Google Trial: An Interesting Comment Amid the Yada Yada

May 8, 2024

dinosaur30a_thumbThis essay is the work of a dinobaby. Unlike some folks, no smart software improved my native ineptness.

I read “Google’s Antitrust Trial Spotlights Search Ads on the Final Day of Closing Arguments.” After decades of just collecting Google tchotchkes, US regulators appear to be making some progress. It is very difficult to determine if a company is a monopoly. It was much easier to count barrels of oil, billets of steel, and railroad cars than digital nothingness, wasn’t it?


A giant whose name is Googzilla has most of the toys. He is reminding those who want the toys about his true nature. I believe Googzilla. Do you? Thanks, Microsoft Copilot. Good enough.

One of the many reports of the Google monopoly legal activity finally provided to me a quite useful, clear statement. Here’s the passage which caught my eye:

a coalition of state attorneys said Google’s search advertising business has trapped advertisers into its ecosystem while higher ad prices haven’t led to higher returns.

I want to consider this assertion. Please, read the original write up on Digiday to get the “real” news report. I am not a journalist; I am a dinobaby, and I have some thoughts to capture.

First, the Google has been doing Googley things for about a quarter of a century. A bit longer if one counts the Backrub service in an estimable Stanford computer building. From my point of view, Google has been doing “clever.” That means to just apologize, not ask permission. That means seek inspiration from others; for example, the IBM Clever system, the Yahoo-Overture advertising system, and the use of free to gain access to certain content like books, and pretty much doing what it wants. After figuring out that Google had to make money, it “innovated” with advertising, paid a fine, and acquired people and technology to match ads to queries. Yep, Oingo (Applied Semantics) helped out. The current antitrust matter will be winding down in 2024 and probably drag through 2025. Appeals for a company with lots of money can go slowly. Meanwhile Google’s activity can go faster.

Second, the data about Google monopoly are not difficult to identify. There is the state of the search market. Well, Eric Schmidt said years ago, Qwant kept him awake at night. I am not sure that was a credible statement. If Mr. Schmidt were awake at night, it might be the result of thinking about serious matters like money. His money. When Google became widely available, there were other Web search engines. I posted a list on my Web site which had a couple of hundred entries. Now the hot new search engines just recycle Bing and open source indexes, tossing in a handful of “special” sources like my mother jazzing up potato salad. There is Google search. And because of the reach of Google search, Google can sell ads.

Third, the ads are not just for search. Any click on a Google service is a click. Due to cute tricks like Chrome and ubiquitous services like maps, Google can slap ads many place. Other outfits cannot unless they are Google “partners.” Those partners are Google’s sales force. SEO customers become buyers of Google ads because that’s the most effective way to get traffic. Does a small business owner expect a Web site to be “found” without Google Local and maybe some advertising juice. Nope. No one but OSINT experts can get Google search to deliver useful results. Google Dorks exists for a reason. Google search quality drives ad sales. And YouTube ads? Lots of ads. Want an alternative? Good luck with Facebook, TikTok,, or some other service.

Where’s the trial now? Google has asserted that it does not understand its own technology. The judge says he is circling down the drain of the marketing funnel. But the US government depends on the Google. That may be a factor or just the shadow of Googzilla.

Stephen E Arnold, May 8, 2024


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