So, from humble beginnings a decade ago, Google turns double-digits and simultaneously is recognised as the worlds most powerful global brand, as charted by research-consultancy firm, Millward Brown. Interestingly, out of the top-ten brands on this list, four are computing-based: Alongside Google (1), there sits Microsoft (3), IBM (6) and Apple (7). Furthermore, China Mobile (5) and Nokia (9) bulk up this techno-team. Unquestionably, this is a reflection on the importance of technology in modern everyday life, but perhaps any questions should be directed towards Google and the massive monopoly they’re building for themselves?
There are hundreds of articles and blogs floating around surrounding the ethics of Google, particularly in their data-collecting/retaining methods. Whilst I’m totally for companies being allowed to make profits, no matter how big the amounts involved, I like to try and understand the motivation behind the cash. When Google bought DoubleClick, I was worried – and partly, I still am – that the biggest search engine on earth was buying one of the biggest measurers of ad-trafficking and measurement. Not only does this possibly stamp out competition, but the issues raised surrounding data and the fact that Google will soon be Big-Brother-esque in their knowledge of users. (Therefore able to increase revenue even further). It just seemed to be a bit bullying when it happened, and a far cry from the informal Google “Don’t be evil” slogan. Other stuff happened this year, such as Brand-protection no longer being allowed on PPC-ads, so competitors could appear on each other’s terms; another money-maker for the company.
Whilst Google undeniably do a great deal of good, both online and off, (from free source coding and decent email through to setting up a $1bn charity fund and uniting knowledge-sharing), it nevertheless remains that some of it’s business practices can be viewed to sway slightly away from what the company preaches.