Why Google isn’t what it used to be

Matt McAlister writes a wonderful (and only partially tongue-in-cheek) post on how Google has morphed from a search company into an advertising company, and eventually into “a fast-growing capitalistic enterprise competing for world domination.” Some excerpts:

The AutoLink debate seems more like the catalyst for venting frustration in a perception shift than a real complaint about the technology. Google was once the enabler of open market conversations, a doorway to a future where innovators could circumvent the establishment on the way toward improving the world we live in. But there’s something about this new feature that changes all that.

Product launches such as Orkut, Gmail, Image Ads, and Google News all stripped away the once-thick varnish of credibility and trust that Google commanded amongst the digerati. They bought closed software tools companies like Blogger and Picasa. And then Google went public. The true intentions of the company’s founders became obvious to everyone. They want to be rich! How rude!

[…] The company’s Do-No-Evil mantra then read more like a laughable reverse-psychology trick or 1999 marketing ploy. Craig Newmark suddenly looked like a saint, and Google was merely one product launch away from turning its core supporters into rebel forces in the fight against evil corporations.

[…] It couldn’t be clearer from their own statements that Google has monolithic intentions: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” The difference between Google and the CIA is that Google let’s everyone see what is in their database.

Fine. They are doing an incredible job of building an information services powerhouse with a river of revenues to distribute and impressive products that do impressive things. Stockholders and advertisers should be very pleased. Consumers should marvel at what Google offers.

[…] Should consumers of Google products trust that Google is providing any of these services primarily for the user’s benefit? Don’t believe it for a second. Those days disappeared long ago. It’s time to get reacquainted with Google and understand it for what it is today…a fast-growing capitalistic enterprise competing for world domination.

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