Is Google becoming a Monopoly?

I really love using Google for search, for news, and for my default home page.  I think they’ve done an awesome job of really meeting users needs when many others can’t or won’t.  I also expect to see them rapidly grow and expand into new lots of areas. As a technologist, I’m really looking forward to the many cool things they are going to make available for everyone to use.

On the other hand, Google scares me to death.  People love to hate Microsoft because of it’s marketshare in O/S and office suites with Windows and MS-Office, but I don’t think Microsoft controls the fortunes of so many small and medium-sized businesses nearly as heavily as Google. In terms of total number of businesses, at least in the USA, most live or die by their Google traffic today.  We had a glitch at Xtras.Net that caused Google to remove us from their index for a few days, and our sales dropped by over 40%!!!  Many also hate WalMart because of how they have crushed most local businesses replacing them with a behemoth that is locally ubiquitious and pays practically slave wages.

However, I’m thinking people will soon look back on Microsoft and WalMart as a very benevolent dictators when compared with the future of Google.  Google’s mantra may be "Do no evil", but I’m pretty sure the truth contained in the old adage "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" will prove to be undeniably intoxicating when compared to the early ideology of a few idealists who where at the time isolated from reality.

How soon will it be before we hear the calls to investigate Google on grounds of anti-trust?  I for one am starting to believe that sooner is better than later.

I guess time will tell…


6 Replies to “Is Google becoming a Monopoly?”

  1. Hello Mike,

    I think Google has the potential for being the most dangerous monopoly ever created, simply by virtue of it controlling so much traffic on the Internet, and hence so much of the lifeblood of the information age.

    One aspect of "monopoly" that Google has already got down perfectly is their supreme lack of responsiveness to webmaster questions about notoriously faulty web-listings (ie., their lofty indifference to the concerns of wrongfully indexed site owners). They have no mechanisms to provide answers other than to shunt you off to discussion groups with few actual employee moderators so that the post responses consist of informed guesses (at best) as to what Google is really up to.

    I’ve spent thousands of much regretted dollars on Google’s Adwords and yet they won’t give me the time of day to explain their failure to list my site correctly, which of course is step one of any online promotion campaign . I’ve spent thousands of hours over the past year trying to create a valuable free service online and they have yet to list my site correctly, despite my futile e-mails to them and posts on their so-called discussion groups — even there, no employee ever bothered to respond to me and I just got guesses for answers from other webmasters like myself.

    I would like to get a list of board members and send each and every one of them a letter — to at least have a chance of reaching someone who will actually acknowledge that I’m being ignored by Google.

    Although I live in the eastern U.S., I would also like to organize a peaceful webmaster protest outside Google in Moutain View for all those site owners whose sites are being ignored by Google in favor of the pages of riches-seeking webmasters who are greasing Google’s corporate palm.

    I’d like to protest Google’s reliance on links-to-sites to establish popularity, since what matters are bookmarks — by elevating the importance of links, Google has encouraged the phenomenon of disingenuous linking, whereby moneyed players team up to cross-link for strategic advantage without regard to the content contained on either site.

    But the main thing I’d like to protest is Google’s complete indifference to my point of view, as evidenced by the fact that they have spent a whole year ignoring my queries. Their arrogance is self-seeking motives are painfully evident when they will except thousands from a person as a customer but then ignore that same person when they have a simple basic query.

  2. Brian:

    Thanks for the comment. Heh. All I can say is "I feel your pain." :-(

    Well, since you are in the USA maybe you should write your congressmen and senators? With the democrats in majority maybe there’s a chance to get some light shown on the issue. I’m certainly planning to write mine.

  3. I couldn’t agree more, this is a scary thought. The day internet freedom is lost, could be a leap closer than anyone is expecting. Have you read Google Chromes eula? scared the shit out of me.

  4. @Jordon: Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I’ve heard about the EULA, but also that they modified it soon after. BTW (should I admit this?), I’m posting this comment while using Chrome… (have I turned evil-empowerer? Oh No Mr Bill, Noooo…)

  5. It’s fine I am using chrome as i write this also haha. (note I’m not forwarding any of my info to google to help “improve their product”)

  6. I think there can not be monopoly, when the competitors are just one click away. They just offer good services. I personally use google for seearch but yahoo for news, mails and finance.

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