Google: The Virtual Roman Empire

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Google is on the cusp of establishing a virtual dynasty by exerting prominent influence in the ways people access, manage, and respond to information. Could we be witnessing the birth of a new empire?

Google: The Virtual Roman Empire
How Big Will Google Become?

If all roads lead to Rome, then all cyber pathways lead to Google.

You can’t read a blog or visit a technology news site without seeing the company’s name referenced at least once, if not several times, throughout an article. Just last week, media coverage of the Google acquisition of YouTube reached feverish proportions.

People just can’t seem to get Google off of their minds.

In fact, the terms “Google” and “World Domination” are becoming more commonly associated together these days among bloggers and tech journalists alike.

The reality of the situation is that Google is becoming a mythical, almost omnipresent force in the online realm. The sheer scope of the company’s influence inspires comparisons to the birth of a new empire.

The staple of a prominent dynasty is the ability to control access to and distribution of vital resources to the masses. The Roman Empire constructed a detailed infrastructure for travel between territories while also developing aqueduct systems within the framework of their cities.

Ultimately, this allowed Roman leaders to exert significant power by controlling access to both water and transportation.

How does this translate into the digital age? People want information; it’s an invaluable resource. Whoever controls access to that information will inevitably wield tremendous power in the age to come.

Google acts as the road to information in today’s realm, and collects the tolls in the form of paid search advertising.

The raw statistics don’t lie; Google is responsible for 60% of all Internet searches in the United States and nearly 70% of searches throughout the UK. With similar shares of the search landscape throughout the rest of the world, one singular fact starts to become evident.

When people want information, an overwhelming majority of them look to Google to supply their needs.

Information access and distribution, however, mark only the beginning of Google’s budding virtual empire.

The next logical course along the trail is to supply people with tools to manage and implement the information they find within the confines of Google’s search domain. Google Trends, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, and Google’s tools for educators are all efforts focused on providing users with outlets for the management and application of said information.

Is Google ready to compete with Microsoft in terms of application prowess? Perhaps not, but refusing to take their efforts seriously would be a mistake of epic proportions. Steve Ballmer perhaps already sees the handwriting on the wall, according to John Battelle.

So while retrieving and interacting with information is vital, the third side of the triangle is perhaps the most important in securing public allegiance: Provide the masses with a forum to express their own ideas in response to the information they consume.

Google Video, MySpace Video and YouTube are sterling examples of a platform for the voice of the Internet public to be heard. Millions of people visit these sites on a daily basis, interacting within a virtual community committed to the free exchange of ideas and opinions.

Not coincidentally, Google now controls two out of the three major communities geared toward social expression in terms of video.

It is becoming clearer every day that information is one of the world’s most precious resources; and Google is already at or very near the core of how people retrieve, manage, and respond to that information.

This may not constitute world domination in the military sense, but it could prove to be even more effective in the long run.

Is the keyboard mightier than the sword?

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

Google: The Virtual Roman Empire
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