Thinking Long Term: Google’s New Browser ‘Chrome’

With nearly every tech blogger pontificating on the cartoon, firefox vs IE vs chrome, or expressing love for the ‘cloud’, only a few folks are thinking about the long term implications to Google’s new browser called ‘Chrome’.

Harry McCracken does some forward thinking and raises 10 questions
that need to be answered, mainly around conversion and partnerships. I’ve got to add a few more ideas that I’m not seeing asked by others, Google’s new browser could mean:

More accurate web analytics. Although not mentioned in the announcement nor cartoon, the opportunity for Google to develop better web tracking from actual users spanning multiple websites is at hand. Now that Google has it’s popular web analytics trackers are in many websites, they could potentially increase data gathering by using a browser –of course opt-in would be necessary, perhaps like the attention trust.

Any website can now be social
Google’s browser could eventually make any website social –even if the website owner chooses not to participate. How? A plugin could be created that allows your gmail, gtalk, and other network to join you wherever you surf on the web, essentially your social graph could go with you as you travel the web. Coupled with Google Readers’ aggregation ability, this is a way to beat Facebook using a more ‘open model’.

A default browser on the Android mobile platform. If you’re not familiar, Google has announced it’s intention for it’s Android, a mobile platform suitable for software developers who want to incorporate their websites using Chrome. Expect to see a lightweight mobile version be available. Eventually coupled with geo-specific location gathering, (of course, opt-in) this could now empower Google with information about location based marketing.

Other methods to monetize. Other than the obvious ability to create more categorization of the web and offer ads, let’s think creatively on how Google could use this to enhance their bottom line. With more accurate data (combine analytics and location aware scraping) Google can now return more intelligent search results to users –in fact, each person could receive a customized search results page, advertisers would follow suit to quickly achieve higher rankings.

Peer into closed networks. This browser is a direct threat to closed social networks that do not allow Google to search or scrape like on the openweb. Social Networks that require a login to see data like Facebook potentially can be flanked if Google is the browser is the browser rendering the pages. Of course, this brings all kinds of privacy issues into play, but attention trackers with opt-in agreements could help Google to map these out.

No, this is not an IE killer, history has shown there’s plenty of room for multiple browsers, different users have different needs.

There are so many echos on Techmeme, so let’s try to have some original thoughts, I’d love to hear your long term insights on how this browser will impact the web space, leave a comment.