In addition to Businessweek (April 2007) cover story titled “Is Google Too Powerful?” and with thanks to Bud_Caddell for his YOUmoz post titled “Google: Balancing an Elephant on Stilts”, I first posted this article in YOUmoz -Title: Google is the New Testament on 1 April 2007
The first part of this rant began with a post in SEOmoz - Title: SEOs Bubbling Influences Society, Culture and Values.
As an individual who benefits financially from Google’s Adsense program and who is concerned about privacy, corporate power, and objective access to information, I see Google as a forward thinking, transparent company, with roots firmly grounded in ‘doing the right thing’.
Google’s power lies in our collective perception of its "truthfulness": Not only is Google expected to provide meaningful results instantly on any subject, but they are under constant scrutiny by customers of their Web 2.0 services.
In my experience, Google is the first huge company to be accessible by the general public. They provide contact forms and forum boards for all services they provide. Their employees participate in Google and technology related forums, and are allowed to spend 20% of their time on their own sites. Unlike most traditional giants such as oil, insurance, Telcos, and media networks, Google is probably the most transparent.
It’s simple: Google transactions benefit ordinary people because the 12,000 people working at Google are some of the smartest (Internet) users you’ll find – and smart people, who have unfettered access to information and social communication, wouldn’t stand for anything less than the truth, open social discourse, and democratic freedom of speech. Also, Google’s new economy is enabling ordinary people, regardless of race, creed, or country, to engage in the New Economy through their Web 2.0 API’s and services. Never before - on such an unprecedented scale - has any individual anywhere been able to provide products and services to others. Not to mention the open access to scrutinize Google vigorously, through direct contact or social media platforms such as Digg.com, SEOmoz, and the myriad of Webmaster forums.
The gospel of ‘scarcity’ that traditional organisations have preached, and whose agendas have been that of secrecy of information and autocratic style, has been replaced with a world of abundance whose believers connect with a New Testament: Google.
Google is the New Testament because anyone can contribute to it and or make use of its resources of intelligence and economy on a global scale. Unlike the old book, I can ask Google a question and it will immediately answer with a variety of answers filtered by popularity of opinion on a grand scale. Those search results are what the rest of mankind thinks is relevant to my question, and I may visit one, 10, or hundreds of them to learn and clarify my new point of view.
Even in my role as an SEO, who specializes in achieving higher search engine rankings, my links are scrutinized by the general public and validated for link-worthiness, democratically.
Markets previously controlled by traditional giants of the last century are being eroded by us, the common man, because a new generation, who communicate through social media portals and blogs, provided by companies like Google, will never tolerate autocracy again. We have abundance of choice and we will never again suffer a Milli Vanilli, Pinochet, or Enron – because we don’t have to.
We, the people of the Internet, are watching Google, YouTube, Viacom, and every other corporate and individual participant of the 21st century, and while we allow them to collect our information, filter results, and aggregate information, we will continue vote on it, chat about it, bookmark it, and judge it for ourselves. We will find a way to eliminate spam and click fraud. We will evolve the Internet into an AI that feeds us, clothes us, helps save the environment, and connects us as globally as a ‘common human consciousness’ of shared opinion, collective ideas and intellectual fortitude.I believe that had YouTube not been sold to Google, its rivals would never have sued it. The truth is the benefactors seek to limit our access because it is the only way they can survive. They are not users of the Internet and have missed the boat on what’s going on. We no longer need them. Social communications is more interactive, engaging, entertaining and meaningful than TV and it is here to stay, evolve, and lift global human consciousness at lighting speed.