Sigh, I Remember When Google Was a Baby

It’s said that Google now wants to run my life.

Google, the world’s biggest search engine, is setting out to create the most comprehensive database of personal information ever assembled, one with the ability to tell people how to run their lives.

In a mission statement that raises the spectre of an internet Big Brother to rival Orwellian visions of the state, Google has revealed details of how it intends to organize and control the world’s information.

The company’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, said during a visit to Britain this week: “The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as ‘What shall I do tomorrow?’ and ‘What job shall I take?’.

I’d say, “Well, isn’t it about damn time?! I’ve always needed a life manager!” But then I think again and imagine tragic disparities, Google telling some people to invest their millions in…Google…and informing others it wouldn’t adversely effect their future if they danced off the nearest high tower.

In the meanwhile, despite the fact that Google has purchased Double-Click and will next be belching all over me ads for everything marginally connected with whatever subject I happen to be Googling, I went ahead and made up a Google homepage for myself and installed Google Chat and with the calendar and gmail and weather and select TV stations (like C-Span 2 which I can only see online as we only have network television) and Wikipedia and maps and gas prices and to-do lists all available right there at one place, and all kinds of crap I don’t need but’s fun, and anticipating more more more, I can see how, especially if I gave Google access to my computer with a desktop search, and if I had a cell it played nice with, it could come reasonably close to believing it could run my life.

I’m mad at Google because they played with rankings again and last Saturday my site began tanking, the Google searches accessing it halved. I went from being the NUMBER ONE GOOGLE SEARCH RESULT FOR MONSTER BREATH to number ten. And that hurt. That REALLY hurt. I would BOYCOTT them for this but I can’t imagine giving up Google search if only for Google book search.

I’m beginning to see how Google is getting ready to rule the world. And I remember when I first saw Google. It was a new little thing. They were BABIES, sucking their thumbs, virtually begging people, “Give us a chance! Help us out!” People who felt themselves internet rebels abandoned Alta Vista and installed Google search on their web pages.

Then Google switched from the breast to regular food, growing teeth, and started crying, “Feed me! Feed me!” Which we did, gladly.

And now it has morphed into GoogleBLOB, consuming every thing it touches, becoming bigger and bigger and bigger. Which is why I didn’t do Gmail or the Google Calendar forever. I didn’t want to give Google too much of me. But here I am plugging into it and consolidating all my home page non-essentials into it, wishing I could integrate Word with its calendar and manage files from it. Next it will be doing our banking for us, and selling us real estate, finding us jobs, mates, and who knows what else?

Now, if only Google could only personalize its advice. It’s one thing to tell you what you should be doing based on tracking every move you make, but another making judgment calls based on those moves. Such as if you didn’t like what Google Personality X-tian Fundamentalist Aunt Jane had to say about how you should be doing THIS instead, then you could always switch to Google Friend Buttercup who is working on her third drink and feeling pretty giggly.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

2 thoughts on “Sigh, I Remember When Google Was a Baby”

  1. I always figured it would be easy to be NumberOne in Google if I could just write about one thing. Over and over. Every day.

    Why does it so often turn out that the Big Secret of Success is to be boring?

  2. I don’t know how they rank but I think it’s more complex than that. Because if it was just a matter of one thing over and over than spammers would own Google completely. They change how they rank periodically in order to shake spammers.

    But if you’re legit and concentrate mainly on one topic and have a passel of visitors (and maybe incoming links) then you’re going to rank high. Still, when they change how they rank then suddenly sites can go several pages back in results. Then several months later they change again and you move closer to the top.

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