Google is probably the most advanced Web tool in modern history and both I, and all my partners, use and love Google.
It is this popularity, and its incredible usefulness as its popularity grows rapidly, that I believe will lead to a very different Post-Google world. This Post-Google that will very positively affect how we do business, shop and generally communicate in a Post-Google world. But, is there any reason to fear this phenomenal growth? Maybe…
Prelude to a Takeover
A very large amount of information is already available via the Web. About three years ago it was estimated that only about 40% of the entire world of information was available via the Internet. It can certainly be argued that within the next five years all the information available on the planet will be attainable via the Internet. According to Google, they have catalogued almost the entirety of the Web and continue to do so every few weeks. In addition to cataloguing and ranking the current Web, Google also has, via its own data and partnerships, a catalogue of the Web as it existed nearly all the way back to the mid nineties.
This means that Google as it grows more popular will contain all the information of the Planet Earth. Peter Freitag and myself determined pretty accurately how to boost your Google PageRank. It is not easy, and it requires one to own their own directories and Web sites, or have many partners willing to cooperate with you and your firm to collectively boost all the involved rankings. It is also necessary to choose firms that do not wish to be catalogued with the same key-phrases. When I was first introduced to Google I was immediately impressed with it speed and accuracy.
Peter and I were so impressed that we had to know, or have a fairly good idea how, Google worked. We conducted a series of experiments and managed to increase the rankings of an undisclosed site, for which I was primarily responsible for marketing and sales, from about 60% to about 75%, in just a few weeks. Google is probably the most advanced tool on the Web today and growing in popularity by leaps and bounds over the rest. Google applies what seems like very simple logic, but it revolutionized how we use the Web and how we market using search engines and their associated spiders.
Phase I: The Toolbar
If you take a closer look at Google’s toolbar you will notice a series of features that might be seen as an unintended foreshadowing of the Google takeover. The toolbar, by the way, is a very useful tool, and I highly recommend it. One of the features is that the toolbar tracks your searches, this is very helpful and, in a sense, acts as an automatic favorites folder, or as a virtual memory. Seems harmless enough, and it is very useful, but let’s take it to the next inevitable step. By remembering your searches and the links you clicked on combined with the ones you return to and the links you type in manually and then applying data mining intelligence, Google now becomes a Web browser sidekick with the ability to recommend places to visit, EVEN if you don’t initiate a query. The entire concept of knowledge management, how we store and retrieve data, even internal data, will be able to be done via Google. One example, we use Google for the search tool in our Web sites. We simply code in a search box and point the search to Google with the “site: CFDev.com” attribute and we have a very reliable ‘internal’ search tool for the site. We figure that Google catalogues our own site at least as well as we do it to ourselves. That being said, a logical next step is for Google to begin to host Webs sites.
Phase II: Server-side Power
With Google’s entrance into the world of hosting, it might then offer a wide variety of knowledge management tools that work on Google’s Web server. Google, via its toolbar, offer a history of Web sites in the ability for the browser to view ‘cached’ or previous versions of the Web page. So, it’s not just cataloging current, but past versions of the Web. Essentially this leads to the power of saved versions of your pages, entire site, and ultimately your data. Your personalized version of you corporate Google interface can manage documents company-wide and store them for retrieval and archiving in a much more intelligent and powerful knowledge management formula than any programmer, or CKO (Chief Knowledge Office) at any company might hope to accomplish. One logical result of this power is a legal power to access as legal evidence of activities on the Web. Another simple example of server side power is the concept of using Web-based portals and only Internet Explorer or Netscape to access functionality such as you might currently have access to using Microsoft Word, Lotus, etc. For an example of a Web-based, server-side, tool that provides word processor type functionality got to either Ektron.com or CFDev.com. Look for working demos of either ActivEdit, by ActivSoftware, or eWebEdit Pro, by Ektron. By using either of these two demos all you need is a Web browser, thus no install, no upgrading, less crashing and your system is less susceptible to computer viruses.
The Web is maturing from client-side, or your computer in your home, to server-side, or tools working on Web-based servers, thus, available through most any Web browser. Another wonderful example is AntiVirus.com. This mostly works from another machine someplace on the Web, and this allows the virus definitions to be virtually real-time. This means that you log into the site, and the program runs on the server-side and is real time. This is becoming more popular with the advent of bandwidths that were only available only to corporations who had thousands of dollars per month to buy such a massive electronic pipe. One almost certain prediction I can make is the disappearance of what we know as our hard drive. Operating systems will reside in hard wired memory chips that can be updated automatically via the Web Any other software or games will reside on a server, and will be played or activated via a Web browser. This will further revolutionize the Web and our information technology age since hard-wired machines will be even faster and much more reliable than even Windows XP.
The revolution will start with smaller firms who need a one-stop shop for business management at a reasonable cost. Post-Google business world will empower smaller competitors in any given marketplace with the power of Google. It is going to revolutionize the way we manage business, conduct our lives and even shop.
Phase III: Google Hangover
Now that we are all sufficiently drunk on the wonderful new world that will be created by Google and its future partners let’s take a step back and discuss how scary this could be. With Google being primarily the host of 90% of the knowledge of the planet, to include the valuable business intelligence, Google, and its CEO, would literally control the world very rapidly. This vast concentration of power, if placed into the wrong hands, could be very dangerous.
Soon after just finished writing the original draft of this article I read via CNN that Google announced Froogle, their new shopping comparison engine…
Rob Thrasher is an internationally published author, reaching up to one
million readers each month. He is co-founder of XM Mail Server, at
http://www.xmmailserver.com, and founder of the New Millennium Minds