A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Friday, January 27, 2006

Can Google make money without doing evil? 

The sixth of the 10 things that Google has found to be true may indeed be true, but the wording is clever. It doesn't say that Google will not make money by doing evil and however rationalised the reasons for deploying Google.cn are, the fact remains that profit has come before principles.

The Economist gives a somewhat positive report on the launch, highlighting the drop in share price when Google refused to hand over usage data to the DoJ, but I don't buy it. The simple fact of the matter is that Google wants a site in China that performs well enough for it to be able to maximise revenue from ads and increase market share.

The idea of creating a non-commercial web search engine resurfaced when Google began monetising its service, but that was when Google was good. I wonder if, in five years time, we'll look back at the launch of Google.cn as the beginning of the demise of Google?
The Register has spotted that Google have pulled an FAQ saying that they don't censor serach results.
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