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Google Search in China?

Over a short time span, web search has exploded in many ways. Aside from the ability to have access to an insurmountable amount of information the web has also opened up a new market for advertisers to show off their products. Since most people come to the internet for information it makes sense that search websites are amongst the most popular websites on the internet to this day. Places like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing all draw an incomprehensible amount of user traffic every day and through these sites many advertisers pay an every changing fee per click and per impression. Alphabet seems to be in some hot water as of this week since they’ve confirmed their secret project Dragonfly. This project is a search engine that would abide by the stringent censorship laws that are currently in place in China. This has caused quite a stir for Alphabet both internally and externally as it has just come out that there was an internal petition by a number of Alphabet employees to halt work on project Dragonfly. From an external standpoint, this has turned the heads of many higher-ups in both the internet and government sector as this project kind of goes against everything that Google says it stands for, a free internet with information accessible to all.

This decision by Google if they do decide to go through with everything has a number of factors that need to be accounted for. From a political or ethical standpoint, the development and possible future use for project Dragonfly place them on a very slippery slope. This could certainly hurt their public image more than it already has and also lead to some legislative action against them about how they use user data from the US government. Obviously, there are huge economic implications if Google were to take project Dragonfly live in China as this would open a market of the over one billion impressionable people ready to have advertisements throw at their face. China would turn into the wild west of advertising if a big player like Google were to enter the market. Depending on what Google decides to price their advertising opportunities this could drive a well-established market into uncharted territory. This could lead to the closure or empowerment of other services that were already available in China but the consequences are unknown at this point.



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October 2018