Google’s Mixed Incentives
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Google didn’t mean to be an advertising company. But the Google Search Appliance debuted at nearly the same time AdWords shifted to a pay-per-click model and ad revenue quickly eclipsed it and all other sources. So the firm was only three years old when “don’t be evil” began to fall prey to capitalist reality. By now, the noble and “open” attributes of their brand have been widely discredited.
Advertising is still a “star” rather than a “cash cow” (in BCG terms), so Google must aggressively defend and expand their market position. To do this, they must secure consumer traffic, which leads to corporate behavior orthogonal or even contrary to making the world’s information accessible. YouTube once fulfilled the stated mission brilliantly for video content, but would now
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