What Would Google Be Like If It Were Unapologetic?

One of Google’s current goals is to reduce search traffic for its own products. We will make Google even more unapologetic by turning Search results into “How you can help us?” and “Best practices” articles.

Today I invite you to join me for a meditation on the web. We want to see what Search would look like if Google took its own responsibility to “tell you the truth,” as the founder of the website “Google” did, and took advantage of its influence in society to promote a sense of fairness, empathy and inclusion that might have never resulted from other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo, for which results can be very biased and often unfair. We want to see what Search might look like if Google decided it would be a little less unapologetic. That’s what Google did.

What do you think would Google look like if its results truly reflect the truth about the world? We would like to know your thoughts.

Here’s a thought experiment to ponder. What if we started a company called ” Google” to focus on developing Search engine technology and services that would enable people with more social and personal concerns (like poverty, homelessness and environmental destruction) to get “high quality” information in a way that has the potential to help solve those problems. You might think such a company would have to face some big challenges: we don’t think so, because the founders of Google would surely realize that this is the company that made the entire internet possible, and so its mission would be to help people solve problems and feel less alone. The mission of search isn’t to help people find information, it’s to help people find information related to what they are concerned about. What we think Google could do, and we think its founders would do, is to make sure that its Search results are as accurate and useful as (and better than) any other information on the web. 

Now imagine that Google turned itself into a company focused on giving free information about things that matter to people: how to become more successful in life, how to do things that feel good, how to keep ourselves healthier. The more they can do that, the greater their impact on society.

How would you feel about such a company taking shape in your community? Would you be concerned about competition? In a competitive world, you hope to have an extra voice in deciding what information your community finds through Search. Would you welcome such an organization, one that might help you reach your goals? What would its mission might be, and how do you think its founders would approach it? This has to be the vision of Google, of course–the idea that this would become more of an everyday concern than the fact that Google is the most profitable company in the history of the business.

The company that will provide the most accurate information about itself and other people? One that works with local communities, that reaches out to other people’s stories, that encourages collaboration, that helps people stay healthy? Sounds like what a community could be!

Please join us for Wednesday, July 31st at 8:00 PM at the “Where the Internet Is Meant to Be Measured” at the City Club – 641 3rd Street, Seattle, WA 98114.