For the longest time I’ve been somewhere between nervous and terrified of the growing influence of Google. Any organization that feels the need to tell me that they are not evil probably ain’t really on the up and up. I used to not want to ever be logged in to a Google account and also search because I feared that they were building a dossier on me. As their toolset grows though eventually they got me, with Gmail and Reader and Analytics and such. However, as a devoted viewer of the best current show on TV Burn Notice, I have come to a realization.
Think of you, me or any other user of Google as Michael Westen. Google itself is Sam Axe. Google/Sam helps us out. A lot. Certainly the relationship is useful, and we/Michael have our bacon saved by them. However, Google/Sam is also keeping tabs on us and will gladly sell us out whenever there is enough to gain from that. We/Michael also know that, and we keep that in mind as we deal with Google/Sam. We/Michael keep the really good info away from Google/Sam out of self-preservation.
So, Google will be happy to betray us and the reason they haven’t is that they haven’t been offered the right price. We know that and can use them for what they are worth. Just watch your back, keep your eyes open, and don’t let them learn the real good information about you that would fetch a nice price. Then everyone can coexist is this stable equilibrium of betrayal. It actually does work out.