How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Google

by Geoffrey Little
The Journal of Academic Librarianship ()


Google ( and academic librarians have had an uneasy relationship since the company and Internet search engine were launched in 1998. One might even use the words “fraught” and “tense.” Perhaps tears have been shed and cross words spoken on both sides. Thirteen years ago, Google was just one of dozens of search engines on the cyberfrontier and it bears remem- bering that the landscape was once so crowded that Online started a regular column in 1998 by Greg R. Notess devoted to search engine news and updates.1 The situation now, as we all know, is dramatically different. Google is more than just one of a dozen search engines—it is “the” Internet search engine and the transnational corporation has rolled out an astonishing series of products, tools, and web sites. Like Xerox and FedEx, “Google” is also now a noun and a verb and the company's global reach is astonishing. An article posted on the 24/7 Wall Street blog named Google one of the next generation monopolies, noting that its search engine market share is an astonishing 90.1%.2 Yahoo! ( and Bing (, the company's nearest competitors, have no more than 4.1% of the market, respectively, and some sites that many of us remember and remember using like Altavista (, Teoma (, Ask Jeeves (, Hotbot (, Lycos (www. lycos), and Dog Pile (, have either gone the way of the telegram, rotary phone, and Betamax, or they just hang out in cyberspace in case anyone cares to visit.

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