Is Google Coming to A Place Near You?

Yesterday I was told that a friend of ours, who has a one-person counselling business in the nearby city of the Gold Coast, had been "approached by Google" to buy some online advertising.

I was surprised because, although the people who live there think it’s wonderful, the city of the Gold Coast is not exactly at the centre of things. In fact, calling it a "city" is a bit of a stretch: the population is pushing half a million but the municipal area is spread out over some 1,400 square kilometres and along 70 kilometres of coastline. There is a wide swathe of built-up area and a central hotel/residential section with tall buildings. But for most Australians the term "Gold Coast" conjures up holidays/retirement/touristville.

I live just over the state border in another holiday town called Tweed Heads and when I tried to use Google Earth recently to show someone where I live I could not get close. So, as I say, I was surprised that Google, if the story is true, is out and about selling advertising in our neck of the woods.

Then I read a fascinating post on Robert X. Cringely’s I, Cringely: The Pulpit blog, When Being a Verb is Not Enough: Google Wants to be YOUR Internet. I picked up on this from a post on Dan Farber’s post Google’s aiming to become the Starbucks of the digital universe.

In his post, Cringely observes that Google "now controls more network fiber than any other organization". He goes on to say that "Google wants to — in its own way — control the Internet." And adds, " In fact, they probably control it already and we just haven’t noticed."

Commenting on news reports of Google’s plans for data centers with massive capacity in his State of South Carolina (pop. 4 million), he speculates that Google has a very big picture indeed:

I think Google is building for a future they see but most of the rest of us don’t. I’ll go further and guess that Google is planning to build similar data centers in many states and that the two centers they are apparently preparing to build here in South Carolina are probably intended mainly to SERVE South Carolina. That’s perhaps 100,000 servers for four million potential users or 40 users per server. What computing service could possibly require such resources?

His answer to that question? "Google intends to take over most of the functions of existing fixed networks in our lives, notably telephone and cable television".

USA today, tomorrow the world? Or is it already happening even here and we just don’t know about it?

My first reaction was fairly negative. Do I really want Google to have so much control? Maybe not. But given the lack of much sign of Australian ISPs being willing to provide serious bandwidth where I live and do business, the prospect of the Big G coming to town and ramping up the technology could have its attractions.

Tags: Google, Cringely, bandwidth, Gold Coast, Tweed Heads

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About Des Walsh

I show business owners and other professionals how to navigate the social media maze and use LinkedIn effectively. I'm an author, speaker, business coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn specialist. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get my weekly Social Business Bites.

Comments

  1. Fascinating, Noric. I’ve heard several people who are specialists in online marketing say they spend time in bookshops finding out what people are interested in, indicated as you say by what’s taking the shelf space. And in Australia, the magazine shelves in newsagents can help too.

  2. Thanks Des for writing about the important subject of Google and its market presence or dominance. Today I spent 30 minutes at Dymocks, Sydney’s largest downtown bookstore. I do this from time to time as a form of market research; it tell’s me what’s hot in the minds of authors and book publishers, if not the book buying public. I judge what’s hot basically by the amount of shelf space attributed to the topic and the speed at which the space is growing.

    What surprised me today was that there was an almost entire rack or column of books devoted to Google and next to it another devoted almost exclusively to eBay. I’ll be going back in 6 and 12 months to see whether the shelf space allocation for them has shrunk or grown. I’m just observing something simple here, there’s a lot of current buzz about these corporations and I believe all of it is justifiable. They are currently central to the invention of the future, and the wealth being generated is certainly heading towards GoogleBay, though Tweed Heads deserves more of a slice. 🙂

  3. Bring on Google as an ISP in Australia – anywhere and everywhere, I say – because BigPond is a miserly outfit, a mean-minded monopoly of a joke. Look at the broadband costs – outrageous, for speeds that are still really slow, and the kitsch templates, and tiny email MBs for mailboxes and websites they offer – free with … what? What’s free? Google is free. BigPond and Telstra are robbing us blind and grinding us down in the process.

  4. Des, it’s also possible that Google’s approaching foks in your neck of the woods is just an example of the Long Tail at work. Those pennies add up.

    – Dennis