The Case Against Google
For some time now I have changed my default search engine to DuckDuckGo, but that was mostly the result of my reflection on privacy issues. Everybody has already witnessed, how even a single Google search can quickly "taint" the ads presented on pretty much every subsequently visited web page. Changing the default search engine and using open services like Open Street Map instead of Google Maps are easy steps to prevent every information flowing directly to this omnipresent entity.
The New York Times article The Case Against Google however looks at the dominance of Google from a completely different angle and puts this in a very interesting historical context. The question in a nutshell is - can Google prevent real competition by simply excluding competitors from search results? Or put differently, can an emerging new internet service be choked to insignificance by not being visible on the first page in Google search?
As the article shows, this is clearly the case and has already happened a few times. For example establishing new exciting map services, based e.g. on the Open Street Map data, will certainly not be visible in Google search, as it competes with the Google Map based services.
The article does a good job of putting this dominance up for discussion and by showing that similar things already happened more than one hundred years ago. It is also interesting to read the actions and results taken in those other cases. It is especially interesting to read that Google itself could only grow as big as it is today because of the antitrust proceedings against Microsoft in the 1990s.
There is a lot of food for thought in this article, so go and read it for yourself.
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