Dominant Google

As a search engine, there’s no denying that Google is the king of the moment, accounting for more than half of Internet searches. The reasons for Google’s popularity can be down to its no nonsense, clean and tidy approach to the search interface and search results, giving us “good” starting points to what we want to look for in the current sea of information (or mess really). Some people even jokingly refer Google to as God, as it just seems to the most likely entity people will turn to when they have a question.As in most cases, I don’t believe that it’s healthy to have an overly dominant player in any field. We only have to look at why regulators always try to encourage competitions in a business environment. Credits to Google for getting into this position ahead of previously more household name like Yahoo, Lycos. And not to mention their role in taking advertising on Internet to another level. In doing so Google becomes one of the biggest companies in the world, with market capitalisation of more than $100 billion!A capitalist world has a funny way of rewarding individuals. Sergei Brin, co-founder of Google, is now the 26th richest person on the planet, with a net worth of $12.9 billion. In a world where there are around one billion people (one-sixth of world’s population) still suffering from hunger and malnutrition, it really does strike me if there’s a need for anyone to be this rich (and in such short period of time!). Afterall, what can you buy with $2 billion that you can’t buy with $1 billion?To be honest with you, I don’t know Sergei Brin all that much. So it’s probably unfair to pick on him as an example. But Google’s recent acquisition of a 2-year-old video sharing website, youtube.com, for $1.6 billion is yet another madness in this capitalist world don’t you think? No disrespect to youtube’s community generated video content, but they are at best amateur. Compared to content generated by say BBC, the stuff on youtube are really of low educational value, by and large, and of really poor quality. Some are quite entertaining, but mostly are rubbish. And tell you what, there will be even more rubbish, as will be triggered in much the same way as by Google on most rubbish that we all see on the Internet today, thanks largely to Google Adsense, that allows webmasters to easily display pay-per-click advertisements on their websites.The business logic of buying youtube is mainly its ability to command eyeballs, with 20 million visitors every month and growing, and hence potentially more advertising revenue. But it is ashamed that such a big sum of money (not a big sum for Google of course as they have so much crazy money in the form of inflated shares) is paid to such a low value entertainment portal that doesn’t do all that much.Anyway, let’s hope that these not-so-coventional rich men can also follow the example of Warren Buffet in contributing their self made fortune back to the society, rather than blowing them off too easily…

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