Love them or hate them, Google is growing rapidly and entering more areas of the online world every day. Their increasing dominance has sparked a lot of debate about what their ultimate goal is, and the New York Times today published an article called “Big Google becomes Big Target.” The article quotes The Register‘s Otto Stern who warns internet users that Google’s free services will have an adverse effect on the market and on society:
“Go ahead and celebrate everything Google. When it has a total monopoly on online advertising, content, goods and services, religion, morality and porn, you can really rejoice.”
Not everyone sees a conspiracy in Google’s rise, however. In BusinessWeek’s Tech Beat blog, Rob Hof writes that the company is doing exactly what any company would be expected to do:
I’m not sure why anybody assumed that a corporation, especially a successful one, would ever act in anything but its self-interest. That’s not necessarily evil, it’s just what corporations do, whether you like it or not. (And no, I don’t especially like it all the time either.) But you know what? Investors seem to like it, since Google’s stock just hit an all-time high.
In spite of the debate, Google continues to venture into new things. Last week they began testing a pay per call program in which web searchers can click an icon onscreen and be connected by phone to a vendor. Here’s an FAQ about the pay per call program from Google’s site.