Could it actually happen? Read on …
Google invests in (or buys) a lot of very innovative web projects; YouTube, Firefox, Android, and many more. And their share of search engine traffic is growing. It’s not inaccurate to describe Google as unassailable, even in the face of controversy.
All Roads Lead to AdWords
But despite all the innovation they’ve brought to the web, from a business perspective, they’ve often been described as a one trick pony.
And the trick is called AdWords.
It’s the only thing they’ve ever made serious money at, and serious money they do make. And this is where the problem lies. AdWords is a pinch point. Damage AdWords and you damage all that Google is.
The Kick is in The Code
One of the features in Customize Google is called “remove click tracking”. It’s disabled by default, but once enabled, it allows users to click away to their hearts content on Google AdWords ads … and Google can’t track them. No tracking, no getting paid.
I’m not saying that Customize Google or its developers have any evil intentions. Not in the least. I’m simply using this plugin’s functionality as proof of concept …
Similar code, put into a widely used browser, browser toolbar, or browser plugin could effectively wipe out tens of millions of dollars a day of Google revenue. AdWords Advertisers would have a heyday, at least initially.
Will it happen? Probably not. Could it happen? Stranger things have. The point is, it’s never wise to put all your eggs in one basket.
Especially if it’s a big basket.