The company is synonymous with data mining on the largest of scales. However, Google is experiencing something of a online backlash for - gasp - promoting its own products when people search for related keywords. Basically, you search for a city, they offer a link to Google Maps.
I understand that Google initially set off on becoming a pure-search destination, with no human intervention and all… but to quote Chris Rock: “times change, people evolve.” And, Google too has evolved with the times.
The day Google raised financing from venture capitalists, it changed.
The day Google decided to introduce ads, Ad Sense, it changed some more.
The day Google introduced its contextual network, Ad Sense for Publishers, the rules of engagement evolved again.
The day Google filed for an IPO, well, it changed forever.
Today Google is worth $150 billion on the public markets. Investors bid up the price by pouring in their nest eggs; when they do, they expect more. Furthermore, when advertisers buy keywords on Google, they expect more as well. In turn, when publishers add Google’s text links, well, they expect more as well.
No one seems to complain when they add Google text ads on their site or when they receive checks from Google every month. (Though someone should ask why it’s a blind revenue share, and eCPCs seem so low despite the average CPC advertisers pay according to public sources like Fathom Online, or better yet: what Google asks advertisers to pay when they turn to Google advertising). Nor does it bother many people when they buy Google stock and see it rise 500% since the IPO price.
Yet… when Google decides to expand on their lead and increase their degree of financial leverage, people cry foul. Wake up, get real, snap out of it. We created the monster, live with it. We said that Microsoft (MSFT) was a monopoly and we had no choice. Well, with Google, we have a choice. If you don't like the company, than don't "google" the people and things you need to research- "yahoo" them.
If you are unhappy with Google (as many of my esteemed blogger peers are), then remove the Google ads from your site. It’s really very simple.
Furthermore, by moving away from pure-search - as did Yahoo! (YHOO), Altavista and others - Google creates an opportunity for new, “virtuous” players to come in and “not be evil.”
Plain and simple: if you bought that piece of investor and public relations spin ("Don’t Be Evil”), then you don’t deserve to complain about Google’s ever-expanding pursuit of profit.
It’s called capitalism.
GOOG 1-yr chart: