What Google could do if they were evil
You probably know Google's informal company motto "Don't
be evil". Google is a very successful company that
knows a lot about its advertisers and users. In addition,
Google has a market share that would allow them do certain
What could Google do if they were evil? Note that the following
is only hypothetical:
Google could favor its own products and websites
Google could prefer websites from its own services in
the search results: websites that run Google ads, websites
that use Google's payment service, Blogger sites, Google
All websites that pay Google in some way could be preferred
in the search results while others are downranked.
Google could punish websites at discretion
If Google doesn't like your website or if someone tells
Google that you're a bad boy then Google can ban your website
from the search results without any reason given.
You can find a lot of articles on the web that discuss
the problem that Google removed web sites from the index.
The main problem with these removals is that Google usually
doesn't explain why a web site has been removed so that
webmasters often are complete and utterly at Google's mercy.
Google could use your data against you
Most Google products now use a single account. That means
that Google knows a
lot about you if you use their services: your address,
your credit card number, the web pages that you visit,
the web sites that you own, how much you earn with your
web site (if you use Google's analytics product), etc.
Google could sell this information to other companies,
the government or any other person that pays for it. If
one of your web sites causes a problem with Google, they
could ban all of your sites. There's a lot that Google
could do with the information they have about you.
Google could force webmasters to
Google could decide that web sites that advertise on Google
get better rankings in the search results. They could also
decide that companies with big wallets don't get high rankings
so that they have to advertise more.
Companies that use Google's analytics software to track
their sales tell Google how much they earn. That allows
Google to raise the advertising costs based on the revenue
of the company.
Google could do most of the things above and it would be
very difficult to prove that they actually do it because
Google doesn't reveal the ranking algorithm. Maybe you know
the saying "Power
tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Let's
hope that Google can resist the temptations of their power.