The Anti-Marketing Hall of Shame - Globalization of the Internet

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Globalization of the Internet

If you tried submitting your website to search engines lately, you will have noticed that most of them now charge a fee to list your site in their directory (up to several hundred dollars annually). At present, Google is one of the exceptions, but it is almost inevitable that they will sell out like the others (see UPDATE below). But who can blame them? They are a company with a mission to maximize profits. You might be asking, "What does a fee-driven search engine system mean for you and me?" Well, it means that when we search for information, by definition all of the results will be paid advertisements. If this trend continues, the Internet will turn into one giant yellow pages directory dominated by the companies with the largest advertising budgets. This will generate greater profits for the largest companies, and this globalization of the Internet will facilitate the spread of other globalization efforts worldwide. The small website owner will fade away into oblivion in the same way that small business owners across the world are being swallowed or crushed by the corporate machine.
I enjoy the Internet for its diversity of views, content, and flavor. If I want to watch ads from our nation's largest companies, I might as well just watch TV. . . which reminds me - I shudder at the thought of WebTV.
NOVEMBER 2003 UPDATE: I am sorry to report that our final and greatest hope for the Internet, Google, has fallen. Now that it is a publicly traded corporation, its management has one simple goal - profit maximization. And so the largest search engine in the world is evolving into yet another yellow pages directory enabling the wealthy (and Google) to become more wealthy. The signs are already visible. The quality of their search results drastically deteriorated in mid-November in a move thinly veiled as a crusade against spam. Unsurprisingly, the players left standing are the largest and oldest companies (and spammers). It's not over yet, but these developments deal a severe blow to my hopes for reversing the trend of globalization and signal more dark times ahead.

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