The latest statistics are alarming: Google, far from peaking, seems to be increasing the rate at which its market share grows. In a year, Google has gone from 64 percent of U.S. search queries to more than 71 percent, Hitwise reports. At that pace, there will hardly be any search business left for anyone else by 2012. From sports to finance to social networks, Google directs an increasing portion of the traffic websites receive Jossip makes light of Google's plan to archive 244 years of newspaper articles, suggesting it will lead to even more snafus like Monday's Google-spawned rumor of a United Airlines bankruptcy. But really, isn't Google's move to archive centuries of newspapers a bit like the architects of a genocide dedicating a museum to the holocaust they committed?
Look at the numbers: 20 percent of traffic to news sites, 25 percent of shopping, 23 percent of entertainment, all flowing through Google's search engine — and all subject to the whims of Google's algorithm creators, who answer to no one but Larry and Sergey. It's hard to see how to stop Google. Its dominance is based on feedback mechanisms that are difficult to unwire; as it processes more searches, its answers become better and better. As its reach on the Web grows, it becomes more attractive to advertisers. The biggest threat to Google comes not from Redmond or Sunnyvale, but from its own headquarters in Mountain View. Hubris plagues Google's executives, who are so convinced they are doing good that they are blind to the damage they leave in their wake, and indifferent to outside viewpoints. It's easy to point to Google's stumbles as it tries to master new markets, like TV advertising and online video. But use of the Web continues to increase as time spent on other media declines. Googlers may never figure out how the unconnected world works, but by keeping its old-school rivals on the defensive long enough, it may become a moot point. It gladly shares advertising revenues — like European settlers sharing warm, comforting blankets with the Indians. Is the space on the Web page left after running AdSense banners nothing more than a reservation? (Image of Google Monster stuffed toy from Stuffy Bear Online)