Sunday, December 13, 2009

Google Public DNS is About Algorithms and Ads, Not Just Speed

Google Public DNS is About Algorithms and Ads, Not Just Speed

Google today rolled out a public DNS service that anyone tech savvy can use to make their browsing faster. There's no word yet if the domain name service will be built into other services like the Google Toolbar or Google Chrome as a default setting. Here's my quick take: Google says this is about making the web faster, but I think there's more to it. 

"The average Internet user ends up performing hundreds of DNS lookups each day, and some complex pages require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading. This can slow down the browsing experience. Our research has shown that speed matters to Internet users, so over the past several months our engineers have been working to make improvements to our public DNS resolver to make users' web-surfing experiences faster, safer and more reliable."

While I am sure this is true, don't be fooled. There's far more at stake here than speed. 

Google likes massive data they can compute and crunch. This is what makes its search result algorithms and ads smarter and targeted. The more data they can collect in aggregate on the sites that we visit using bookmarks or links (e.g. roads that don't run through Google's servers), the easier it will be for them to maintain their dominance over competitors. This includes social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, which are increasingly becoming key routers of Internet traffic.

I don't believe Google is spying on anyone or invading privacy here. However, make no mistake - there are some not so subtle intentions. The benefit of such a service to Google is the data. Speed is just the user catnip. The more this is used the more data they can collect.

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