clear return. But that is exactly what we do by using Google’s applications. In the end it’s a balance between investment and return.
A remarkable video on Google’s Master Plan was developed by O. Halici and J. Mayer.
Problem: Slashing the net
With monopolization comes fear of loss.
At the moment, Google is, without question, the major provider or paid links for websites. Every other site (if not more) uses Google AdSense as a source of revenue. And while revenue reports for some bloggers clearly show Adsense as the main player, even if with differences in success ($4,730, $284, $92), many others have jumped the wagon and report direct ad sales as the main revenue (and even talk about big decrease in Adsense revenue).
Nonetheless, while I don’t know if fear of loss is what is happening but Google started slashing at site owners selling text links. Many report drops on PageRank and attribute it to paid links and there is even talk about a Google’s war on paid links, all under the excuse of fighting poor relevancy, of course.
Is Google afraid of the poor competition these links are to their AdWords? Maybe… but maybe Google should also realize that users made Google what it is today and slashing like this may not be the best strategy. I’m assuming that the debate is not over on this issue. Does Google’s “Don’t be Evil” still apply?
Anyway, does Google’s privacy policies and data management scare you? Have you been affected by the latest war on paid links? Is Google part of the internet or is Google THE internet? Share your thoughts with us…
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