Google’s Power

Jeff Jarvis offers some comments to ponder over:

Media depend on Google. Without the search engine, no one would be found. Without GoogleNews, they’d all get less traffic. Without the ad programs, advertisers wouldn’t be advertising on plain old home pages; bloggers owe gratitude to Google for taking the cooties off citizens’ media. With the ad programs, big media sites and bloggers alike are getting checks from Google. All that is wonderful.

So is heroin. At first.

…Imagine where Google can go next, challenging not just media but media’s challengers: Watch out Monster… eBay… CraigsList….

Now ask whether Google is friend or foe… or both.

The answer, inevitably, must be both: Google helped explode the internet. Without its search, no one would find our content. Without the ads, Google wouldn’t make money. But then, that’s Google’s problem, isn’t it? And a not-very-big-problem it is.

It’s not a love/hate thing. I love Google; we all should. I don’t hate Google. But I think it’s time to consider fearing Google. Just to be safe.

So what should media sites be doing? And I don’t just mean the big guys. I mean you, humble blogger with your humble ads:

Will Google maximize your value? Will Google undersell you? Is Google being transparent with you and revealing what the ads on your pages are selling for and what share you’re getting? Will Google compete with you? Can Google put the stranglehold of a monopoly on you? Should you be making Google bigger or helping to create competitors to Google? Can you afford to? Can you afford not to?

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.