Everything You Wanted To Know About Google -- But Were Afraid To Search For!
(A Reflective look at the little search engine that soared!)
All knowing, all seeing, ever present!
Google has permeated into almost every aspect of life on this planet and beyond. It has become a mainstream fixture for computer and Internet users around the globe. All the while, cementing its position as the only real facilitator of the world's collective intelligence.
Can you remember a day when you have not Googled?
But Google's reach doesn't stop with the mouse or the cursor. It has moved beyond the computer screen, snapping up resources, sites, and people at a frighteningly steady pace. Perhaps, the first indication Google wasn't just satisfied with staying within the wired confines of the world wide web was when it partnered with universities such as Harvard, Oxford, Stanford and others, to scan and index the contents of their libraries -- then making this material accessible through Google Print.
Then it casted its aspirations heavenward with the introduction of Google Maps and Google Earth. Mapping services that bring the world's geographic information into view, it is as if Google had literally ascended, watching us from far and near, tracking our every move as well as our every keystroke. Even using satellite imagery to provide it with eyes in the sky; leading one to wonder, from those lofty heights can divinity be far behind?
All kidding aside, Google, whether it wants to or not, is developing a god-like reverence in the eyes of many. But is this such a leap of faith? Is the idea of Google as a god-like force in our lives so preposterous? so ludicrous? so sacrilegious?
In prehistoric times, pagans used to worship the sun gods. Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome all had their gods who satisfied the basic human need we have to believe in a superior being or force. They even raised ordinary humans who displayed unusual courage or bravery up to a god-like status. Are we now entering into a new post-modern pagan era -- will we be worshipping at the feet of Google?
Not really, we treat all our knowledge givers with respect, some even reach a god-like status. We raise them up above the crowd, give them special meaning or reverence in our lives. Humans have been doing this since we stood upright and walked on the plains of Africa. The shaman or high priest of ancient times -- holders of the secret rites, holders of a group's history or knowledge; we show these people respect and we elevate them to a higher status.
Google falls into this category.
And Google does deserve some respect, as far as the search engine market goes, whether it's wearing a halo or a cursor -- Google is still the only game in town. According to Alexa, a company that tracks web traffic, the top three sites on the Web are 1. Yahoo, 2. MSN, and 3. Google. However, when you compare where people go on these sites -- search.yahoo.com accounts for only 9% of Yahoo's traffic and search.msn.com only 7% of MSN's total traffic; whereas most of Google's traffic is search traffic. This is a big distinction.
And what about the purchasing power of these search engines; latest data presented by Score Networks, Inc. shows MSN searchers at 48%, Google searchers at 42% and Yahoo at 31%. That is Google searchers were 42% more likely to purchase online than the regular Internet user.
Another aspect of Google's commercial might is its online advertising system. Through its Adsense and Adword programs, Google has commercialize and monetized most of the web's free content. Depending on your opinions or stand, this may be good or bad. Regardless of viewpoints, Google has been more than generous with sharing this ad
revenue with all concerned parties -- content providers, web writers and journalists, professional bloggers, ordinary webmasters and marketers -- all have reaped the benefits of these programs.
If you feed it with fresh high quality content -- Google will take good care of you! In many cases, it can be argued that Google is subsidizing or facilitating the creation of quality content on the Net through its Adsense program.
Google's dominance of all aspects of the Internet is also taking on a god-like force. It is acquiring and building at an almost god-like speed. Google Acquisitions include: Outride, Blogger, Neotonic Software, Applied Semantics, Ignite Logic, Genius Labs, Picasa, Keyhole, Urchin software... how did all this madness start?
Initially called BackRub, referring to the way it back linked to web sites, Google was founded by Stanford graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google, the name itself is a play on the word googol, and refers to the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros... opened its doors on Sept. 7, 1998, in Menlo Park, California. It had a corporate staff of three. In 2004 Google offered its IPO with a price per share at $85. By June 7, 2005, Google was worth $80 billion, making it one of the world's biggest media companies.
Perhaps, one of Google's most brilliant (some believe absurd) moves, happened just recently. It has applied (via Nelson Minar, a Google Engineer), for patent rights to transmit ads through RSS feeds. Few people know, even more won't believe, but the Internet has undergone a fundamental shift in how information is exchanged on the web. RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication' and was first popularized by blogs because blogs use XML and RSS feeds to syndicate their content.
Don't come to us, we will deliver. People can view a site's contents through RSS readers or an RSS equipped browser without actually going to the sites.
RSS will revolutionize the Internet. Microsoft in its Longhorn Statement has announced the next version of Windows will have RSS integrated into its Operating System. RSS applications, under the Creative Commons license, will change the way we use our computers and the Internet.
Google, if it is successful with this patent application will build on its already god-like status. The stakes are enormous and Google knows it. This patent could put Google directly into the mix, but the rewards are beyond belief! And that's not all, there are rumors Google may be developing its own RSS powered operating system and browser. Why not, it has the resources and financial clout to easily carry out such an undertaking. Google is already the owner of the domain name "gbrowser.com"!
One can only wonder, is Google positioning itself to not only be the brains of the Internet but also placing itself into the very core of the nasty beast? Does it desire not only to be a mega hub, but also to be an innate part of the whole structure? Positioning itself, in essence, to becoming the web's nervous system.
Any movement of data, information, or commerce on the Internet will have to pass through and be affected by the Google Factor. More or less, cementing Google's influence on the whole scheme of things. And in the process, further weaving Google into the very fabric of our lives.
Now if that's not God-like, nothing is.
Copyright © 2005 Titus Hoskins
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