The reason people love (and should love) Google so much - gHacks Tech News

The reason people love (and should love) Google so much

I've been thinking a bit about the history of the internet, and one important point I deduced was how important Google was to this all. Many-many people love Google, which usually means a lot hate it or dislike it too, but everyone should be thankful for what they have done.

You're probably thinking that I'm a Gmail maniac, or I use Google Maps too much, but this isn't the case. The reason Google should be thought of highly is that it made (and makes) everyone question the quality of everything, and taught everyone that even the strongest product can be beaten with the right attitude/tools. It first challenged Altavista and other search engines and won. It then built the best Email app ever, made it completely free and gave people masses of storage.

During this period it "Googleized" all its rivals, meaning Yahoo, Microsoft and smaller companies started to act the same way, thinking more community-oriented thoughts and developing their own stuff to the same standard.

I think most of the Twitter phenomenon is because of Google too. Not that they have anything in common, but the same thing is happening here. First there was Twitter, a great idea. Then others came and created Pownce, Plurk, and loads of other, basically identical services. This is great since it guves us variety, and they push each other to do better and better.

Consumer-wise Google made people take top-notch software for granted. When I work with Gmail I expect updates, I expect stuff like themes, Google Labs to come sooner or later and so on. Sure enough, Gmail slowly but surely evolved toward POP, IMAP, a built in task manager, and so on. Making consumers hard to "buy" means that companies try harder and harder, in the end also benefiting the consumer.

Overall, what Google really brought to the table is a kind of internet capitalism that benefits everyone, but mostly the common user. So if you're bad mouthing Google any time you may actually be right, just remember that many of the quality apps you use today were made, or were made today and not years from now, partly because of Google.

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Comments

  1. Emil said on December 19, 2008 at 5:49 am
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    Yeah you are right that Google has helped all of us in many ways, but I’m also pretty sure you haven’t seen their dark side as well.

    For one, a lot of users are complaining that if you ever get banned from their Adsense and Adwords services, you are getting a lifetime ban on your name – and this goes even for the slightest breaking of their TOS.

    And this is really bad since, a lot of online income for websites is happening through adsense, so without any care for you, an automized script will ban you, and they will never even open your e-mails to explain what really happened and to give a second chance.

  2. Will said on December 19, 2008 at 6:11 am
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    Yes, you are correct to a point in that they have developed a number of useful and moderately groundbreaking solutions and products. However, the amount of consumer information that they have collected and the sheer amount of data that they hold on almost every internet user worries me very much. They were very nice in the beginning, however, now, they make Microsoft look comparably good. If you try browsing the internet with ALL google IP ranges blocked, you will discover what I mean. I do not trust them and I do not believe I ever will…just an opinion though.

  3. -=Ben=- said on December 19, 2008 at 6:34 am
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    This is truly a WTF post!
    Google!?

  4. Rico said on December 19, 2008 at 6:49 am
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    i have a love it/hate it relationship with Google. First off, i love that their services and apps are simple yet functional. They offer more than their competitors and really push forward innovation.

    The hate it part of my relationship is when you realize that, their products are NOT free. They don’t cost you money, but they do cost your privacy. No one seems to care about this, however. i’d wager that between Google and a branch of the US government, Google has more information on a given individual. Google’s intent on indexing the world’s information which is just far too scary given the power they wield and the choices they’ve made so far with the massive amounts of data they have accumulated so far.

    i’d strongly recommend all watch the following documentary, ironically hosted on Google videos:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1508211417393454786

  5. aPunk said on December 19, 2008 at 9:23 am
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    I completely agree with -=Ben=-.

    The most superfluous post on ghacks ever.

  6. Ashish Mohta said on December 19, 2008 at 10:02 am
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    No doubt only competition can bring progress. Somebody needs to cut monopoly and say he if you dont keep evolving I have options.

    Great views which I have always thought about.

  7. Rarst said on December 19, 2008 at 11:25 am
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    I don’t see it that way. Google makes a lot of interesting stuff. Is it useful? Yes. Is it worth worshiping attitude? Hell, no.

    Google makes money. On you, on me, on gHacks, on Firefox and on everyone and everything online. That doesn’t make users and Google friends, it makes those relationship business.

    It’s not “benefits everyone”, it’s “value for those who pay for it”.

    Google is playing big role in Internet, maybe too big. But that doesn’t mean that Internet owes Google a thing. Doesn’t mean that Google is somehow only thing making Internet evolve.

  8. IanG said on December 19, 2008 at 12:49 pm
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    Did you know that if you rearrange the letters in google it spells evil?

  9. Daniel Pataki said on December 19, 2008 at 12:54 pm
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    Hah, I knew I would be getting it for this one. What almost all commenters fail to grasp is that I am not saying I love Google, or that any of their products. I am simply saying that we should be thankful for the spirit they gave to the internet.

    I am also not saying Google is a saint, they have no right to do anything stupid just because they did good stuff before, it isn’t an excuse.

    Was simply giving praise because I think they deserve it, not for their actual products, but what they gave us on a higher level.

    Also, I hesitate to write about this topic, but what’s so scarry about indexing the whole world? Is someone is really interested in how I use the internet? Do you want to know my most inner thoughts and habbits? I invite you all to come and look.

    All in all, Google is just another company with good and bad sides. In essence I could have written the same post about Microsoft. Sure, they’re idiots and tend to churn out crap nowadays, but without them we might still be using hole puch machines.

  10. Bill said on December 19, 2008 at 6:41 pm
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    They’re an ADVERTISING COMPANY. Not something to be admired, let alone worshipped. Or are you getting too many ad dollars to speak the truth?

  11. Nicbot said on December 19, 2008 at 8:47 pm
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    Hmm…Interesting opinion, but I think if you’re going to go that far, you should give praise to Linus Torvalds as well for our techno-business models.

    Google has treated me well so far, but if I step back and look at what they’ve done and where it looks like they’re going (search, mail, apps, desktop, phone…), it’s all the same as any other corporate domination imho…just a new flavor. I think too much of one thing (even if it’s free) is a bad thing in any case.

  12. lily said on December 19, 2008 at 10:31 pm
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    the most intriguing part is the google book search (aka book scanning project)that
    sergey said is intended for the future period when machines can read and then refine our web queries with their ai

  13. Steven said on December 20, 2008 at 2:16 am
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    Hmmm, Google being responsable for innovations & advancing the use of programs on the net ?
    I don’t find we should be grateful to themù & see them as responsable for innovating the internet, for all they are is one big, big company with many fingers in many pies. It does this not because it cares that the user has a good service, but first & foremost it does this to make money & of course in a capitalist world they are obliged to try & satisfy their end users.
    Now I’m not totally against Google as I do you certain services : Google search, Google Maps & Google Translate. I used o use Google images a lot but nowadays the quality is getting bad as many of the same pictures show up all over a search (same pictures from different sites). THey seem to have been ignoring images & I suppose they’re more concentrating on Picasa (which is dowright horrible & something I’d never use – I do NOT want my photos indexed by them – they are private !
    In a sense, the lessening quality of Google Images is opening the door for newcomers who are proposing real innovatory stuff. Like simple image search (http://www.airtightinteractive.com/projects/simple_image_search/app/) or Flickr Related Tag Browser (http://www.airtightinteractive.com/projects/related_tag_browser/app/) or TILTOMO (http://www.tiltomo.com/) Picsearch + Exalead (http://www.exalead.com) of Imagery (http://elzr.com/imagery/).
    So I guess google images did help out by becoming crap over the years.

    WHen ity comes to GoogleMaps I have no problems & the same with Google searches as I use FF with adblocker/no script & most importantly the Customize Google extension which means I can anonymize the cookies & disable google from clicktracking.

  14. Nicbot said on December 20, 2008 at 2:42 am
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    @Steven: Some good points, but I disagree when you say;

    “It does this not because it cares that the user has a good service, but first & foremost it does this to make money & of course in a capitalist world they are obliged to try & satisfy their end users.”

    They are a large publicly traded company thus must satisfy shareholders as well now, but I think the reason Google has gotten so huge is mostly due to them building a product WITH the end user experience in mind. Fast, simple, free. As I kind of said earlier, it’s just too many eggs in one basket for me to be completely comfortable with any more though.

    Also, Picasa is an awesome product IMO. I don’t understand your slam on it at all. From a general user standpoint, it’s spot on. Show me a better free one…please!

  15. Bill said on December 20, 2008 at 2:56 am
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    Yeah steve, you’re well off-base regarding picasa. If you use it locally you’re fine, there’s no need nor obligation to use their web publishing service. Hands-down it’s the best consumer picture managing program out there. It’s one of Google’s better acquisitions.

  16. Ben2talk said on January 4, 2009 at 6:29 am
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    I always feel uneasy about the desire to topple the dictator. Wanting to remove Microsoft’s domination – people seem to see the only option is to use Google to replace them – but actually, Google are in the same position. Yahoo is rather weaker, but helps to balance some – basically though, Google is not fit to rule the world. We should strive for some kind of balance – we shouldn’t only ever use Google or searching.

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