I'm not sure if you're being deliberately contrarian or if you're legitimately dense.
Saying they "paid for lower QOS for Google" is misleading; they would actually have paid for higher QOS for themselves, which is perfectly reasonable.
It wouldn't have been of any benefit to Yahoo to increase their QOS with Google's remaining unchanged. I'm saying that they could have partnered with companies that owned large portions of the network to slow down Google's access. If Google couldn't crawl it, it couldn't index it. If they couldn't index it, their search results wouldn't have been as good.
Google won because they were better, and they were better because they won?
Pretty much, yeah.
That's rather circular reasoning.
Perhaps but it's not wrong.
In actual fact, Google's search engine business would never have been a viable business on its own; it simply didn't make enough revenue. Google's search engine only survived because it was cross-subsidized by Google's advertising revenue.
It's extraordinarily difficult to make a profit on a "Free" service without advertising.
Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't support the argument that it was "better".
No, more people choosing Google over Yahoo, Bing and AOL means that it is/was better.
Net neutrality, in the end, is an arrangement where companies like Google can push ads on you and monetize free content and have you pay for the privilege through your ISP fees.
Except that with Net Neutrality in place, you are free to choose one of their competitors without the network penalizing you.
A few big companies have come to completely dominate the market because of that particular arrangement.
In a market where all are given the same access, a few companies dominating it are just proof that the market chose them.
Even if the completely unrealistic worst-case scenario of ISPs all replacing Google and Facebook with their own private offerings
That's a strawman. I never argues that.
They wouldn't be able to directly replace them, they would be able to give preferential treatment to the traffic of their own competitor. They can't replace them but they can make them near unusable to their customers.