According to Vaidhyanathan, before Google, the World Wide Web was a menacing assortment that was interconnected and yet was not indexed. The system was characterized by too much clutter and confusion. Sifting valuable information from that which is trashy was not possible. However, the emergence of Google introduced a new and better World Wide Web system that was clean, pure, and simple. The ranking of the pages in the system was legit and was based on the significance of the information as portrayed by Vaidhyanathan as he asserts, “It accepted no money for ranking one page higher in a search than the other” (Vaidhyanathan, 1). Additionally, the ranking of the information retrieved from Google was not biased and was democratic. The significance of the pages was determined by the frequency at which they were visited. Frequently visited pages implied that the information was highly valuable as portrayed by Vaidhyanathan when he claims, “And it offered what seemed to be neutral, democratic rankings: if one site was referred to more than another, it was deemed more relevant to the users and would be listed above the rest” (Vaidhyanathan, 2). Therefore, Google emerged to be the largest and greatest search engine ever created. It dictates the web because it emerged to be the sole authority that was willing to stabilize the web, increase its usability, and ensure the trustworthiness of the information retrieved from the web.
Google dominates the web because it has gained enormous popular support from its users. Additionally, it has managed to gain a divine rule over the internet because we often tend to dwell more on its miracles that we forget to evaluate the manner in which it exercises dominance over its realm. As portrayed by Vaidhyanathan, “Through its power to determine which sites get noticed, and thus, trafficked, Google has molded certain standards into the Web” (Vaidhyanathan, 14). Google regulates the flux of harmful information, such as pornography, from the web and often ensures that web users do not stumble on such harmful content while searching for information on the web. Therefore, Google has created a World Wide Web that is calm, friendly, less frightening, and less controversial. In addition, Google has an auction program for advertising that favors and rewards companies that establish sites that conform to the standards that it has set. For example, quickly loading simple pages and consistency in search terms that are instrumental in ensuring that the web users are not tricked into accessing pornographic sites while searching for other information. As portrayed by Vaidhyanathan, “Google has limited access to sites that place malicious programs on users’ computers. Therefore, by being able to eliminate the accidental access to malware while using the web, Google has managed to earn the trust of many users; thereby, facilitating its dominance on the web (Vaidhyanathan, 14).
However, Hesmondhalgh disagrees with Vaidhyanathan’s assertion that Google has dominance over the web because of the massive support from the large number of its users. According to Hesmondhalgh, “The term most widely used in sociological and historical writing to refer to such an overemphasis on one factor is technological determinism, which obviously suggests that one factor is being given more weight at the expense of others is the causal role of technology” (Hesmondhalgh, 81). He disagrees with the fact that technologies are simply by-products of broader social activities. According to Hesmondhalgh, despite the fact that massive support could have facilitated Google’s dominance over the web, other factors could have also played a significant role, for example, the efficiency of using Google as compared to other web plat forms.
Therefore, vaidhyanathan claims that Google materialized to be the largest and greatest search engine ever created based on the quality and safety of the information that users can retrieve. It dictates the web because it arose to be the sole authority that was willing to stabilize the web, increase its usability, and ensure the trustworthiness of the information retrieved from the web. Additionally, it ensures that the web contents are not harmful limiting the possibilities of the users accidentally bumping into uncensored data like pornography. Nevertheless, Hesmondhalgh disputes with the assertion by claiming that a single factor cannot be responsible for creating dominance in technological aspects since that factor will be gaining emphasis at the expense of other factors.
Vaidhyanathan, S. The Googlization of Everything. California: University of California Press, 2011. 1-14. Print.
Hesmondhalgh, David. The Cultural Industries. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. 2002. 81. Print.