How does Google ruin your business

Google on image campaign - Is the reputation only ruined ...

Googling doesn't cost anything. This is easy to say and at first glance it really seems to be the case: The most successful and thus probably most popular search engine does not charge a cent for its billions of links, which it gives in a matter of seconds as an answer. Despite this enormous free service, Google threatens an image problem. The group is called data octopus in Germany - and suspected of using its users' data to pay for the services.

Google board chairman Eric Schmidt says his company is not doing just that. He earns his money with advertising that precisely matches the search queries. Anyone who knows the needs of other media, wanting to earn enough money online with advertising, will find Schmidt's answer alone not very credible. After all, his group posts billions in profits year after year and also bunkers over 30 billion dollars for further shopping trips at other companies.

But the sheer mass of Googlers may serve as evidence for Schmidt. In the short time it took to read these first lines, there were millions and millions of searches worldwide on Google. Around a million car terms are entered every minute. So tens of millions of people interested in cars come out very specifically every day. Automobile companies can reach them with targeted advertising. That is why the marketing of ads is enormously successful for Google. That is why the Prism scandal and the debate about the misuse of data also have an impact on this business model. In this respect, a company like Google, which is supposedly at the forefront, has to reposition itself again and again. This is exactly what Google is trying to do again.

Schmidt is a smart and friendly-looking manager. He knows it would be awkward to evade any question right now. Still, journalists have the impression that the man who made Google great is under a lot of pressure. Schmidt was in Berlin these days to meet friends and opponents. The friends are Germany's startups. A scene that has a hard time in a country that once shaped an entire epoch because of its wealth of industrial ideas: the early days. But the new founders have a hard time in this country, mainly because there are too few wealthy people who invest in their ideas. Despite this shortcoming, the Federal Minister of Economics, of all people, is one of the critics of the Google group. Sigmar Gabriel warned that Google's market power would become more and more extensive in the age of digitization. One must think about breaking up the group.

Schmidt now met both sides. He gave money to the start-up scene, more precisely: Google invested in Berlin. On the other hand, he met Gabriel to contradict. He found the Vice Chancellor “very quick, smart and informed” and wanted to stay in contact with him. That sounds like understanding. But of course Schmidt thinks that his company should not be divided and that nobody should really be afraid of Google's grip on the business world.

Both dates belonged together. Because if Schmidt calls for more political support for the startup scene, Gabriel can understand that as a warning: Instead of barking at us, you should focus on more growth in the digital world yourself in Germany!

Schmidt fears for the Google image

Much more than Gabriel's threat, Schmidt fears for the image of his group. Google has always counted itself among the good and fair. Now it annoys the company enormously that some people trust it to do anything bad. The question alone why Google makes it difficult for its users to delete embarrassing or offensive links does not suit Schmidt. Everything is being done to implement the judgment of the European Court of Justice.

The impression Edward Snowden gave was battering: that Google was doing common cause with the NSA. “We didn't work with the NSA,” says Schmidt, far from himself. And although he was an advisor and friend of the American President Obama, he hadn't noticed anything about the NSA's data capture. Schmidt, who not only made Google great as a manager, but also as a computer scientist who knows what is technically possible in terms of data theft, goes even further: "I believe that you can assume that the NSA will continue its work," said Schmidt the ZDF.

But Google has locked the data of its customers firmly against state access - they are more secure with Google than anywhere else in Germany, says Schmidt as the world data protection officer. He advises his users that you can also have your data anonymized by Google in order to rule out misuse.

Others recommend the use of search engines that refrain from storing data at all.