If you aren't aware, Google likes to buy things. A lot of things. Whether or not it is to eliminate the competition or to actually better their products, some people believe that these acquisitions go against the Google motto, "don't be evil". In the past I can say I would have agreed. Not entirely in a bad way, (I still love you Google) but there were times I thought their purchasing was somewhat unethical.
With the recent purchases of BeatThatQuote.com and Next New Networks, the situation was once again brought to my attention. I wanted to do a little bit of research to find out what these acquisitions were actually being used for.
If you don't use many Google products you may think of them merely as a search engine or web mail provider. Once you start using various Google products you then realize they have quite the plethora of things they provide. This somewhat changes my thoughts in regards to their continual purchasing. In looking at Google's 90+ acquisitions and how they have been integrated I feel less like they are "being evil".
Here's Why I am OK With It
I am sure that some or many of you may disagree with me and can probably give me some valid arguments why I am wrong...but nonetheless I am OK with it. For the most part Google's products are very good. So good in fact that it would take programmers and developers a lot of time to make them good. The technology of the products they offered are also taken from the companies they purchase. They are not buying them just to shut them down...for the most part. Yes, I could go elsewhere for these services, but I enjoy having everything available from 1 Google login. I can create
a spreadsheet, check analytics, comment on YouTube videos, blog, purchase sponsored ads, and so on from 1 place. Yes, the standalone products may have been acceptable, but I may have never started using them. I have enough logins as it is, I don't need anymore. This may be unfair to the startup that is hoping to survive without having to sell, but it's how the online world works.
My other take on this is where would these other companies be now if they weren't purchased? Would they have disappeared anyways? It takes a lot to survive in the online world. Additionally, there are tech startups that have a goal to be purchased by someone else...what better company that Google?
Is it also unfair to the other online and tech giants? Not in my opinion. They can and do acquire companies all the time. Google just seems to have a knack for buying the right ones...and maybe even more importantly we generally see the technology advancements if these products are integrated with existing Google products.
We can only guess. What doesn't Google have, or what don't they do well? If they attempt to buy something but are unsuccessful, they will look elsewhere or just develop it on their own. There's are times that their product fails, take Orkut for example, but they generally can use the technology elsewhere. If I had to guess I think they will make another attempt to buy Groupon. I don't know that Google Offers will take off. I could also see them attempting to buy something like Yelp to integrate somehow with Hotpot. These are just my guesses, what are yours?