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Is Google Trying to Dominate?. A SEO expert opinion

Is Google a wonderful, benevolent grandfather of all surfers, striving to make a hostile world more friendly, one sweet kitten link after another? Or is the Internet’s largest search engine – a boisterous child of the massive Google Inc – really crouched slobbering behind the scenes, ripping their fuzzy little feline heads off and tossing them into its gaping maw?

Haven’t run across any accusations? Just Google it!Is Google Trying to Dominate

 Being a SEO consultant myself, I have to give thanks to alarmist blogs with screaming headlines take top spot to announce “Google’s Plan to Dominate the Internet” and “Google is Trying to take over the World!”. An eight-minute YouTube video by controversial, right wing radio host Alex Jones leads off with images of Google Earth’s residential video mapping and he makes disturbing allegations regarding violations of privacy. Google is watching and there’s no place to hide, he suggests. Google wants to lull us all into a consuming sense of absolute dependence and then swoop down and rip away our freedoms, Jones claims. Websites like Squidoo are peppered with lively debates between starry-eyed lovers of the tremendous search engine with its 400 million visits a day and their nerdy counterparts who claim to have a clear-eyed vision of looming electronic disaster.

Starry-eyed, four-eyed, clear-eyed, or Google-eyed, anybody can see that the corporation is huge. This should not be a debate between idealists and conspiracy theorists. It’s all about economics. Asking only whether Google is good or evil is a simplistic approach. Google is a business, a very Big Business. Its purpose is, and always has been, to make money and then make more of it.

How does Google make money? First and foremost, it does what any successful business would do – it meets a demand. Who can argue with a product that will translate a foreign language into English for you in 10 seconds flat? Google delivers news and their search engine brings it into your view. Google will put a map of anywhere in the world right onto your phone at the touch of a button. Where there’s no big demand, Google creates one. Bet you didn’t know in 1991 that you would really, really want a Google Product Search App for your iPhone in 20 years.

Google doesn’t develop these products because it wants to make your world beautiful. The products make your world beautiful because you ask and Google delivers. Beer makes us happy too. The neighbourhood pub sells you one because you’re thirsty and sometimes the proprietor puts pickles and salted nuts on the table to make you even thirstier. Is that evil or is that business sense? How about the kid on the corner who sets up his lemonade stand on the hottest day of the year?

Our mistake in allowing this debate to sneak up on us is not the fault of Google. Anyone who ever assumed that Google was in it to do daily good deeds should bow his head in shame. Elderly people who have lost touch with their mental faculties might get rooked into donating their life savings to predators, but anyone savvy enough to know what SEO stands for should also be clever enough to know that Internet search engines are all about Big Business. More visits to Google increase its popularity, making it more appealing to advertisers. If there’s a way to make users pay, and it can be done without legal interruptions, users will eventually pay. But it’s not because anybody is morphing from benevolent grandfather to kitten-devouring monster. It’s just business.

Behind the scenes of any Big Business there are schemes that might not sit well with the average consumer. Wouldn’t it be nice if SEO really meant that your searches would turn up the most relevant sites, rather than the ones whose webmasters know all the right tricks? We have invited Google into our living rooms and offices. It lurks in our jeans pockets behind the buttons of our cellphones and it takes pictures of our houses and transmits them by satellite to the world. That can be frightening to anyone who places a great value on privacy.

Is Google trying to dominate the Internet? Absolutely – just as the kid on the corner want to sell more lemonade than the little girl six blocks up the street. When you’re in business, you strive to be better than the competition. It’s relentless. There’s not going to be anyone standing at the helm of Google tomorrow saying, “All right people, we’ve been in it for long enough. It’s been fun but we’re done.” Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt earned $101 million last year. That’s got to feel rather nice. He probably wants to do it again this year.

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