Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Are Search Engines Really Advertising Engines?

Despite being maligned as “profit first” corporate entities, does the leading search engine companies / service providers hinder rather than help us achieve our intellectual and creative aspirations?


By: Vanessa Uy


Everyone who knows me probably think that I am genetically predisposed to be forever cynical when it comes to capitalism. Despite the recent press releases acknowledging that a typical search engine’s business model is 99% dependent on their advertising revenue, I still view search engines and their ilk as a non-violent tool against totalitarianism rather than a 21st Century incarnation of the materialistic self-complacent provincialism of Main Street.

Ok, I’ll admit that the term search engine is really a misnomer and the term “advertising engine” is more apt. Despite of this, companies who run them – like Google for example – seem to be trying their best to be exemplars of corporate social responsibility. Google’s recent newsworthy renewable energy program has allowed every eco-warrior a sigh of relief that they can never be called hypocritical every time they use the now more eco-friendly Internet. Plus the company’s motto: “Don’t be evil.” Reinforces everyone’s perception that they are immune from the behest of the Bush Administration when called upon to violate their client’s civil liberties.

Search engine companies have really made the Internet – as of late – a more user - friendly alternative to the “old school” library despite my overwhelming propensity of preferring the tactile feel of physical paper. And if you think that a majority of blogs are overwhelmingly too opinionated, you can easily start your own blog which pertains on that dilemma. Or you could just harbor a low opinion with regards to search engine companies.

But if you’re a good student of the “human condition” like Friedrich Nietzsche, then you can easily run circles around the “false information” posted on the Internet. Especially about David Beckham being an 18th Century Chinese goalkeeper

1 comment:

Ian said...

It's quite sad that the business model that made sponsored links and innovative on-line advertising were developed years after the dot com bubble went bust and sending those first batch of e-commerce investors to the poorhouse. Our current Web 2.0 business model, in my opinion, is similar to the DC-3 in the aviation world which it can now make money on it's own. As oppose to a heavily subsidized industry like the US nuclear power industry.