When a website becomes used by millions of people per day and relied upon so heavily that the title of the website itself becomes a verb, you can be sure that the website is a dominant one. Google, is a website which has solidified itself as one of these websites. In Siva Vaidhyanathan’s book, “The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry), Vaidhyanathan even goes to the extreme of comparing Google’s power to that of Julius Caesar. “Like Caesar, Google has found its mandate to rule through vast popular support, even in the absence of a referendum” (Vaidhyanathan, 14).
So how has the Internet giant “Googlized” everything?
Using advanced algorithms, Google has become experts at what they call “PageRank”. As defined here, PageRank is: “A 0-10 score assigned by Google that rates the popularity of an indexed web page based on the number & type of external links pointing to that page.” As Vaidynathan puts it, the Web is a calmer, friendlier, less controversial and frightening medium – as long as one uses Google to navigate it.
Google has also changed the face of advertising dramatically. They’re best known for groundbreaking technologies such as Google AdWords and placement-targeted advertising. The techniques which set Google’s advertising apart from many others is the possibility to target advertisements so accurately. Companies are paying more for advertisements because they know that they will be reaching people who are interested in their product.
There are so many things Google has done to dominant the Internet, but one of the most important things they have done is made themselves available across numerous platforms. Google was one of the first websites to create a handheld version of their website. They have released numerous apps for handheld devices including Google maps and Google mail.
Finally, Google has also done some things which have been extremely controversial. In an attempt to take a “street view” picture of every street in the world for their Google maps application, Google has gotten themselves into a little bit of trouble. So much trouble in fact, that the entire city of North Oaks, Minnesota decided to request removal of the photos taken by Google.
More recently, Google has changed its privacy settings. The changes may have come due to the fact that many users have began catching on to the fact that Google most likely knows more about us then some of our close friends do; just because of what we do online. The millions of servers that Google owns are now being filled up with our personal information, and there is no sign of it being deleted in the near future.
So whether you think Google is taking it too far, or it is just acting as the dominant Internet phenomena it has become, it really makes you ask yourself…
What Have We Turned Into?
– Ian McDougald
Vaidhyanathan, Siva. The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry). Berkeley: University of California, 2011. Print.