“Don’t Be Evil”: Can We Really Trust Google?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012
By Don Williams

Google’s own browser, Chrome, is a good browser indeed, and for many good reasons. For one thing, it’s not only really fast, compatible with most sites, stable, but according to one study it’s the most secure to boot.

Evil Google monkeys Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, Larry Page

In light of the above, it’s not surprising that Chrome is now threatening Mozillia’s FireFox as the most popular browser after Explorer.

Microsoft’s Explorer, with approximately 52%, is still firmly in first place, with FireFox, with 21.6%, still holding on to the second spot, but just barely.

That’s because Chrome, with 19.1%, is now within easy striking distance of capturing FireFox’s second spot. Some people now even believe that Chrome will not only surpass FireFox, but most likely even Explorer for the number one spot in the not too distant future!

Google Chrome Sponsored Posts

However, not all may be on the up-and-up when it comes to Google’s increasingly popular browser, as reported today. You see, according to some. Google may be guilty of violating its very own mantra, “Don’t Be Evil!”

The reason, if true, is quite simple: Google has apparently been paying bloggers to promote Chrome! If true, well then that’s pretty shocking indeed!

According to a post entitled, “This Post Has Been Sponsored By Google”, SEOBook stated:

“The Orwellian things about Google using the above strategy to market Chrome are:

  • Google has a clear pro-corporate big brand bias to their algorithms & layout (Vince & Panda updates + the part near the top of the SERPs for some searches that says “brands” as a filter type).
  • The more usage data Google collects the more stupid hoops it forces smaller businesses to jump through in order to compete, thereby further driving them under. (If small business owners didn’t have enough time & resources for SEO, do they now also have time to get reviews, get local citations, deal with social stuff on Twitter + Facebook + Youtube + Google+ and a bit of SEO?)
  • Google polices how small businesses can even make income online. When K-Mart paid some small business bloggers to do sponsored posts Matt Cutts wrote a post (mattcutts.com/blog/sponsored-conversations/) about how he torched those small bloggers (while doing nothing to K-Mart) & equated that exercise to selling links that promote bogus brain cancer solutions. Yet Google Japan was already dinged for this sort of paid post activity & now Google is doing the same thing again.”

In conclusion, none of the above, of course, negates the fact that overall Chrome is a really great browser, but all of the above can’t help but make you wonder whether or not Google can really be trusted, or whether or not its mantra of “Don’t Be Evil” is in fact just a big fat lie. No wonder some people are even questioning if Chrome really is the most secure browser, especially in light of one report that stated that Google commissioned the security study in the first place.

Google Don’t Be Evil illustration via: Sox First

[OP Editor's note: Here's Daring Fireball's take talking about search results of: "Google Chrome helped this small business in Vermont go global" and This post is sponsored by Google Chrome".]

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