This article was written by Jared Lee of Vibranium Internet Marketing. He is an SEO/Internet Marketing expert and is always up to date on the newest things involving Google, Yahoo, and more. You can find out more information about him by clicking here.
The term, “jumped the shark,” is one that some people may not be familiar with. It is in reference to a TV show reaching a point of no return, where people stop watching because of desperate attempts by the show-runners to revive the characters or plots. The term first came about from the show Happy Days which was big in the 1970’s and had a character named The Fonz. He gained a huge fan following because he was the quintessential cool guy on the show, with a motorcycle, leather jacket, and slicked back hair. As the show progressed through the years, story lines became boring and tired, and ratings started to drop. Around this time, in a particularly interesting episode, The Fonz literally jumped a shark. It was in that episode where people began to see that the show’s better days were behind them, hence the term “jumped the shark” was born.
I bring this up because there really is no bigger presence on the Internet than the all mighty Google. They bring information to millions, manufacture smartphones and computers, and are the one of the leading companies of innovative products. But has Google “jumped the shark?” This question has been raised due to Google breaking their golden rule of sorts over the last few years, which was simply “Don’t Be Evil.” Sounds simple enough, but when a company with that slogan begins to get involved in spying on what its users are doing, storing information about its users and even sharing that information with various government agencies, people start to notice and become concerned. So the question remains – has Google finally “jumped the shark?” I don’t know if they are there just yet, but I do believe they are on their way in a hurry.
If you ever hear that Google’s best days are behind them, that’s in the terms of them not being evil and trying to make the internet a better place for all. It’s hard to justify that your company is nothing but good when you’re snooping into users email accounts, browsing activities, and using that to market to them or turning that information over to the government willingly.
Many have made the argument that Google began offering multiple free services in an attempt to fully integrate into users’ everyday activities, and then siphon all the information they can about their users. Others have said they started out with the best of intentions, but the potential to make money off of that valuable user information was something they didn’t want to say no to. Either way, it’s beginning to look like trusting one company with your entire digital life is definitely a risk to your digital independence.
What’s even more concerning is that Google has started moving into other industries, like automobiles and bio hacking (with the goal to extend human life for decades beyond what we believe is possible today). This all starts to sound like the bad guys in big budget movies, where the evil corporation begins to try to overtake the world as greed and the world itself becomes more and more complicated, even when the company started out with the best of intentions.
But to answer the question, has Google jumped the shark? Maybe. In my personal opinion, if they haven’t yet, they probably will very soon. This doesn’t mean that Google is not going to be the leading search engine on the web or be a successful company. It just means that in terms of a company that was founded on the motto “Don’t Be Evil”, one could argue that they have, in fact, starting growing horns.