Google, the probably most loved brand in the world, had rough weeks behind: First Aaron Wall aka Seobook posted about the strange Adwords bidding that makes him bid 20+ Cents for long-tail keywords, where no competition is anywhere around.
Besides that also Marshall aka Webmetricsguru showed concerns.
It's really no secret that Google collects a lot of data with Google Analytics, the toolbar and most probably with their Adsense / Adwords application. Besides that they own Doubleclick and have some behavorial data of great extend.
Having said that I think it's nothing really bad to collect data, but if you use the data to skyrocket your own profits and hurt the balance of the web, it's not a great sign.
I wasn't really concerned about Google's data collection over the last years. But when it comes to recent changes of Adsense and Adwords I am as concerned as Aaron, because I face the same issues when it comes to bidding or earning money.
It's not only the minimum bidding price being too high (with nobody else bidding on the keyword), but also the effectiveness of Adsense that wonders me sometimes.
PPC prices were and are increasing over the past few years. However the Adsense payouts did not rise the same way as they should have.
Google is incredible smart about tweaking money out of their nontransparent system and advertisers and at the end consumers have to pay for it.
With Google's market share reaching 70+%, it's possible that the overall balance of the web as a marketplace is disrupted and then the fun is...well pretty much over.