Google’s Monopoly

What do you do when you need to find out something that you do not know? You Google it.

Image result for google

Google has a monopoly on a majority of the world’s search engine market, owning 90% while their closest competitor, Bing, owns 2%. Google has integrated itself into our lives and even into the dictionary. To “Google” something means to search it on the internet.

There are 2 main drawbacks from this lack of competition.

Advertisements

An un-skippable ad. Many of you must be familiar with this frustration.

Google bought YouTube in 2006. In 2007, YouTube launched its first advertisement. Fast forward to 2018, YouTube started showing two advertisements before every video and this trend is likely to continue. With no one competing against Google, Google can basically do whatever it wants and consumers will just have to “deal with it”.

Power

Google has the power to filter the news people read to influence and alter their views and believes.

In 2018. Donald Trump accused Google of “rigging search results for news”. Google released a statement claiming that “search is not used to set a political agenda and they don’t bias our results toward any political ideology.” This may be true or not, but its scary to think the amount of power an international search engine has over the world.

Image result for power of google

Google has brought convenience to countless individuals. Information is shared readily and accurately thanks to this tech giant. But with this comes certain costs. Whether the benefits of having a single search engine company claim the monopoly outweigh the costs remains an ongoing debate.

Join the Conversation

8 Comments

  1. Do you think Google monopoly is good for digital marketers? I think it is good because we only have to figure out the SEO for google, imagine if there is like 5 search engine, it is impossible to optimize for all search engine.

    Like

    1. I think that it is wonderful for marketers. It isn’t so for consumers though. Imagine the cumulative uncountable amount of hours that people waste looking at advertisements. It is precisely because of this reason that I downloaded ad-blocker.

      For marketers though, it’s another story. Google SEO has been proven to produce results in terms of impressions and reach. I guess you do have a point. I just think that there should be a balance between the two.

      Like

  2. Google has brought about significant conveniences to our lives, allowing us to access information readily at our finger-tips. However, all companies need to generate revenue in order to sustain operations and fund development, and Google is no exception. How important exactly are advertisements as a source of revenue to Google?

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Indeed, advertisements – though a nuisance, may be a necessary (and lucrative) source of revenue for Google to keep its search engine running and up-to-date. In fact, out of the $31.91 billion that Google made in 2017 Q4, a whopping $27.27 billion (i.e. 85.5%) was generated solely via advertisements (https://www.thedmti.com/Blogs/you-google-for-free-how-does-google-earn-from-it/)! As the primary source of income for Google, it is unlikely for advertisements to go away anytime soon.

      Like

  3. Joining the discussion with ‘Felecia Tay’, I can see why advertisements are important to Google. Are there any alternative sources of revenue that Google has utilised or can explore?

    Like

    1. There are certainly other potential sources of income that Google has or can tap into. For instance, did you know that Google has partnerships with news publishers to direct traffic to their sites? Instead of blatant advertisements, these are integrated in the search results generated pertaining to the search entry, and direct readers to the news publishers’ content (e.g. news articles on The New York Times, The Straits Times, etc.). According to a study by the News Media Alliance (https://www.newsmediaalliance.org/release-new-study-google-revenue-from-news-publishers-content/), news is an integral component of Google’s business and an estimated 40% of clicks on Google’s trending searches are for news. In fact the study revealed that Google generated $4.7 billion from the news industry in 2018 alone. This brings us back to my point about how Google possesses the power to filter the news we read – be it to influence our views or for their own financial interests!

      Another potential source of revenue would be adopting a ‘premium’ subscription model. For instance, Microsoft Outlook offers a paid premium email service (on top of its free basic account) to users, providing additional features such as advanced protection against phishing and malware and increased storage space (https://premium.outlook.com/?sl=1#/OfferV3). Google can consider offering a similar premium model with additional paid features – though at the end of the day, this may just feed their monopoly further.

      Like

  4. Due to consumers now using their mobiles and constantly searching for information and answers its so lucky that we have something like Google as a platform. How do you think a company could or would compete with Google? How could Google change to make consumers happier?
    There are ads from Google yet everyone is still using it. Do you think consumer could get sick of Google and having the power to do what they like?

    Like

    1. I think that at this stage it’s almost impossible for companies to seriously compete against Google. Another commonly used search engine company is Baidu which operates in China (http://eskify.com/10-googles-biggest-competitors/). Baidu is only thriving in China due to China’s censoreship laws (https://qz.com/1352137/why-internet-users-chose-baidu-over-google-when-it-was-in-china/). Without these censorship laws I’m sure that the Chinese population would choose Google for the convenience of the Google “ecosystem” (https://www.computerworld.com/article/3233300/google-ecosystem.html).

      Google’s monopoly can only be toppled if this issue garners attention from international organisations that have the power to convince the masses. This, however would take a big mess up on Google’s side which is highly unlikely given its careful nature.

      For now, Google will remain the largest search market. This might raise serious ethical questions but people value Google’s services too much to boycott them.

      Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: