Good Google or Bad Google ?

Google has almost 16 000 full-time employees which makes it the largest American company.
Co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, nowadays Google is worth $23 billions !
Besides, through a series of new product developments, acquisitions and partnerships, the company has expanded its initial search and advertising business into other areas, including web-based email, online mapping, office productivity, and video sharing, among others.
What does it mean ? It just means that Google is everywhere raising an important issue : Is Google good or bad ?

The first instinct is to simply answer that Google is good. If you want to be convinced just look at Google's corporate philosophy. Indeed, it includes statements such as "Don't be evil", "You can make money without doing evil" and "Work should be challenging and the challenge should be fun", illustrating a somewhat relaxed corporate culture.
In 2004, Google formed a non-profit philanthropic wing,, giving it a starting fund of $1 billion. The express mission of the organization is to help with the issues of climate change, global public health, and global poverty. Among its first projects is to develop a viable plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that can attain 100 mpg.
Relaxed and positive corporate culture that's all.
Is that really all ?

I'm not saying that Google is clearly evil. Let's avoid to be manichean. But I think that we cannot either say that Google is good or bad. It's clearly more complicated.
The main issue of that kind of corporation is the incredible power they have. And in the case of Google this power is not only in one sphere but in all kind of spheres. Google buy companies related to very different areas so that they can be influent everywhere.
But we can wonder if this behavior could not be dangerous in the future. Even if Google's will is to be fair and good we cannot neglect the fact that power, at the end, corrupts.
Isn't Google pretentious claiming that they will be good no matter what ?

Let's not be pessimistic but realistic. Google is not that perfect and good and as it has grown, Google has found itself the focus of several controversies related to its business practices and services. For example, Google Book Search's effort to digitize millions of books and make the full text searchable has led to copyright disputes with the Authors Guild. Another trademark concern is about Google's Gmail in the UK and several other countries. Now, in those parts of the world, it is known as Google Mail. Google's cooperation with the governments of China, and to a lesser extent France and Germany (regarding Holocaust denial) to filter search results in accordance to regional laws and regulations has led to claims of censorship. Google's persistent cookie and other information collection practices have led to concerns over user privacy.

So. Good Google or bad google ?

Let's just say that like every single company Google is lead by commercial interests and to remain the best you may have to make concessions…


Here is a list (probably not exhaustive) of Google's services and apps:

3D Warehouse, Accessible Search, AdSense, AdWords, AdWords API, AdWords Editor, Alerts, Alternate Views, Analytics, Android, Apps for your Domain, Apps Premier Edition, Audio Ads, Base, Blog Search, Blogger, Book Search, Bookmarks, Browser Sync, Calculator, Calendar, Catalogs, Checkout, Checkout API, Code, Co-Op, Current, Custom Search Engine, Daohang, Dashboard Widgets for Mac, Desktop, Documents, Dodgeball, Earth, FeedFetcher, Finance, Froogle Mobile, Gmail, Gmail Mobile, Gmail Notifier, Google Web Toolkit, Googlebot, GoogleGuy, Googleplex, Grants, Groups, Gulp, iGoogle, Image Labeler, Images, Jaiku, JotSpot, Labs,Language tools, Local Business Ads, Maps, Maps API, Maps for Mobiles, **Mars, Measure Map, Mini, Mobile, Moon, Music Trends, News, News Archive Search, Notebook, OpenSocial, Orkut, Pack, Page Creator, PageRank, Patents, Phonebook, Picasa, Picasa Web Albums, Product Search, Project Hosting, Reader, Reader Trends, Referrals, Ride Finder, Scholar, Search API, Search Appliance, Search By Number, SearchMash, Send to Phone, ** Sets, Shared Stuff, **Flight simulator (with Google Earth set up on your computer), SiteLinks, Sitemaps, SiteStats, SketchUp, SMS, Space, Spreadsheets, Store, Suggest, Summer of Code, Talk, Toolbar, Toolbar API, Transit, Trends, TrustRank, Video, Video Upload, Wallet, Web Accelerator, Web Search, Webmaster Central, Website Optimizer, Whack, Wifi, YouTube, Zeitgeist, Zingku

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