In 2007, I did a seminar about data collection. I told a room of people that Google is not in the search business. They’re in the information business. As such, their goal is to be the knowledge base for the whole world. They want to spread into nearly every vertical. With enough data, it will make sense for us to let them.
Back then, it was a cute theory. Today, it’s starting to turn into a relatively-easily made prediction that didn’t require a crystal ball or half a brain to see.
When Google made their strongest move into local by changing Google Places, they truly started to declare their desire for domination. Quickly but quietly, we are starting to see Google get into everything, just a little. Google Flights is just another example.
Through Google Flights, you can “name your price”. Obviously, they didn’t take the familiar Priceline tagline, but they made certain to highlight the feature because they know that it’s something people like. Services like Kayak and Expedia still have a stronghold on flights, but that’s not going to stop Google from trying.
It’s not to say Google is evil. We have consciously and willingly given them access to this data and asked them to do something with it. They are. And they’re going to win. Quickly. Quietly.
Watch this video about Google Flights from last week and tell me I’m wrong.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC2bUYVkjrY[/youtube]