The idea that Google will soon be in a position to substantially control what happens on the internet is not a fantasy. Given their collection of data, the advertisers and product sellers, the publishers and readers, are all ultimately under the influence of Google opinion.
Given their search reach, what they determine to be worth reading is soon the common view. People use the references to link to and lift those sites in the other search engines' results. While they may show differences the top 100 across most engines have a deep similarity.
We face the possibility that Google is Big Brother and in Orwellian fashion Google determines what is news speak.
The recent launch of the Google Affiliate Network possibly shows a little too much of that manipulation.
They tell Publishers:
Google Affiliate Network can help you discover new advertiser referral programs and generate more revenue.
Easy to use
Save time with an intuitive user interface, fast-loading pages, and creative trafficking tools.
Tracking and reporting
Track conversions and member IDs for loyalty marketing. Schedule and save reports.
Receive electronic payments, consolidated across advertisers, twice a month. Choose from a variety of commission structures.
Support and development
Contact our experts for technical support or to help you find new revenue opportunities.
Earn AffiliateVIP status and enjoy exclusive marketing opportunities and greater visibility in the network.
Hold out that carrot and people will jump through hoops - remember when they were selling Gmail accounts on EBay.
And to Advertisers they promise filtering and success:
With Google Affiliate Network, you can manage a custom affiliate marketing program and attract publishers to grow your affiliate channel.
Affiliate marketing expertise
Consult with our affiliate marketing specialists on planning and distribution, account optimization, and technical issues.
Network depth and breadth
Choose from a wide variety of high-quality publishers based on detailed profiles and metrics.
Tracking and reporting
Track conversions, evaluate performance, and optimize your program with actionable data.
Work only with qualified publishers who are continually screened, reviewed, and advised by our quality team.
Rest assured that cost-per-action pricing means our interests are aligned with yours.
Will they lower AdSense income to push the affiliate advertising? Well they are supposed to be optimizing both sides.... but basically you put your companies in their hands. Fair exchange is no robbery - or this should be a win-win situation are cliches I expect to hear. But remember these are the guys who thought the Adwords minimum bids were a benefit to everyone - funny I seem to have helped finance all the work because I never saw a low CPC during that period.
Google seems ready to constantly be battling the government. Hey their lawyers are well trained by now.
To quote another Orwellian work: "All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others" and I guess Google gets to make that determination.
Just a heads up.