On Thursday April 8th I presented a case study over one of the largest multinational public Internet search technology corporations in the world, Google Inc. To answer the question of the week, “Who controls the networks?”, I focused on Google and specifically their control over the internet through their large selection of inventive Internet-based services and products.
I believe that Google Inc. does control large portions of the internet primarily because their products unite many very useful and popular services that millions of people use every day. One of the main reasons that Google Inc. has become so popular is because they make online services convenient to users, and who doesn’t want internet use to be made convenient? They are the “masters” of converging all of their services so that you can easily log into your Gmail, for example, and then utilize each of their services (Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Search, Google Translate, etc) from one convenient location. One of the reasons that the Google Search is the most popular search engine in the world is because it’s said to be the most thorough and the easiest to operate and manage. These characteristics carry through to all of Google’s other services which is why they are one of the most successful companies on the Internet.
In class, I proposed one of my discussion questions, “Do you think that Google has too much control over the Internet?” and I thought it was very interesting that no one said “yes”, or at least no one voiced this opinion out loud. In order to prompt more discussion I asked if people would rethink their answers after knowing that Google’s search engine isn’t even a comprehensive search of the entire web, but just a search of Google’s own index; this means that technically Google does control what people see when they use their program. People still didn’t seem to think that Google has too much control in this area and I think that’s very interesting! Most people just commented that Google’s search index still seems thorough enough for them and that they feel like their results are “comprehensive enough”. I didn’t have time to propose my other two discussions questions, but I am interested as to what other people do think about where Google will expand next. I could definitely see them expanding to having an online radio/song search engine similar to Pandora.
In this case study, I learned so much about Google and especially their search engine program and advertising strategies. I was very surprised that Google’s search engine pulls information from their own search index and not actually the entire web; in fact, this startled me the most and led to my personal view that Google controls a large portion of the internet. In the end of class when we proposed our summaries I stated that I believe that individuals ultimately control the Internet. From the individuals who choose which search engine to use, to the individuals who invent the search engines, like Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the co-founders of Google Inc. The government will continue to attempt to regulate the Internet and its content, but in the end it is in each of our own hands.
Links to the two Google videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ka4tCkYXHiE - How Search Ads Work
Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHR6IQJGZs - How Google Search Works