In working in a technology, internet dominated field, over the years I’ve come accustomed to the changing web sphere. Although it’s something that happens both seemingly suddenly and paradoxically over a long period of time, it’s something that in this field, you have to become comfortable with to a degree. For instance: I remember the days before anyone knew what SEO was– before it was a term- and when CSS was still in infancy. Come to think of it, I can remember before “Just Google It” was a term anyone would understand. Nowadays, even I can’t fathom that notion, considering the state of the web today and it’s subsequent domination by Google.
Recently I watched the movie starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn The Internship, in which they move to San Francisco to become Google Interns in hopes of landing a permanent job with the company. It made me realize just what an affect Google has made on the web, and our world, as a whole. Then today I was reading about the recent change in commenting conventions on the incredibly popular video site, YouTube (which is owned by Google.)
It seems that within the past few weeks, in an attempt to cut down on trolling and spam, YouTube has made it only accessible to post commentary by using your Google+ account. And they’ve faced a huge backlash, including a petition calling for the old, anonymity enabled comments system to be brought back. The backlash hasn’t just come from regular Joe Schmoes, either- it even includes one of YouTube’s co-founders. A few years ago, Google made this change in it’s own social sphere, and instead of allowing people to review businesses and companies anonymously, it was now only possible with their Google+ account. Needless to say, it did cut down on what we can only imagine would be numerous amounts of spam and bad-mouthing. What was to stop your competitor from dragging your company name through the mud via a negative Google review in years previous? It seems like it can be something of a double-edged sword.
Google doesn’t just dominate in the comment, social realm either: there are other factors to take into consideration, including Online Advertising, Web Analytics, Online Media (namely, YouTube), and of course, Search. When it comes to digital advertising revenue, Google even beat out Facebook, which held on to it’s colossal power in the social networking world with their early integration of mobile advertising. The numbers? Google’s $38.6 billion dollars in digital advertising revenue versus Facebook’s $6.4 billion. While not entirely surprising given the obvious and blatant success of Google, the numbers are still pretty mind-blowing. And here’s a fact that really stood out to me: the amount that global web traffic dipped when Google suffered a 5 minute outage was a staggering 40%.
So it doesn’t look like Google’s world domination of the internet will slow down any time soon, and the release of Penguin 2.1 can attest to that as well- but that’s a topic for another day. But, try not to worry about it too much. After all, all we can really do is keep calm and keep searching.