Google had to go through what every company goes through when it gets too successful and enough people beholden to it complain: it got dragged before a Senate committee and interrogated about its business practices.
Honestly, it’d be one thing if Google’s actual problems were being explored (and they were to some degree), but way too much time was dedicated to sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp whining that Google won’t treat them like special snowflakes and keep their Internet separate from everyone else’s Internet. “Wah, Google took snippets of our websites and put them on Google Places, then told us to remove it they’d have to remove us from Google! And then…and then…and then they did what we asked them to and now we’re not on Google Places. WWWWWAHHHH!”
First of all, this whining sounds just a little familiar. Secondly, Yelp seems OK with a website screwing the little guy when they’re the ones doing it, and TripAdvisor should be a little familiar with refusing to remove information. The stench of hypocrisy is rather thick.
Don’t get us wrong, there are some serious issues here, but while Google’s response has some pretty good points about the nature of the Internet, Google still tends to refuse to acknowledge that it is enormous, and even if it steps softly, it’s still a giant that will crush somebody with every step it takes. There are some real problems with one company centralizing that much control.
It’s too bad the Senate hearings weren’t about that.