The greatest hoax ever played on the Internet is the idea that Google's growth was somehow "natural" or "viral", and that the strength of their search results alone is what propelled them to their insane 70% market share. I've even seen videos of Googlers listening to speakers come in and tell them this myth, and I'm sure many of today's current employees think it's the gospel. It isn't... Google bought as much search space as they could from OEMs, portals, etc. Again, the reason that Mozilla.org is a going concern and Opera is now free? Because of the search deals they made with Google.
They're doing it again in mobile, and no one seems to be noticing. The first thing I thought of when I read that Google is getting 50x more search traffic from the iPhone than any other phone is "Wow, that default iPhone search deal they made with Apple is really paying off." Of course all the fanboys don't bother noticing that and just assume somehow Google would be getting all that search traffic "naturally". Google might still be seeing a huge percentage more iPhone traffic because of how nice the iPhone interface is than the rest (it is the best mobile browsing experience bar none) but that's not the significant part. You don't see Yahoo! or Microsoft or Ask making the same claims, do you? Google's getting that huge increase in search traffic because they *paid* for it.
Apple didn't make Google the default search on the iPhone because Steve likes Google better, please get a clue if you think so. Apple is getting paid handsomely for letting Google be the default search engine, and is getting a hefty cut of all that search ad revenue as well. (Oh, and AT&T? I'm sure they probably ain't getting jack out of this deal, but probably haven't figured out yet what they're missing anyways.)
The arrogance of Google though to continue to spout this sort of myth is what drives me to write rants like this... Look at this quote from the head of Google's mobile operations Vic Gundotra:
"The world is changing. Users want an internet without fences. They know how to type in Google.com if they want to get to it."
What an asshole.
Everyone knows how to type in a URL, yet Google keeps spending money like crazy to be the default search engine on portals and devices just because? What Two-faced, conniving, arrogant jerks. I mean, don't disagree with the sentiment of an open mobile internet, I just object with his manipulation of the idea to promote Google as the primary source of it.
The other thing that drives me insane is the U.S. 700Mhz auction, with Google constantly positioning itself as the savior of the people. Carriers are willing to invest billions for the license and the infrastructure to enable next generation wireless services and somehow they are evil. Google however, isn't willing to invest a dime in actual infrastructure, but is willing to jump into the bidding early on to drive the price up and yet they are somehow good. When people do that on eBay, it's called shilling, no? Do the moron Google supporters out there think that the carriers are just going to eat all that extra cost and not pass it on to their subscribers? Right.
So Google is basically using their cash hoard to push the US carriers to being being an expensive dumb pipe, the subscribers end up paying more, and Google goes directly to the manufacturers buying up search space so they can sit in the middle sucking up all the revenue. Nice... And then they go to the MWC and pretend they're some sort of harbinger for the good of mobility.
I think Gundotra said it best, "We want every phone to be a Google phone."
Yeah. No shit.