Is Google Too Big?

Google Invests 4.5 Million In Google, Because It Can

Google's ominous new logoDollar signs were top of mind today when President of the United States, Barack Obama, signed a dramatic Wall Street reform bill to protect Americans from covering the cost of another bailout.

With unscrupulous practices and lax Federal regulation being blamed for the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the government is scrutinizing large corporations more carefully, especially those with great power to affect the economy, like Google.

The search giant is no stranger to scrutiny. Google represents one of the fastest-growing global business sectors, and while we want the Google’s of the world to succeed, the influence companies of Google’s size have on our lives and economies can be troublesome.

Ironically, the day President Obama signed the Wall Street reform bill is also the day Google announced a $4.5 million investment in a startup that makes its money by making Google richer.

Trada is the name of the startup, and I’m simplifying things a little. Let me be clear: Google is a search engine, and Trada is an online advertising agency that places ads in the search engines.

For a closer look on how Trada’s business model works, I recommend reading SearchEngineLand’s coverage on Google Venture’s latest investment. For now, the most you need to know is that Trada offers advertisers paid search via crowd sourcing, a fact that makes its business model both unique and predictable.

Though crowd sourcing as a business model a growing, web-driven trend, Trada did it so well Google noticed and that, not the crowd sourcing alone, is what really makes Trada unique.

How does this relate to the bailout, Wall Street reform bill, and economy? It may not. But when a company as large and powerful as Google invests in one whose success relies on its ability to bolster Google’s bottom line, old questions surrounding Google’s maybe-monopoly on search and too-big influence on online marketing and commerce are inevitably raised.

Moreover, when news of Google’s bold move comes on the same day its most notable supporter takes steps to limit big business from serving its interests to the point of jeopardizing those of the American public, one wonders if powers that be will draw a line in the sand to distinguish one set of rules for Google, and another for everyone else.

Do you think Google Venture’s latest investment is problematic for advertisers, consumers, or the marketing industry in general? Do you think the laws governing Google are different from those governing other corporations? Post your thoughts below.

-Amanda Moshier

Originally from Wpromote, Inc. PPC Management. Cross-Posted with permission.

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