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Friday, October 31, 2003

Yeeha! Google Roundup

Microsoft wants to marry Google.
This marriage just might be worse for the world than Corey Rudl's pending nuptials to an imaginary female named Tracy. Please, please, please Big G, don't pull an Anakin Skywalker and align yourself with the dark side! I believe you when you say that you care about "good and evil," and it doesn't get much more evil (eviler?) than to consolidate so much power in the hands of one company.

Google does not need Microsoft to be a successful company, whether public or private, although going public could make it very hard for Google to "be good." When you have to choose between the interests of your shareholders and your stakeholders, someone is bound to lose, and one party will feel spurned. Let's hope Brin and Page are successful in retaining their corporate culture that has had such a profound effect on so many people and companies. I think many people underestimate how much of a positive effect that ethos has had on the growth of the Internet. Depending on how you look at it, Google (along with Overture) may have saved the commercial Internet from self-destruction, and they deserve a lot of credit for that.

The Google Toolbar is Cool
When the New York Times writes about something, you know it's big time. This piece isn't necessarily remarkable and certainly is old news to Web veterans. But, it is interesting in the sense that Google is now the seeming king of pop-up ad killers, thanks to the new feature in version 2.0 of the toolbar. So, see? Google is still "good"! Oh, and R.I.P. X10.

Google Wants You (To be a Better Bidder)
Leslie Walker of the Washington Post has written an excellent summary of what makes Google's AdWords program so interesting, and that's the feature that rewards ads that get more clicks by charging the advertiser less and displaying his ad more frequently. Of course, readers of Andrew's Google AdWords report already know all about this :)

Leslie also shares some success stories of webmasters who use AdSense, the syndicated AdWords program. Although clickthrough rates are lower for these ads, some webmasters report that the conversion rates are about the same as normal AdWords ads displayed on Google, AOL, etc. In any case, thousands of websites are able to make ad revenue by doing very little labor, allowing them to focus on producing content (refer back to "Google is good" comment above!).

Finally, she concludes by presenting some of the challenges that Google faces (advertisers trying to sneak in "ad mismatches and Google's impending clashes with Microsoft and Amazon.com), as well as briefly mentioning Google's recent acquisition of Sprinks. Anyway, I've prattled enough. If you want a good synopsis of Google's world today, read the full article.

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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