Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Google's Monopoly

Threatening the digital economy

Multiple Monopolies | A Marketing Company | Google Never Forgets | Safer Alternatives

The Google app's icon on a smartphone.

Multiple Monopolies

Many think of Google as a search engine but it is the world's largest marketing company.

While you wouldn't have known it at the moment, Google's dominance with Gmail was really the beginning of it expanding its footprint well beyond its current dominance in search and online advertising. Very soon thereafter, Google took over mobile operating systems with Android (acquired in 2005), navigation with Maps (launched in 2005), online video with YouTube (acquired in 2006), and office suites with Google Docs (with the acquisition of Writely in 2006).

Google has monopolies in many areas, which makes them more of a threat:

Google controls about 62% of mobile browsers, 69% of desktop browsers, and the operating systems on 71% of mobile devices in the world.


92% of internet searches go through Google and 73% of American adults use YouTube.


Google runs code on approximately 85% of sites on the Web and inside as many as 94% of apps in the Play store.


It collects data about users' every click, tap, query, and movement from all of those sources and more.
EFF March 19, 2020

Dominates Mobile Search

Google accounts for 95% of mobile searches:

StatCounter mobile search ranking over last 10 years.
StatCounter data for mobile search engine market share.

Return to top

Google is a Marketing Company

Advertising has moved online and is currently controlled almost exclusively by Google.

The only other significant players are Facebook and Amazon, leaving an insignificant slice for everybody else.

Threatens the Digital Economy

Google has become so powerful that it now threatens the digital economy.

Mathias Döpfners published an open letter to Eric Schmidt regarding his company's total dependence on Google in 2014:

In just a few short years, starting in 1998, this company has grown to employ almost 50,000 people worldwide, generated sixty billion dollars in revenue last year, and has a current market capitalization of more than 350 billion dollars. Google is not only the biggest search engine in the world, but along with Youtube (the second biggest search engine in the world) it also has the largest video platform, with Chrome the biggest browser, with Gmail the most widely used e-mail provider, and with Android the biggest operating system for mobile devices.


We know of no alternative which could offer even partially comparable technological prerequisites for the automated marketing of advertising. And we cannot afford to give up this source of revenue because we desperately need the money for technological investments in the future. Which is why other publishers are increasingly doing the same.


This means, in plain language, that we — and many others — are dependent on Google.


At the moment Google has a 91.2 percent search-engine market share in Germany.


In this case, the statement “if you don't like Google, you can remove yourself from their listings and go elsewhere” is about as realistic as recommending to an opponent of nuclear power that he just stop using electricity. He simply cannot do this in real life — unless he wants to join the Amish.


Google doesn't need us. But we need Google.

Defining “Truth”

When a company dominates a market, what they tell you tends to become “the truth” even if their opinion isn't shared by everyone.

[I]f one company is 90% of the searches in our country, they kind of represent truth to our country.

If we trust only one company to tell us what is true and what isn't, they may give us what they think we want, creating the current trends for fake news.

Over time, the way that the corporation returns information has shifted ever so slightly. These incremental changes go largely unnoticed by the millions of users who rely on the search engine daily, but it has fundamentally changed the information seeking processes—and not necessarily for the better.

Return to top

Google Never Forgets

Google makes their money by exploiting information you provide.

[W]hen you search on Google, they keep your search history forever. That means they know every search you've ever done on Google. That alone is pretty scary, but it's just the shallow end of the very deep pool of data that they try to collect on people.
Is Google too big and powerful, and do you need to ditch Chrome for good? Privacy experts say yes.


Chrome is tightly integrated with Google's data gathering infrastructure, including services such as Google search and Gmail — and its market dominance gives it the power to help set new standards across the web.


Chrome is one of Google's most powerful data-gathering tools.

Google NEVER forgets.

Return to top

Safer Alternatives

There are alternatives to using Google's products such as

There are other products as well. Ask around or seek out reviews.

Related Resources

On this site:

Found this resource useful?
Buy Me A Coffee


Return to top
Updated: April 4, 2024