Using "Do No Evil" as a company mantra had to be one of the smartest PR acts of the dotcom era. Google started out with such a warm and comfy (like a 'Fluffy Bunny') feel.
The viral marketing for Google spread and their rapid growth pushed them to the top of the search industry. All was rosy at Googleplex.
New technology was been created by staff during the 'mandated' personal development time and Google added more patents to its growing pile. They acquired other companies and added satellite imaging, social networking, image editing, blogging and much more.
But slowly a deeper set of actions developed initially under the radar. Forget the censorship in China and other actions, after all they were guarding the user information in the United States.
But the purchase of Urchin start a definite conflict with the company mantra. Who should no evil be done to? Not the world in general - just ask the Chinese - or Urchin competitors unable to beat Google bids in PPC. When the analytics industry compalined about the PPC bidding problem Google quickly dropped the 'ever-present' ads and just started giving away the analytics tool.
Then there is the roll out of Google Base. Watch out Craigslist you were getting too much like Google with your word of mouth popularity growth.
Now they offer airline ticket sales, car sales and much more.
Given the popularity of search in relation to overall internet use and that search is the starting point for many actions, Google is using this to grab more ancillary businesses. But hey they are just putting things at the searchers finger tips - making the ordering of anything online quicker and easier. And shielding themselves behind the 'we are helping internet users' excuse, they continue to go after more areas of online business and in some cases offline business too.
The fallacy of this helping others excuse is that they are quickly putting companies in jeopardy of bankruptcy. Sadly yet realistically, Google could be moving in to cause the next dot bubble burst.
When these other businesses go under and push people to unemployment, less and less people will have the time or ability or desire to search for things to buy - job searches will go up so watch out for Google buying a job engine to compliment Base - but eventually PPC ads will be less in demand and then Google starts to lose ground.
Once Google starts to shake the speed of negative viral marketing will outpace the positive.
The grasping hand of Google acquisition and hardcore 'take no prisoners' business approach should be added to the Wikipedia explanation of "Do No Evil". While Larry - "Hear No Evil" - and Sergei - "See No Evil" - must be the monkeys the new Ask campaign is eluding to.......