Over the past 12 years since its inception, Google has become a trusted solution for people around the globe. It has been the average person’s search tool, it has delivered its mobile software to a growing number of consumers, and, along the way, it has offered an advertising platform that has helped it generate billions of dollars each year.
But that growth and its increasing influence could have a profound impact on the way Google is viewed going forward. It’s successful, for sure, but all that success is slowly but surely making some folks dislike the search giant. And over time, just as Microsoft became the hated firm in the 1990s, Google could become the company that people love to hate for this decade.
Here’s why Google could become the company people love to hate.
1. It’s more Microsoft-like than ever
Microsoft has been one of the most disliked companies in the technology industry for quite some time. Part of that is due to the success it has had, but it’s also due to Microsoft’s willingness to exercise its dominance over the years. Recently, Google has been more Microsoft-like in that respect. The company is successful, and it’s using its influence as a market leader to further its goals. That’s certainly good for business, but it’s not necessarily good from a consumer-opinion perspective.
2. It’s huge
Big companies tend to get hit harder by consumers than those that aren’t as successful. A quick inventory of the strong opinions people have about Microsoft and Apple are proof of that. But now Google is huge. And it will likely only get bigger as time goes on. The bigger it gets, the more people will take issue with the search giant. It’s simply the way things go.
3. It has its tentacles in everything
Google is now asserting itself in a slew of different markets. When the company first started, it was simply a search firm. Nowadays, Google is a major force in advertising, the mobile market and the cloud. Its tentacles are extending far beyond its core business. And as that happens, expect more folks to take issue with Google’s decision to expand its operation.
4. Dominance breeds contempt
Google’s success is nothing that the company should be ashamed about. But that won’t stop consumers and other folks from taking issue with it. As Microsoft, Apple and other prominent companies have shown over the past few years, whenever a company dominates a space, it’s viewed as naturally hostile to the interests of competing firms and perhaps even to consumer interests. That might not actually be true. But that is the perception. And it’s a tough one for Google or any other company to shake.
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<p><strong>5. Privacy issues reign supreme </strong></p>
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5. Privacy issues reign supreme
Google’s privacy problems will continue to be an issue for the search giant. And they likely won’t make consumers view the company any better. Over the past few years, Google has been struggling with concerns over the privacy of its information. The company faced criticism over its handling of Google Buzz. It’s also facing complaints about Google StreetView and its collection of data. Those privacy problems are a black eye for Google. And they could eventually prove to be one of the main reasons why consumers take issue with the company.
6. Android OS might play a role
The mobile market is Google’s for the taking. And it knows that. But by being so successful in that space, it could eventually lead to some harsh feelings for consumers. After all, it’s following a similar strategy to that of Microsoft’s in the desktop PC market. And over time, it will likely corner that market. Plus, security experts are saying that Android OS isn’t as secure as it could be. It sounds like Windows all over again. And that alone could be a problem for Google.
7. The ‘cool’ factor declines over time
Google is still a “cool” company. It’s one that consumers still get excited by whenever new products or services are released. But over time, any company’s “coolness” factor declines, perhaps with the single exception of Apple, which continues to lead the pack. Google isn’t Apple. And it can’t deliver the same experience with its products that the hardware giant can. Over time, the company’s critics will see the neat products and take aim at the search company.
8. If it happens with Apple, it will happen with Google
Apple might be one of the most beloved brands in the world. But there are also many people who hate it. Those who are squarely in the Microsoft camp believe Apple and Steve Jobs are all that’s wrong with the industry. In fact, those folks won’t even buy Apple products. If Apple has people who can’t stand it, Google undoubtedly will as well. And considering Google doesn’t have as loyal a following as Apple, it might only be a matter of time before the company sees an anti-Google group form that’s even bigger than Apple’s.
9. Financial success plays a part
Google has proved to be highly profitable. It has enjoyed such success because of its ability to monetize its many services through the use of advertising. But with financial success comes complaints from folks who are concerned with big business, the size of profits and other considerations. It’s unfair to Google, since management’s job is to maximize profits, but it’s the nature of the market that financially successful firms have targets on them.
10. The value argument lives on
As a company becomes more successful, value becomes the clear issue for most consumers. They expect a well-known and highly successful company to deliver the best value of any firm in the space. And if they perceive that it doesn’t, they tend to have negative feelings toward those companies. That’s what happened with Microsoft. And it could happen with Google if the company doesn’t continue to churn out high-quality products that provide consumers with the value proposition they seek.