Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The power of Google

Google is probably the most well known internet company in the world. They are the best search engine, but they are much more than just a search engine.

original unknown

This image is no more than a joke, but as time goes by it becomes more and more close to reality.
As of now there are 7 main pillars that make Google what it is now, and define its future:
1. Search
2. Gmail
3. Blogs
4. Video - Google video and Youtube
5. Adsense
6. iGoogle - combined with web history and bookmarks
7. Open source programs

There are more products by Google, but in my opinion these seven are the most important. It is easy to notice that they can can be further divided into 3 categories:

Both Adsense and search are excellent tools for generating money. has about 75 million unique visitors each day. Adsense is shown to these visitors and is also displayed on millions of other pages in the internet.
In my opinion, Google does a great job in making their ads unobtrusive, and sometimes they are even useful. It is possible however to completely block them as well as other ads - you can read more about how to do it in my post about AdBlock. Not all people use ad blocking software, but this number is growing. Soon ads will either disappear or change there form into something less obtrusive.

The main reason why sites like Blogger and Youtube exist is user generated content. They provide a simple and even free way to communicate your creativity to the world, and even make money from it. These both sites started as separate companies and were later acquired by Google. Why would a search company be interested in something like this?
Youtube is the most popular video site. I feel that Wordpress is better than Blogger, but it is also more complex. By owning these two sites Google owns a large share in the user generated content world.. And we shouldn't forget picasa. It is less popular than flickr, but it is better in some ways - mainly because it is firstly a program and not a web site.

Store 100% reality
You probably already know about this - Google apparently has a plan to store all your data on their servers effectively moving the whole world into the cloud computing. Presumably this new service will be called Gdrive. Even today, this is something we can only dream about. Probably it will happen in the next 10-15 years.
Even today, Google gives a 6.5 GB email account plus 1 GB for photos (with picasa web albums).
Google bookmarks and web history are another example of how our data (and information about us) is getting stored on Google servers.

The question is:

Why should we trust Google with all or even part of our data?

This is the weak link in Google plan - even if they will build a server capable to store 100% of all the data in the world, will people use it?
The answer is very simple - people will use it. I am not talking about some small percent of world population that don't mind posting personal photos on the internet. When Gdrive will appear, security experts will warn people about potential data/identity loss, but it will not stop the adoption of Gdrive.
The main strength of Google is in their motto - "Don't be evil." The motto is only words, but Google has actions to back it up. They give a lot of service for free, and people like free. They sponsor open source projects, and give grants for developing free software. They do a lot for the people.
All of this makes them a company people like and trust. Eventually this will be the true reason behind the success of Gdrive.

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