Category Archives: Strategy

Google DNS, for users or shareholders

Many of us saw this coming at some point. The traditional cookies based user tracking is probably not the most optimum way to track user behaviour and search based tracking is not all encompassing. But when you have data of each and every site a particular user visits, its information heaven. It provides endless possibilities and the data mining potential is limitless. All companies want to track how customers are using their products, buying and spending patterns etc. Companies like Coke are spending millions to capture this kind of intelligence from its supply chain. For someone like Coke, the challenges to acheive this data is humungus at comes at a very high cost, nonetheless its worth it.
So if Google gets even a fraction of its user base (which is like everyone on the internet?), to use their DNS service, the information that could be collected can provide them enormous competitive advantage over their competitors as well as new entrants. Plus it will allow them to develop new product and services based on that data
And they can do all this without selling their data and by maintaining user anonymity and privacy.

Today, the David U. of openDNS shared his thoughts on googleDNS service. He pointedout the main differences between the openDNS and the google DNS service, and highlighted the competitive differentiators of his service. As a openDNS user, I am not very likely to leave and go for the google service, nor do I think other users are going to defect. But then there is only a subset of internet users who are aware that a services exists as an alternative to their ISP’s DNS service and the most common internet user probably doesnt know and doesnt care what DNS his computer is pointing to. Google service will be targeting this user. This is where the brand comes into the play. When this user finds about this new service that Google is offering, he will be keen to try it out and most likely he will be happy to see the speed and overall improvement of his browsing experience.
Google is maintaining that is not another targeting or personalization scheme. But then it doenst have to be as there are plenty of other ways that data can be used. Note that they are going to hang on to the IP address temporarily and location information permanently.

On the flip side, ofcourse, the industry and the user community is much better off if Google really wants to do what it claims, making web faster for everyone…Competing services will be forced to improve their DNS infrastructure and everyone will be better off.