The Left does not seem to like companies that succeed in the marketplace. One such business is Google. It entered the market late, but quickly became the top search engine simply by being being better than its competitors. However, since Google announced its plans to float, the company has been under fire.
BBC Online journalist Bill Thompson met Google co-founder Sergey Brin in 2000 and found the man “completely devoted to making a better search engine rather than making himself rich… Now his search engine is the equivalent of programmes on ITV, there solely to attract eyeballs for advertisers.”
Does Bill Thompson really think that Google was ever about benevolence? Isn’t it more plausible that Google was created in order to make money? And isn’t it a good thing that the founders of Google, motivated by the search for profits, created a search engine dramatically better than anything that went before it?
What worries the Left most of all about Google is that it keeps on adding new services. I find Google News great: I get an e-mail whenever the words “Adam Smith Institute” are mentioned in a participating newspaper. The Left says that Google is only adding new features in order to get more advertising. That’s a bad thing? It means I don’t have to pay, which suits me fine.
Thompson has called for a new government regulator to protect us from Google, called the Office for Search Engines. Why bother? If Google stops being any good, we can just dump it. That’s what we did to AltaVista when Google came on the scene.
Of course, if we wanted to get rid of the profit motive from search engines, we could just pay for a search engine out of taxation. Oh… we already do.