Google on Path to Becoming the Internet

September 28, 2009

I thought I made Google’s intent clear in Google Version 2.0. The company provides a user with access to content within the Google index. The inventions reviewed briefly in The Google Legacy and in greater detail in Google Version 2.0 explain that information within the Google data management system can be sliced, diced, remixed, and output as new information objects. The analogy is similar to what an MBA does at Booz, McKinsey, or any other rental firm for semi-wizards. Intakes become high value outputs. I was delighted to read Erick Schonfeld’s “With Google Places, Concerns Rise that Google Just Wants to Link to Its Own Content.” The story makes clear that folks are now beginning to see that Google is a digital Gutenberg and is a different type of information company. Mr. Schonfeld wrote:

The concerns arise, however, back on Google’s main search page, where Google is indexing these Places pages. Since Google controls its own search index, it can push Google Places more prominently if it so desires. There isn’t a heck of a lot of evidence that Google is doing this yet, but the mere fact that Google is indexing these Places pages has the SEO world in a tizzy. And Google is indexing them, despite assurances to the contrary. If you do a search for the Burdick Chocolate Cafe in Boston, for instance, the Google Places page is the sixth result, above results from Yelp, Yahoo Travel, and New York Times Travel. This wouldn’t be so bad if Google wasn’t already linking to itself in the top “one Box” result, which shows a detail from Google Maps. So within the top ten results, two of them link back to Google content.

Directories are variants of vertical search. Google is much more than rich directory listings.

Let me give one example, and you are welcome to snag a copy of my three Google monographs for more examples.

Consider a deal between Google and a mobile telephone company. The users of the mobile telco’s service run a query. The deal makes it possible for the telco to use the content in the Google system. No query goes into the “world beyond Google”. The reason is that Google and the telco gain control over latency, content, and advertising. This makes sense. Let’s assume that this is a deal that Google crafts with an outfit like T Mobile. Remember: this is a hypothetical example. When I use my T Mobile device to get access to the T Mobile Internet service, the content comes from Google with its caches, distributed data centers, and proprietary methods for speeding results to a device. In this example, as a user, I just want fast access to content that is pretty routine; for example, traffic, weather, flight schedules. I don’t do much heavy lifting from my flakey BlackBerry or old person hostile iPhone / iTouch device. Google uses its magical ability to predict, slice, and dice to put what I want in my personal queue so it is ready before I know I need the info. Think “I am feeling doubly lucky”, a “real” patent application by the way. T Mobile wins. The user wins. The Google wins. The stuff not in the Google system loses.

Interesting? I think so. But the system goes well beyond directory listings. I have been writing about Dr. Guha, Simon Tong, Jeff Dean, and the Halevy team for a while. The inventions, systems and methods from this group have revolutionized information access in ways that reach well beyond local directory listings.

The Google has been pecking away for 11 years and I am pleased that some influential journalists / analysts are beginning to see the shape of the world’s first trans national information access company. Google is the digital Gutenberg and well into the process of moving info and data into a hyper state. Google is becoming the Internet. If one is not “in” Google, one may not exist for a certain sector of the Google user community. Googleo ergo sum.

Stephen Arnold, September 28, 2009


2 Responses to “Google on Path to Becoming the Internet”

  1. Tony Wood on September 28th, 2009 9:48 am

    This is interesting, it might be a step back to early 90’s when CompUserve provided a dial-up to gain access to services that most people thought “was” the Internet.

    In Real Life terms, will Google control the Mall and the shops that are in it; you can go to the streets outside, but be careful as it is dangerous out there.

  2. Dredd on September 28th, 2009 8:43 pm

    Interesting indeed.

    But is possible that Google will become ‘Dr Know’ from the movie A.I. “Where fast-food for thought is served up 24 hours a day”. And as Joe succinctly put it, “In this day and age, David, nothing costs more than information.”

    The flip-side possibly being that “nothing will cost more than getting your information found”.

    footnote: (techcrunch update: Google is now taking steps to remove Places pages from its organic results. It’s added a ‘Disallow: /places/’ tag to the robots.txt for Google maps.)

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