Is there anything on the planet Google doesn't want for dinner?

Om nom nom nom
Google is coming for you...

In the last few days, Google has announced yet more pies that it's jabbing its giant fingers into: music, turn-by-turn navigation and smart electricity meters.

So if you're involved in the music discovery business or the sat-nav business, it's probably a good time to be polishing up your CV.

Then again, if you work in any industry whatsoever it's probably a good idea to brush up on your CV. Is there any industry Google doesn't want to be in? In software Google does not just search tools but browsers, mapping programs, 3D modelling, photo editing, voice chat, email and instant messaging.

Online it does word processing, calendars, RSS reading, comparison shopping, location-based searching, location-aware social networking, blog publishing and website analytics.

It's had a go at social networking and a Wikipedia rival, it's digitising books, it's got the world's most popular video service, it's got a phone product that could seriously ruin mobile operators' profit margins. It has maps not just of Earth, but of Mars.

Anything else? Oh yes. Newspaper aggregation. Advertising systems for giant publishers and individual blogs. Feed publishing. A PayPal rival. A finance news service. Usenet and discussion groups. Film showtimes. Patent trawling. In the US, directory enquiries. A health database system the Tories are rather keen on putting your records into. Magic hats that record your every thought and notify the CIA and MI5 of any thought crimes.

Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.

Is anybody else a little bit scared by that list? Google isn't doing anything sinister - its mission is "to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", which is a very noble goal - but most people think that by "organise" Google really means "index".

What if it doesn't? What if organise means organise? The most efficient way for Google to organise the world's information is for Google to possess all the world's information - and that means anyone working in the information business should be watching over their shoulder.

If it can be digitised, analysed and held down long enough for Google to slap an advert on it, the chances are Google will come for it sooner or later.


Liked this? Then check out Marissa Mayer on the future of Google

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.