Economist on Google

Huh. Seems they've done their, er, book reading. Such an ascent is enough to evoke concerns—both paranoid and justified. The list of constituencies that hate or fear Google grows by the week. Television networks, book publishers and newspaper owners feel that Google has grown by using their content without…

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Huh. Seems they’ve done their, er, book reading.

Such an ascent is enough to evoke concerns—both paranoid and justified. The list of constituencies that hate or fear Google grows by the week. Television networks, book publishers and newspaper owners feel that Google has grown by using their content without paying for it. Telecoms firms such as America’s AT&T and Verizon are miffed that Google prospers, in their eyes, by free-riding on the bandwidth that they provide; and it is about to bid against them in a forthcoming auction for radio spectrum. Many small firms hate Google because they relied on exploiting its search formulas to win prime positions in its rankings, but dropped to the internet’s equivalent of Hades after Google tweaked these algorithms.

And now come the politicians. Libertarians dislike Google’s deal with China’s censors. Conservatives moan about its uncensored videos. But the big new fear is to do with the privacy of its users.

This from the cover opinion piece. More on Google in the issue here. The conclusions and coverage are, well, familiar.

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

6 thoughts on “Economist on Google”

  1. “Google’s share of web searches must remain stable. Thanks to its brand, this looks manageable.”

    One thing that’s funny about this is that it really depends on which statistics are used (the article cites Hitwise). Does Hitwise know if I type in battellemedia.com and/or hotels.com and/or whatever? see, for example, http://20070831.battelle.top-searched.info (a redirect I have set up for easier legibility).

    In other words, if I were a Google shareholder, I would start worrying now.

    🙂 nmw

  2. muaaah! Boohoo… Poor Large media companies! Guess what it’s our turn now…. let’s see who can control the flow of info now! this is what’s called “FREEDOM” learn it love it & live it! Biaatch! Love to all my fellows! V

  3. When you say “book reading”, are you hinting that the writer of the piece lifted much of the background from The Search? Because if you are, I agree.
    It was an interesting article, and good that a broad interest mag like The Economist has covered it in such relative depth, but I’m not sure I learned anything I hadn’t already read in The Search.

  4. Seems like The Economist is a bit slow off the mark here (like at least a couple of years). The more interesting story at the moment is around Facebook, not Google.

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