Google may be best-known as a search engine, but with more than 350m people actively using its Gmail service and more than 90m registered users on its Google+ social network, it’s clear that Google isn’t just a search engine.
It’s not a surprise to anyone that Google is shaping everything we do on the internet. While search is the core business and the core revenue stream, Google has its hand in many pies that go well beyond the net. Examples:
- Google Voice – add a virtual phone line in any area code;
- Google Maps – can you imagine a world without Google Maps? Maybe if you owned a GPS display unit, back in the day, Google Maps and smartphones have made TomToms obsolete.
- Google Android – the only alternative platform to Apple’s dominate iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch)
- Google Health – the electronic health record will become required in the next 2 years
- Google E – energy usage monitoring and conservation efforts
- Google Labs – just look at the ideas Googler’s are floating around in their free time.
So now that we’ve established Google’s additional reach, beyond the web and into your living room, car, mobile phone and even your healthcare, what is it that drives Google’s Brand into all of these alternative business models? And make no mistake, Google is not entering healthcare to make you feel better, or to save you money, Google wants to make additional billions from every piece of data that they can gather and retrieve about you and your habits. The scary part is they are getting closer to closing the loop on what we do when we are OFFLINE.
And while Google Plus (G+) is an amazing start, Google has plans that are much bigger than Facebook’s 800 million users. If there is a big brother growing on the web, knowing everything about us, it’s Google. If you believe in their “Do No Evil” mantra, then perhaps this is not a problem for you. But if you begin to see Google’s profit motive as driving many of the deep decisions that we will never know about, you might begin to wonder where it will stop. At what point does Google know too much? If Google and Amazon (the largest shopping network in history) were to freely exchange data (or exchange it for a profit, more likely) would that create a global mind that could predict not only shopping trends, but could that network be used to influence financial markets or political structures?
I’m not a black helicopter or chem trail spokes person, but I do believe we need to pay attention to the issues that EFF fights for every day. Even SOPA and PIPA, a fight that the “internet majority” seems to have put off for the moment, is part of a control and influence structure that SOMEONE WANTS CONTROL OF. And there is more money to be made with that information and influence than you or I can even imagine. Money that’s so deep and so essential to the functioning of the net that we are powerless now to stop it. We can slow it down. But if you don’t think Google owns your data, regardless of what you have set on your “sharing” or “privacy” settings, you might need to wake up from the utopian dream of global net democracy.
I willingly sell my data to Google in exchange for great services that appear free. I don’t even bother with the “privacy” and “don’t share” preferences any more. I’ve seen the man behind the curtain. You can too if you look into the matrix just a little bit. A book like CLICK will open your eyes as wide as Neo’s in The Matrix.
When my credit score is searchable on Google for free, and when my social activity or purchasing habits can influence that “credit score” or “potential value to the advertising buyer,” I think we may have crossed a line. And when a credit agency like Experian buys the worlds largest aggregator of anonymous user data, Hitwise, I think we are heading down a slippery slope towards Google’s Utopian Dream.
Suddenly “Do No Evil,” actually sounds kind of evil.
- Google experimenting with new signup form
- Create a New Account (New Google Sign-up Form)
- EFF.ORG (Electronic Frontier Foundation) fights for your online rights and privacy every day
- Why Google+ Is Not Competing Against Facebook; The Google+ Platform Play
- The Most Important Social Technology – Going Global w/ Google Hangouts
- Google+ Circles: Understanding Your Public vs Private Social Networks
- One Google+ Extension To Rule The Stream; An Essential Micro-Review for Google+
- Problem with Google+; The STREAM is Too Fast – Filter the Stream or Pause the Stream
Check out these other posts about learning social media:
- How To Fix Dell.com – And Dell’s Branding Crisis (they aren’t asking me any more)
- My Dream for You; How Social Media Can Change Your Life – This Is What I Do
- How to Get Useful Business Information Out of Twitter: Hashtags for Social Media Research
- The Twitter Bubble; Don’t Let Your Followers Fool You Into Feeling Influential
- Social Marketing Strategy: Thinking Beyond the Page (VIDEO)