We love digital

Call 0845 485 1219

We love digital - Call and say hello - Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm

Is Google’s Domination Damaging the Internet?

Ben Norman

by Ben Norman on 5th February 2010

Some call Google a monopoly, others one of the most innovative companies in the online technologies sector pushing forward the progress of the Internet. The one thing that can’t be argued though is that it is the most popular website in the world, and with it, the most used search engine. So is their dominance having a negative effect on the Internet?

Google as a company and an entity has grown so rapidly in such a (relatively) short period of time. Today, as it has been for some years in truth, the company name is the byword for online search. We don’t simply look for information, products and services any more, we ‘Google them’.

Their encroachment into the day-to-day language has helped the brand grow and the search engine develop. With an 80% share of the lucrative search market, as well as developing their own operating system, Internet browser and mobile phone amongst many other things, Google have gradually expanded their influence and gone far beyond the parameters of their original business. So the big question is, has this growth had a positive or negative effect on the Internet?

We want your opinions on this, so let us know what you think using the comments below. Here are a few things though that you might consider:

Privacy

Google have access to a wealth of information right throughout the world. Their continuous indexing of websites and monitoring of their signed in user base makes them privy to some very personal and potentially valuable data. Is this too much power for one company to wield? Of course, in China they recently threatened to walk away from the market after some accounts were hacked [see: Google Threatens China Walkout], but is this only the tip of the iceberg?

Competition

The Competition Commission must be fed up of anti-trust suits against Google; but has their dominant position as the number one search engine and website gone too far? Yahoo have been forced to give up their pursuit and Bing has made only fractional gains since being launched in the middle part of last year [see: Search Engine Market Share Statistics – February 2010]; does this give Google too much clout to dictate search rankings and other related issues?

Innovation

Conversely, Google’s size and wealth gives them a fantastic opportunity to research and develop new technologies. Not all of these developments have been universally welcomed, Street View and Google Books might be two decent examples; but does the breadth of their developments, and the wider improvements that have been achieved elsewhere as a result, justify their size and continued growth?

We don’t want to be too leading, so if you have some thoughts (good, bad or indifferent) on Google and their continued dominance online and within the field of search particularly, please let us know.

Ben Norman

Ben Norman

CEO and Founder of Koozai, Ben Norman has extensive knowledge of search engine marketing. A regular writer on the subject, Ben’s first book, ‘Getting Noticed on Google’ has sold over 50,000 copies. Ben’s comprehensive knowledge is written in a straightforward and easily understandable way; be sure to read his sought after contributions on the future of Koozai.

2 Comments

  • Stephen Logan

    Stephen 5th February 2010

    For me, Google’s domination stems from one simple fact: they offer a better search engine than any of their competitors. From the outset, with their PageRank algorithm, they were streets ahead of the rest (AOL, Yahoo, MSN, Lycos, Ask (Jeeves)) and nobody has ever been able to make up the difference.

    Their other businesses, YouTube and Mobiles included, are defined by public opinion; so if we don’t like what they offer, we don’t have to consume it. They don’t have any monopolies, even if it seems like they do, so there are always alternatives; and their strength should also encourage competitors to up their game, which can only be a good thing.

    Whilst it would be nice to have a more level playing field, Google’s dominance is simply a result of their ability to develop better products than anybody else. They have failed on occasion in the past, and the Nexus One will certainly be interesting to watch, as will the emergence of YaBing in the coming year.

    Reply to this comment

  • Oliver Ewbank

    Oliver 12th February 2010

    I would like to see more competition from the other search engines, but the difference in quality is all too evident.

    Every time we use a search engine we are calculating our very own quality score (similar to Google’s PPC ranking system). Google’s quality is second to none, so until this can be matched, their dominance will continue.

    It is often said that absolute power corrupts absolutely. While Google is obviously not corrupt, their access to a wealth of information needs to be matched with a bulletproof CSR policy.

    Reply to this comment

Subscribe To The Koozai Blog