It may not seem fair that Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) new Web Accelerator software -- which launched as a beta download last week -- is geared for broadband users, not the dial-up community, which could sorely use faster content delivery. Still, serving up its massive library of cached pages to help speed up the browsing process is a noble concept, though it remains to be seen whether the free program will catch on. It doesn't speed up the chunky video streams and MP3 downloads that often dominate the broadband browsing experience, and, for obvious security reasons, it won't be offering encrypted pages any more quickly, either.

A story over the weekend from the techies at CNET (NASDAQ:CNET) wondered about the privacy concerns and security bugs of Google's latest plan for world domination. While I, too, am curious about what Google may ultimately do with the valuable data on user browsing habits it may collect, I'm not overly concerned. For starters, the software is only in beta, and the bugs will get worked out. Yet even more importantly, save for a recent episode in which Google started serving up third-party ads on the content pages of other sites through its popular toolbar, Google is on the side of the good guys.

Serving up cached pages to help speed up content delivery isn't exactly revolutionary, of course. Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) has been at it for years and leads the market. So won't this hurt Akamai and other content-delivery networks? Probably not. Companies like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) turn to Akamai to make sure that their music and software downloads are quick and reliable, while Google's program simply loads Web pages faster. And even for those who rely on Akamai's ability to cache fat graphics and present them more quickly, it's not as big a threat as it may seem at first glance. No company is going to ignore the vast majority of the online community that won't be running Google's accelerator.

In the end, I think it's cool to see Google growing in software areas like desktop search and Web acceleration. These are likely to remain free programs, but it will give Google a broader base of regular users that it can serve ads to -- and that's important, since 98% of the company's revenues are coming from ads. Accelerating browsers? Sure. But what Google really wants is to accelerate its influence on your browsing life.

More reasons to ogle Google:

  • The company is three-for-three when it comes to hitting Wall Street profit targets.
  • There is a potentially fatal flaw, but these days, it doesn't seem likely to manifest.
  • Check out our Rule Breakers newsletter service for more ultimate growth stock ideas.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks that the new program's "you saved X.X seconds" feature is a bit hokey, but relevant. He owns shares in Akamai. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.