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July 11, 2014

Google’s End Game

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Successful organizations have a plan. Call it a mission statement, but in the end big corporations want to make a profit. In other words, they need customers, either new ones or repeats who keep buying more stuff.

Car companies sell cars — and car maintenance and car parts. Grocery stores sell food. Microsoft sells software, and Apple sells both hardware and software. But what is Google selling?

Google gives away a lot of stuff. It offers an abundance of free services on the Internet. It gives away Android and Chrome. When it does so, it gets customers. Therefore, as economic theories go, the customers themselves are what Google is selling.

That means you.

The way Google generates revenue is through advertising: Companies pay to be shown on search results pages. And Google makes a profit when you click those ads — including advertising here on Wambooli.

You could argue that Google’s end game is to sell advertising. That’s true; it’s how Google makes its billions. But what Google really wants is consumers. They want a clutch of people — call them humanity — as their property.

When you use the Chrome browser, Android OS, Google search, Maps, Calendar, Gmail, and so on, you are working for Google. A profile is being created, one that monitors what you do, what you search for, what you write and create. All that data is tracked, kept associated with your account.

In the end, Google builds a profile about you. Their goal is highly targeted advertising. As far as I see it, Google’s end game is to present you with an ad for something you immediately want to buy. That’s something sales monkeys call heroin. Like the drug, they want addicts and dependents willing to part with their money.

Yeah, that really sounds crazy, and maybe I’m totally nuts. But I believe Google’s end game is to create the perfect customer. They want to present to advertisers a consumer who reliably buys what’s presented to them most, if not all, of the time.

That’s an impressive end game, one that would make Google’s human database the most valuable thing ever created. I mean, imagine if I could present one of my books to 100,000 people who were guaranteed to buy a copy. What would that be worth to me?

Can Google pull it off? I believe so. How and whether it works remain to be seen. Still, I believe that’s their goal. You and I are unwitting participants at this point. In the future, we might be among the addicts.

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