google threat?


GOOGLE MAY BE widely admired for its technical wizardry and its quick, accurate search engine, but one of the company’s most impressive accomplishments has been its ability to grow as powerful as it is while still remaining, in the minds of most Americans, fundamentally likable.

The company today is a behemoth, with more than 15,000 employees and a market value as big as Coca-Cola and Boeing combined. Its search engine is the tool of first resort for expert researchers and schoolkids alike; for suspicious employers, first-daters, long-lost friends, blackmailers, reporters, and police investigators – in short, for seekers of any and all sorts of information. In April, the most recent month for which it compiled statistics, Nielsen Online found that 62 percent of all US Internet searches were done using Google. Yahoo, the next largest player, had only 17.5 percent of the market.

Despite its size and dominance, Google has avoided the public suspicion and vilification that have plagued powerful companies from Standard Oil to Microsoft. Instead, protected by its reputation for innovation, its famed “Don’t Be Evil” mantra, and the ever-improving precision of its search engine, Google has remained for the most part a trusted, even a beloved, brand.

more from Boston Globe Ideas here.