Taking over the world…
So it’s the age of the Internet and basically you don’t exist if google doesn’t find you. And they know that, too. I will get to a point eventually, but for now a little back story. When google was founded they wanted to change the way search engines find stuff. And they did, obviously…. kind of.
When google started Alta Vista was huge, and lycos, and AOL. You probably heard about one of those companies, the other two are search engines. Back in the day google had an ‘I feel lucky’ button. Interestingly enough they actually still do, just no one uses it anymore. My point is that that button used to showcase how google just works. You could search for whatever you wanted to find, click the button and actually be on the page you wanted to find. These days ? Not so much. Unless you were looking for a wikipedia article, in which case you actually might get lucky still.
So these days google sucks. Every one knows it, too. So why are they still alive and doing very very well ? The other options suck worse, far worse in some cases. Bing can’t get their market share up, Yahoo just gave up completely and started using Bing…. There actually are a few alternatives to google, which were made because of the huge issues some people have with one company basically having all their data saved on their servers. Here’s a list of Search engines, there actually are quite a few. DuckDuckGo is a name that comes up every time this is brought up, give em a try if you want.
But! The point of this article isn’t to talk about how much google sucks.
Mathias Döpfner said a few very telling things in an open letter published in the FAZ. He said that when google changed their algorithm the traffic to the website of one of the companies they own dropped by as much as 70%. Coincidentally it was a competitor to google. Now if the company I work for lost 70% of their traffic I would not have a job very long because they couldn’t afford having me. And as I mentioned earlier, they know that. They know how much power they have over basically the whole internet. When news publishers wanted search engines to pay for the content they show in previews to the sites they link to they removed them from the index. And obviously things changed a lot. I have to say that I’m with google on that issue (and many others).
In many ways google has already gone beyond the “don’t be evil” motto that they said they go by. In many cases. Take for example the android platform. Arstechnica wrote a very nice article about that one. Long story short they’re forcing manufacturers to stick to google apps and android. When Acer wanted to make a phone that didn’t run on android google told them to stop it or lose access to google’s apps. There were plans (pretty far along, like prototypes already made) for a tablet that runs both android and windows. I think that would be an amazing device. Google didn’t like it so it’s not going to happen.
There actually are many more examples like that, google is just exploiting the power that they have. After fighting against the same power when microsoft had it. It’s a bit hypocritical for my taste.
So to summarize Google is an evil empire that knows how to abuse their power. Google is also a great empire bringing innovation to people everywhere. So we need google. We just don’t like google. We love everything google stood for 10 years ago. We just don’t like what happens when a company is so great at things that they accumulate a great amount of power. So I would like a company with the amount of power google has, with the power of innovation, with the power to buy great companies that make great products. I just would like it if they didn’t abuse that power so blatantly and often.