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Experiment into what if Google goes bust

Business as Usual even with banning Google using hosts file!

With there being the question of What happens if Google goes bust I decided to put it to the experiment.

I decided to do without Google for a week. I did this by banning all Google sites on my computer and seeing what difference it made. No Google search, no Google translate, no Google Earth, no Google maps, no Google plus (although that's irrelevant anyway), and no Google YouTube. But also no Google ads! The experiment started at midnight at the beginning of 4th September 2012.

Some people mistakenly believe that if Google goes bust it would be the End of the World. However, this is not true, because for one thing there are plenty of other search engines, and also the world's economy does not require spamlike adverts to be pushed to survive.

The questions of Google going out of business what not have come up if Google had continued to provide quality searches, but now that Google has gone down the toilet by providing searches of increasingly poor quality, it seems necessary to examine the "What If" there were no more Google.

By the time I did this experiment I had already moved my search allegiance to Blekko and I was in communication with other search engines about the possibilities and opportunities of a post-Google world. However, as Google has other lines as well as search, and it seemed likely that if Google search went out of business then the whole Google company would also be gone, the experiment required that a situation be devised where there was no Google at all.

I banned Google from my computer by using the hosts file. The technique was previously used for banning Facebook to prevent its evil spying on people. I added to the hosts file various Google sites, including Google search, Google translate, Google Plus (which is also a problem like Facebook), Google Syndication (spamlike adverts), Google analytics, etc.

The idea was to try this for a week, a week of NO GOOGLE. The first day required some extra adjustments to the hosts file to eliminate additional Google addresses which hadn't been noticed, but after that, things went quite smoothly. Eliminating Google made almost no difference to Internet experience at all.

The main difference was that various websites no longer had adverts on them. Google adwords adverts disappeared. This didn't make any difference because I had already learnt that these are irrelevant and lead to places which often have nothing to do with what they claim. So, I was already ignoring Google irrelevant ads, and the final move of getting rid of Google just eliminated the ads from appearing!

However, in consideration of the "No More Google" situation, it's worth considering some of the lines of business which Google is currently in, and how the people in the world would need to adapt to get around the problem of a Google collapse. So here are some of the lines of business, and the alternative solutions which would replace Google if it were to fold:

* Google search. This is very easy to replace. There are plenty of other search engines. Also, if you are silly enough to have Google as your homepage, here's some advice on how to get rid of Google homepage. You can also get rid of Google in your Mozilla in-browser searchbox by just deleting it.

* Google Plus. This is another nuisance social networking site which is probably as deleterious as Facebook. Of course I am not a member of Facebook or any such thing. These are privacy-invading Big Brother pseudo-authorities. If these things disappeared tomorrow, the world would be greatly improved!

* Google telephones. Google is now in the business of mobile phones (cellphones). As this started before Google went bad, the Google Android phones are based on open-source software and other good things. (Although I have heard Google did not cooperate well with the open-source community and did not behave according to the spirit of Linux, and there was a problem). Well, mobile phones will go on quite happily without Google and Apple.

* Google translate. This is slightly more difficult for me, as I had been using Google translate on a daily basis because I have emigrated from the UK to Panama, and so I'm learning a new language. However, Babel Fish is nearly as good as Google translate, so that's another problem solved. There are many other language learning / translation options as detailed at the language page.

* Google maps. Again, plenty of alternative maps, some of which are entirely free and open-source.

* Google Earth. Now this is a bit more tricky, as Google Earth is a notable thing by which you can view terrain at a respectful distance and see the layout of the land, and at the time I did not know of ANY alternatives, short of flying there with a plane, which would be expensive. However, interestingly there ARE alternatives to Google Earth

* Google Affiliate Network. I have refused to join this on principle, even though I am a member of many other affiliate networks. The disappearance of Google Affiliate Network would make not a jot of difference here.

* Google Streetview. Although it is of novelty value, driving around looking at people's houses, I always felt it was to some extent an invasion of privacy, especially as some people are likely to have a morbid interest in its use to spy on people that they don't like. The loss of Google Streetview would make less difference than if Sudoku went out of fashion.

* YouTube. I have found that seldom is there anything much good on YouTube. Largely it is material which should have been expressed a pages of text, but converted into captions on video so as to pander to people who don't read text. If YouTube were to go out of business, I'm sure people could find other ways of saying the same thing. Also, for things which are actually video, it's quite possible to put a video on your own website. If you want to waste the bandwidth, it's up to you!

If you want to ban YouTube, one way is to add additional entries in your hosts file, banning the different aspects of it.


At the start of 11th September 2012 the experiment of having no Google for a week went very well, and it has proved so successful that I am considering extending it indefinitely! The Internet seems remarkably improved now there's no Google. The banning of all of the Google ads has improved websites considerably, especially with the removal of YouTube which was a waste of bandwidth. Also, Google Search, which used to be the main thing, is easily replaced with other search engines. So, if Google Goes Bust it will be no problem here!