Satan’s Seize of Google Shopping

Google Shopping Evil

Evil can appear in many forms. In many cases, it can be so explicitly obvious that anybody with just a tiny ounce of moral standards can recognize it from afar and point it out. But in other cases, evil is disguised behind sophisticated fancy statements and wrapped in sparkling parcels.

That’s when it becomes strenuous to identify the obscured evilness. And evil loves this blurry darkness. There, it can thrive without any disturbance.

In the tech world, it’s rather difficult to call something “evil.” In times when a heinous dictator is butchering innocent people every day {fuck you Assad!}, it’s not easy to refer to some tech service/product/company the same way. Because it most certainly isn’t the same.

But yet, there’s a broad spectrum of “evilness” to interpret. Isn’t it appropriate to call something evil when people’s livelihood is being gashed for the sake of corporate greed? Or unnecessarily raising costs in one of the toughest financial times in history? When responsibility inclined to negligence?

So yes, when Google transforms the free Product Search into the paid inclusion Shopping, I think it’s evil!

When businesses suddenly needs to pay in order to get listed in a service, which Google almost completely monopolized (justifiably) when it was free, it just isn’t right. The reason why consumers drifted into the service in the first place is because it was FREE and allowed FAIR competition, which clearly worked for the consumers’ benefit.

But now, it isn’t free, isn’t allowing fair competition and eventually it won’t benefit the consumers. Google claims that the change suppose to improve the shopping experience for customers, but it is much more likely that only a few large companies will enjoy an “improved experience,” including Google itself (and its shareholders).

Many small business owners already expressed their difficulty to keep up with the new rates of the service they got used to depend on while it was free. Here are just a few murky quotes of retailers from a recent story in the New York Times:

“If you’re a retailer and you don’t have the budgets of an Amazon, eBay, Best Buy or Wal-Mart, it’s going to be really challenging.”

“Now, if we don’t have the budget, we won’t be visible.”

“It would be one of those cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face kinds of things.”

You don’t have to be a professor of economics to understand the eventual ramifications of switching to the paid inclusion model: Higher costs means less retailers enlisted in the service. Less retailers enlisted in the service means less competition. Less competition means soaring prices. Soaring prices means REDUCED shopping experience for COSTUMERS.

Google masks the transition as an effort to provide “better shopping results for users.” It’s not. It’s just an effort to improve the company’s financial results while diminishing competition (which is obviously bad for users) and hammering small business merchants after creating a market reliance on the service.

And that is evil.