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The Almighty Buck

Why Google Rocks And An IPO 196

Soothsayer wrote to us about the recent BusinessWeek article that profiles Google, its rise to the top, despite no marketing dollars, and tries to explain...well...why Google rocks. Oh, and some small mention of an IPO. CT I also want to note that images.google.com is my favorite place in the universe to idly explore the wierdness of the net.
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Why Google Rocks And An IPO

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  • Help! I keep searching for Babes on image.google.com - but Babe Ruth keeps showing up. Yech!
  • Wasn't it Google that got an insane amount of funding with no business plan?
    • Google does have a business plan, and a good one at that. Lots of sites are losing advertising dollars, but google is making money with targeted ads. Look the next time you do a search.
  • NO, not another IPO!

    Aaahhh!

    Sheesh, you get a good firm and you just want to ruin it by making it go all bonkers with greed and quarterly returns.

    • Capitalist societies sure suck don't they. :)

      I mean.. the whole concept of making money.. how awful. Especially making money hand over fist - thats the worst thing that can happen. I mean, god forbid anyone have a nice house, 2 or 3 nice cars, one trophy MOTAS for each day of the week, speedboat, yacht, civil servant, etc.

      :)
    • The part that got me was at the end of the article where it talked about Google "growing up" and becoming a real business. Why does a real business have to have an IPO? I used to work in the IT department of a clothing store chain with 300+ stores. The same family held it and a department store chain-yet it is all privately held and nobody would say that it needed to "grow up".

      Why would any company that is growing in the aftermath of the .boom want a parasite on the business in the form of investers wanting ever-growing returns? What do they need the extra capitol for?


      • Google "growing up" and becoming a real business. Why does a real business have to have an IPO?

        Right. My wife works for Enterprise Rent-a-Car, the largest rental car company in the US. However, it is also privately held, which allows the principals strong flexibility in their decision making, because it is theirs and theirs alone. Incidentally, it's also a great company to work for, because all of the perks and bennies don't have to be approved by a mass of shareholders--if Mr. Enterprise wills it, it becomes.
      • The main benefit of issuing an IPO is the massive amount of cash that is immediately infused into the company. The company usually has some sort of business plan that includes the spending of this money through acquisitions, research, and general company growth. The company will be able to do things that it could only dream of without that money. A company going IPO without a reasonable plan as to how the money will be spent is not a company that you want to be invested in.

        Of course, with this newfound money comes new responsibility. The company heads become beholden to the shareholders and the never-ceasing demands of the market. If the principals make one bad decision, a barrage of lawsuits are bound to rain down. An unlucky company may soon find itself making decisions that bolster the short term stock price instead of making decisions that strengthen the company for the long term. The lucky company, though, may make it past its first few years and into steady cash flow well enough that it can take gambles that other companies both public and private could only imagine (Microsoft, anyone?).

        Dancin Santa
  • Bork! (Score:2, Funny)

    by MLoff ( 207190 )
    It's a shame that other sites don't accomodate those of us that speak sweedish chef.

    That's why google is on top.

    (This post -barely- passed the lameness filter)
  • by swagr ( 244747 ) on Thursday September 20, 2001 @01:58PM (#2326707) Homepage
    I did a search on AltaVista which returned 10,000,000 results. I'll let you know when I find it.
  • One of the first things you learn about in marketing and advertisment is that word of mouth is invaluble. I've used Google for a long time (it's my homepage), and I always find what I'm looking for.
    • Most places are drooling over great word of mouth.

      Sadly, they call this HYPE, which is what Google does not do.

      Google has a product that works well. most places do not want to spend the time and monewy to grow such a product.

      What is wrong with that picture?

      You can waste more time trying to trying to get a quick buck...

  • Shouldn't we consider Google a public service? How to maintain it, though?
    Or better yet - a congregation: 'Church of Google'. Sounds good to me...
  • blah. Consumption Junction [consumptionjunction.com] is the only place for serious weirdness in images on the net.

    The reason that Google.com is so heavy on traffic is b/c it is the only decent search engine on the net (and the fact that they power Yahoo, etc).

    I love Google but it definitly isn't the place for weird images :)
  • CT I also want to note that images.google.com is my favorite place in the universe to idly explore the wierdness of the net.

    ewwwww, Taco!!! Not in front of impressionable young geeks!

    • oh please. you know the only reason any of us subjected ourselves to being geeks is that, ostricised by society, we needed to find companionship. The net offers that. [S]he's like a warm blanket you can wrap yourself up in. We all need the questionable images to give her a nice face.. yeah.. thats it..

      The entire purpose of the internet is to let geeks have some form of sexual outlet. Its the worlds biggest playboypenthousehustler club. The whole E-Commerce and Electronic Community thing is just a side effect.

      O:)
  • If you spend your idle time on images.google.com you might want to try spending some time on http://www.searchshots.com/ -- shows images of actual websites instead of just the images on them.
  • The article praised google's use of text advertisements that appear at the top of the search list because they confuse web surfers who think they are search results. So why are we all feel-goody about google?
    • Eh, not really. But it might be semantics.


      The ads on Google's site are delivered as a text listing above the search results--making them appear more a part of the page's content. "It works so well since users seem to be under the impression that all ads are graphical in nature and written-word ad placements are still editorial," says ad buyer Jonathan Adams, senior partner at Ogilvy Interactive


      I have to disagree with this part of the paragraph from the linked article. I don't see how the advertising can be confusing to a user just because it's not "graphical". Unless, I suppose, you're a senior partner at Ogilvy Interactive.


      The ads stand out on the page, very clearly (IMHO). Even if the ads are not JPG's or GIF's they have the appearance of being "graphical" in nature.


      I'm not sure if that makes any sense.

  • About a week or two ago, there was a TV news item in Canada about an investigator locating a man who was wanted for hijacking a flight from Canada to Cuba in 1970 or 1971. The investigator was going through cold case files, and put the name of the wanted man into Google. He got a hit, and found a quote by a man with the same name, living in the Northeastern US. The investigator checked into this person, and it was the man they were looking for.

    Google located the missing hijacker in seconds.

    Now that rocks!
  • It rocks because (Score:2, Insightful)

    by El_Nofx ( 514455 )
    1.You always find what you want
    2.They don't try to shove ads in your face
    3.It is quick
    4.Everyone found out about it through word of mouth
    5.It's Google! need i say anymore, the name is cool
  • I installed the Google toolbar on IE on my Windows machine, and it's great.. one of the most convienent things I've ever installed. Google deserves every bit of praise it gets.
    • Gonna have to agree - thats te ONLY toolbar Id EVER install. Lets you see the ratings of the page your on, search for similar crap - excellent marketting tool.
    • Well, my browser [opera.com] includes a 'search google' (or other search engines, as configured) field in its taskbar. So there :OQ
      • it's not the same thing, trust me on this. The google toolbar is very cool:
        type a keyword and
        - search the web
        - search the site you are looking at
        - search the google web directory
        - search the archived news groups
        - highlight occurences of the terms in the page you are looking at

        In addition:
        - a google button is present with configuration and links to google, advanced search and so on.
        - a ranking is given for the page you are looking at
        - a convenient up button is present that moves you one directory up (it's actually a dropdownmenu too so you can select any directory in the path)
        - there's a button which shows you the directory in google web directory the site you are watching is indexed in (very handy for finding related material)
        - and finally there's an information button which hides useful features as automatic translation, a link to google's cached copy of the page, similar pages and links to pages linking to the page you are watching

        To the best of my knowledge opera only offers the first feature (searching the web). After bookmarks, the google toolbar is the single best productivity feature in my browser. It's a real time saver and it unleashes features that you'd otherwise never use because it's too much work. Often google's site search produces better results than the local site's own search option (usually some dumb altavista like engine).
    • I have to agree, Google toolbar is phenomenal. Saves me from typing in www.google.com, or clicking a favorites link etc, AND it gives more power than simply being at the frontpage of google. Being able to highlight and jump to search terms in any website more than justifies it's use.

      For those who want one, here's the link [google.com]. Sadly it's still only available for Windows and IE. Back when it first came out this was one of the prime reasons I cut way back in my use of Netscape.
    • Even cooler is the fact that Opera comes with a Google toolbar already built-in. Now if only they let you customize the searching shortcuts for other search engines, I'd be obnoxiously happy (instead of just plain obnoxious).
    • Or if you use Opera 5 the toolbar is already built in!
  • you mean like this?

    http://images.google.com/images?num=20&hl=en&img sa fe=off&q=weirdness&spell=1

  • Google has that nice little AdWords program. Its like a penny per impression I think. We use it and have gotten a bit of extra traffic from it. It's much better than shelling out thousands of dollars to setup a campaign on Yahoo. I think you can start as low as $15.00 on an account. That's a good deal, and that's going to make them some money. Even if they don't work, our attitude is "what the hell, it's only a few bucks".
  • Is Eric Schmidt the guy to lead Google into new markets, expand their business, and take them thru an IPO? Personally, I'm a bit worried about him as their CEO. Granted Novell was already on the way down when he took the helm, but to have negative market growth for the 4 years you were in charge? I'll admit I never followed Novell, nor do I know much about him, but his past performance bothers me. Was Novell too far gone for Schmidt to make a difference (although he had 4 years to do something)? Is Google too golden to be affected by him (ie could any bum off the street take Google thru an IPO)?
    • This worries me, too; Novell is deeply wierd. Their server software was coded in assember for years, and only their chief architect understood the code. When they shipped 4.0 with a 'C' codebase the guy said something like "I'm still learning C, I can't get the hang of those pointers." There's a warm and fuzz feeling for you.

      They keep going on about print and file services, long after printers became cheap and servers were used for applications. It's always been a pain to develop a Novell server app, because of the closed architecture and toolset. Meanwhile, almost any idiot could build a Visual Basic server app for Windows NT server. (It might not be a good app, but that's another story.)

      Then Novell went on a buying spree, trying to build an office suite to complete with Microsoft. That didn't work, and they sold all their end-user products for about 1/10 what they paid for them.

      Now they're a small middleware company that no one pays much attention to. If Schmidt trys to extend Google into markets they have no business being in (like turning them into a Yahoo/Excite style 'portal') then they're in trouble. I hope Google can keep their focus.
  • I also want to note that images.google.com is my favorite place in the universe to idly explore the wierdness of the net.

    oooh... ummm.. "wierdness" .. is THAT what they call pr0n in your neck of the woods now?
  • I think they succeed because they stay simple. I was glad to see the note to victims and survivors of the hit in New York, but saddened for the possibility that Google will take upon itself a role of news, commentary, or anything like that.

    We don't need another portal. We need a fast, simple, comprehensive Google. They do continue to make improvements within those parameters, though, which is exciting. Hadn't seen images.google. I'll go look at it now. I usually use the AltaVista image searcher...

    -wp
  • Languages (Score:4, Funny)

    by Eric Seppanen ( 79060 ) on Thursday September 20, 2001 @02:17PM (#2326835)
    From the article:
    With the addition of Arabic and Hebrew, Google now spits out results in 66 languages.
    I wonder if that count includes swedish chef [google.com]?
  • by caffeineboy ( 44704 ) <skidmore.22@nosPaM.osu.edu> on Thursday September 20, 2001 @02:21PM (#2326859)
    To me are
    • Clean website design
    • Ads and "paid results" clearly noted

    Honestly, have you seen what my prior favorite, metacrawler (now goto.net) has become? One of these horribly busy, what's what, 10-minutes-to-load, feature glut, sensory overload type pages.

    It's noce that success hasn't put a bunch of crap on google's front page like it did for ICQ, Netscape, or Yahoo.

    It's also good to know that the #1 result spot was not there because it was purchased. They're good about making that clear.

    Add to this the fact that it GETS RESULTS and RUNS LINUX... you've got a perfect engine. Of course, I'd like to know what they're doing with those cookies and click-through data, but that's just the privacy freak in me talking.

    • Add to this the fact that it GETS RESULTS and RUNS LINUX... you've got a perfect engine.

      Hey - It's not so much that they RUN Linux it's that they do an exceptional job of INDEXING Linux- (and Perl- and so on) pages. In fact this seemed to be one of their primary focuses during the beta period.

      Result -- lots of techies got on board early and spread the word to non techies. Genius marketing.
    • Honestly, have you seen what my prior favorite, metacrawler (now goto.net) has become?

      Metacrawler was my prior favorite as well. However, metacrawler.com [metacrawler.com] still exists and it's not quite as bad as goto.net [goto.net].

    • Of course, I'd like to know what they're doing with those cookies and click-through data, but that's just the privacy freak in me talking.

      Apparantly the privacy freak in you needs to read Google's privacy policy, easil found on their website:

      http://www.google.com/privacy.html [google.com]
    • You like Google because it sucks less and works better. Fewer adverts, faster and more accurate results, so far unadultered by adverts indisguise.

      Business Week likes it, in part, because they think it's deceptive!

      Google has seen online ad sales rise in recent quarters. The reason? The ads on Google's site are delivered as a text listing above the search results--making them appear more a part of the page's content. "It works so well since users seem to be under the impression that all ads are graphical in nature and written-word ad placements are still editorial," says ad buyer Jonathan Adams, senior partner at Ogilvy Interactive.

      I'm torn! Do I tell that looser what drives people to visit the place and give him a clue, or do I keep my mouth shut and let him keep buying ads?

      Nah, I'll keep my mouth shut. One day after the IPO, some greedhead is going to screw my favorite search engine. It will be replaced in about five days by an honest site. Why can't those fools just enjoy their profits and leave excellent alone?

      • I'm torn! Do I tell that looser what drives people to visit the place and give him a clue, or do I keep my mouth shut and let him keep buying ads?

        Yeah, no doubt, I thought that too as soon a I read it. Google could be in some real trouble if they go public on the theory that "our ads work because people don't know they're ads."

        Why does google want to go public anyway? No, really. If they're already profitable without any outside investing, why trade equity away for some one-time capitol? Seems like it could be part of an expansion / diversification strategy, with google potentially becoming a leviathan "portal" like yahoo. Personally I'd rather they stick to good searches.

        That said, I DO like their ads. Not because I'm fooled, but because they're actually correlated to the search topic (what a concept!) and they're minimally intrusive. Go google, just don't go public.
    • Ads and "paid results" clearly noted

      I agree. This is not just good design, this is ethical dealing. But it's ironic -- according to the article, many people don't see these ads as ads, even though they're clearly marked. Apparently people have been conditioned to equate ads with graphic banners. So Google is benefiting from the excesses of its predecessors.

      Add to this the fact that it GETS RESULTS and RUNS LINUX... you've got a perfect engine..

      That doesn't make any sense. If it doesn't get results, it's not imperfect, it's useless. And preferring a search engine (or any other public web site) for the OS its maintainers choose is just plain silly.

    • Aside from being non-annoying, another thing I really like about Google's text ads is that they're on-topic a lot more often than any other web site I use. I click them not just to support Google, but because they actually have information I want to read.

      p.s. Use the AutoGoogler! Save the following as a bookmark, strip out spaces, and put it in your browser toolbar.

      javascript:q=(document.getSelection)? document.getSelection(): document.selection.createRange().text; if(!q)q=prompt('Google:',''); if(q)void(location= 'http://www.google.com/search?q='+escape(q));
  • And it's all about relevant results.

    Google is great for many of the same reasons that Yahoo was great (and still, more or less, is great). Early search engines all used the same ranking scheme (if they ranked sites at all). The more often a term appeared in a page's META tags or body, the more relevant the page must be. This was quickly taken advantage of by web page creators.

    Yahoo might not have been the first to deviate from the traditional search engine, but they were the first raging success at it. Web surfers quickly learned that searching Yahoo's directory yielded more relevant results because the sights were screened beforehand to make sure the sites contained what the site creators said the sites contained. But soon the directory became bloated, many sites simply went away causing broken links, site creators all began their site titles with "A" just to push up to the top of the alphabetical listing and corporations trumped them all by paying for top billing.

    Enter Google. The ranking algorithm works something like this: A site is crawled and it's contents indexed. A check is made in Google's existing directory to see if any other sites point to the currently crawled site. If there are many sites pointing to the current site, then obviously the current site has some importance and deserves and higher ranking. If one of the "big sites" (i.e. AOL, MSN, etc) link to a site, it must be really important. I believe there are other factors involved but I can't remember them at the moment.

    Google's ranking system provides the most relevant search results of all the current search engines. As a bonus, it doesn't try and clutter the interface with unneccessary "portal" features or too much blatant advertising. Fast, powerful and smart. That's why it rocks.

    • According to the paper on PageRank [stanford.edu] (fittingly enough, written by Larry Page), it is cleverer than that. (another presentation is here [stanford.edu]).

      A tree is built - the rating is based on not just how many people link to a page, but how many people link to the page linking to the page, etc. all the way back through the tree. The rank is scaled by the number of links on a page (so a link on a page with few links ranks higher than a page on a bookmark listing).

      The text linked to a page (i.e. what's inside the <a>...</a> tags is used as well as the text in the page itself (it often gives a higher quality match). Yet another reason to use good descriptive text for your links than "click here" :)

    • Google's ranking system provides the most relevant search results of all the current search engines.

      I agree the results are the most relevant, but there's one factor I've been unable to specify in a query: TIME. Oftentimes, I'd get 40-50 results of which many were posted years ago, and it's a pain to skim through all those to find the ones that pertain to a recent development and/or announcement!

      Some Ideas:

      • Date Range Qualifier: Prior to submitting a query, I'd like to specify either a relative or absolute starting date. That is, pages that were updated/created:
        • In the past "N" days.
        • Since: yyyy / mm / dd

      • Sort By Date Button: If I'm looking at a result set, I'd like to be able to click a button and see the most-recently created / modified pages listed first.

      Workaround: I've tried to do something like including "2001" in a query, but it's not very selective or effective. :(

  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Thursday September 20, 2001 @02:25PM (#2326878) Homepage Journal
    I like the features of both Google and Altavista's different image searchers.

    Google's search seems to be a little more focused on the content of the surrounding page, while Altavista's search seems to be a little more focused on the content of the image itself.

    Altavista's "Similar" indexing is a really interesting way to browse randomly, or to find better-quality copies of the same image. It goes by some color-to-area fingerprinting index scheme, so a pumpkin on a black background may be seen as "similar" to a basketball on a dark brown background.

    Google's database of images is not mature yet, and needs more tie-in with the stock-photo services, but it is in more ways predictable: reasonable searches often find reasonable images.

    In both, and in website searching too, I'd like for it to automatically try synonyms to words I provide, perhaps at a lower weighting.

    More semantic work could be done on Google, to avoid the dreaded "'how' is a very common word and ignored" phenomenon. Of course, a database table with references to all the pages that include the word 'how' would be enormous. However, if groups of words on pages and in searches were recognized and considered as new meta-English symbols, the tables of how to verb for each verb would be manageable and useful. "How to tie", "how to format", "how to derive". (Linux docs have adopted 'howto' as a word to avoid the situation, but [shock] not everything you want to find is about Linux.)

    Other word groupings that commonly surround the too-common words are good candidates for this symbol-analysis too.
    • My search to learn to tie shoes is "+how +to tie +a shoe" Returns the results I want. The plus sign forces an explicit search for those words ignoring the "its common" problem.

      Just add plusses and you can still search for the words. Found exactly what I wanted.

      Whats so wrong about uses plusses when you REALLY want to use the search terms. Terms that are so common it would possibly drag the engine down if they completely allowed it?

      Jeremy
    • Try "How to verb"

      By surrounding it with quotes it looks for the entire phrase
  • I think one could sum it right here...

    ...Google's traffic has leaped 73% so far this year, making it the top pure search site on the Web.

    So, why does it rock you ask? Cause it follows the KISS method. No BS. No stupid ads. No pop-ups. Its just a simple search engine that gives RESULTS.

    • ...Google's traffic has leaped 73% so far this year, making it the top pure search site on the Web.

      Thats an easy statistic to win. I don't know of any other engine that hasn't expanded into a news/personals/get yer web mail here/chat thing.

      I admit I haven't looked too hard recently.


  • I remember when images.google.com was first announced, somebody noticed that if you searched for "CmdrTaco" you got a hilarious page with "Mr.T vs. Slashdot Geeks."

    Doesn't return that one anymore, though.
  • The current issue of Wired Magazine is also featuring Google in an article about it's marketing and advertising sales strategies.. good read, but not available on the net yet..
  • Has anyone come across any really interest results for searches on images.google? One of the oddest ones ive come across these days has been searches for "bruise"
  • I know I can get to some of my pages through Google, and I never paid 'em a dime. They don't charge me to search for things, and they don't show me a lot of ads. Where does the money come from?

    The article mentions that someone does pay Google to spider their site, and that they sell their "technology". It must be an aweful amount of money if this is how Google covers their expenses. It's a little hard to believe.

    Google looks like one of those things that is Too Good To Be True. Are we gonna find out that they are Osama's piggy bank or something? ;-)

  • Sellign technolgoy to do a job with fixed needs is not a sustainable business model.

    You can make some large hunks of cash but wher eis the ongoing revenue? I don't see an ydiscussion of whether the amrket for their technology can or will expand.

    Some plain business sense still seems a good idea when picking companies. Burn is sustained so income must be sustainable.

  • because it doesn't second guess my logical operators, and doesn't replace the searches that I want with ads that were paid for. If I put a string in quotes, goddamit, I want that string, and *not* just some of the words of the string, and not variations of the string. If I put something in parantheses, I want the operator performed on just the strings in the parantheses, and not anything else.

    Google rocks because it believes me when I tell it I know what I want. The others don't do that, and so I use Google always.
  • But it is not perfect. What about exact pharse searches? Try this search on google. "to be or not to be, that is the question" Google first hit is something about horticulture, huh?!? "To spray or not to spray?" And the rest of the hits have nothing to do with Shakespeare. Now try the same exact search on Altavista you actually get Shakespeare related sites. Google is great for topic search especially multiple topics. With Altavista it is +linux +filtering +security but Google is automatically ANDed. It is just to bad that Google's advanced search to turn on exact phase matching doesn't actually work. I tried the Google advanced search page but I got the same results as the standard page. Lycos has an advanced search with exact match and it did give the good results, so what is the deal with Google? I realize this may be redundant and others on Slashdot have mentioned this problem with Google. The question is: Is there a way around this or a fix in the works? Has anyone else experienced this?
    • The reason "to be or not to be, that is the question" doesn't return anything relevant is because most of the words are dropped from the search because they are "common".
      But you can use the same semantics as AltaVista: the '+' character. Try:
      [google.com]
      "+to +be +or +not +to +be, +that +is +the +question"


      This will return relevant sites. The only problem is that it is as annoying as hell to type.

    • But it is not perfect. What about exact pharse searches? Try this search on google. "to be or not to be, that is the question" Google first hit is something about horticulture, huh?!? "To spray or not to spray?" And the rest of the hits have nothing to do with Shakespeare.

      Notice the message that Google gave you along with that query:
      The word "or" was ignored in your query -- for search results including one term or another, use capitalized "OR" between words.
      The following words are very common and were not included in your search: to be to be that is.

      If you read The Basics of Google Search [google.com], you'll see that to force searching for common words, you need to use a plus sign. Hence, the correct query is "+to +be +or not +to +be, +that +is the question". Plug that in, hit "I'm feeling lucky", and bing! You're at Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1 [mit.edu].

  • Google may 'rock' now but it won't after an IPO. I will get flamed for this but things you can expect to see are some of the following,

    banner ads, pop-ups

    intrusive user tracking

    links for 'product placement'

    smart people leaving the company disillusioned

    Tell me "it can't happen"... it has every time before and it will here

    In 12-24 months google will suck badly, mark my words. You will be ashamed to have promoted it.

    By the way, my understanding is that they are profitable and don't need an IPO -- but no doubt the private investors want their 10x return on their original capital. After all, do you think that multimillionaires invest in these things out of good-will?

    The only way to have a search engine that does want you want in the long term is for it to be owned by the users.

  • Because they can't profit from anything without destroying the site. Banner ads dont bring in any revenue, and you cant charge for the service. This wont get off the ground because there isn't anywhere it can go but down. The only thing that they can do is start running auctions, selling products through buy.com and its affiliates and hope they make enough to pay the 5,000 employees they hire in anticipation of "getting big" only having to fire them 3 months later.

  • Thing is, Google at this point is just a search box which covers 20% of the screen? IPO could mean having better instructions, a little bit of advertizing, and a more fancy logo. I don't think that the Google people will be dumb enough to change things enough that their current users don't like it anymore. That said, Google is my favorite search engine, and I could be a tad biased :-)
  • "It works so well since users seem to be under the impression that all ads are graphical in nature and written-word ad placements are still editorial," says ad buyer Jonathan Adams, senior partner at Ogilvy Interactive.

    Why do these marketing people always treat people like braindead sheep? He's implying that their adversting works because the apparent deception works. I personally, *intentionally* check out Google's sponsors because I assume that if this company has spent some money to advertise their product/service, it might be worth looking at; a better signal-to-noise ratio. Of course this isn't always the case, and even if not, I'm still helping to support one of my favorite sites.
  • I hope the google servers can survive being slashdotted.
  • From the article:

    "It works so well since users seem to be under the impression that all ads are graphical in nature and written-word ad placements are still editorial,"

    I really disagree with this statement. Google's ads are clearly marked with a colored background, the words "Sponsored Link," and are presented in a totally different format, most notably wording. There is no mistaking these ads for search results.

    He's right though, that the ads work. Unlike the blinking crap that pollutes so many web pages, the ads on Google are relevant and often interesting. I've clicked them fairly often, when I usually ignore banner ads.

  • by johnjones ( 14274 ) on Thursday September 20, 2001 @05:01PM (#2327793) Homepage Journal
    "oh google fantastic it got me the results I needed"- researcher

    "oh the libraries fantastic they showed me the indexes and then I went and got the best book"- researcher

    this is the old way of doing things not anything new

    its called Impact Factor this is how often a paper is cited by other papers in their bibliography (an equivalent in a home page would be links section). This then determines how good the paper is and so a journal with a high impact factor is seen as better than one with a low one because people use articles from it a lot. In turn journals then demand more money from the library to buy it or advertiser if they run adverts.

    But get this some high brow journals cost $10,000 for a years subs that every library in the land has to stock because they have such high impact factor.

    On top of this if you want to publish where do you publish? In a high impact factor journal because your work is going to be seen and often you grant is linked to impact factor. So researchers are so desperate to get their money they give copyright of their work to journals .

    And of course this self perpetuates with the best work going to high brow journals the winners are the Publishers not the people doing the work or the libraries that hold the research.

    What is needed is to break the cycle is for researchers to publish online to a respected website and to keep copyright of their work and for funding companies / governments to acknowledge these as having an impact factor (may be based on unique viewing of page I suppose ) and the libraries to stop paying them!

    Please encourage you local libraries and governments to do this !

    Regards

    John Jones
    • Except that this is the web, and Google links per page and per subject. If a page on my website is linked more than a page on CNN.com, I have a higher link factor for that page, even though CNN.com itself is linked to a billion times more than my website.

      Putting something on CNN.com dosen't immedently mean it's going to be linked alot, just like putting something on my website dosen't mean that it won't be.

      Also, because google indexes everything and returns results based on subject, I'm still in their database (unlike at a library where they can only subscribe to so many journals) and a page of mine with only one or two links will float to the top if the search is specific enough.

    • Check out citeseer (Score:2, Informative)

      by osolemirnix ( 107029 )
      Libraries had this a long time ago? Man, have you ever done a research for relevant papers in a library? Even with all their CD-Rom and online catalogs it still sucks, because it's still keyword based, like Altavista.

      That changed with citeseer [nec.com], a search DB that specifically links publications and calculates their relevance based on common citations.
      Great for doing research, check it out.
  • Hello All-

    Seems like Google has quite the DB backend... anyone know what they are running?

    I am constantly surprised by Google... it almost always finds what I am looking for...

    -Affe
  • Okay. Call me dumb, (settle down!), but I don't see any advertising on Google.

    Do they mean that they're selling guaranteed high ranking search results to companies?

    Like, if you look up "Ice Cream", does it mean that "Baskin & Robins" will come up first because they paid off the Google cops and not because their site ranks based on the normal criteria?

    Hm.

    I don't know how I feel about that. I know it costs money to run these things, but I always get nervous when the quality of information becomes subservient to corporate agendas.

    Fear the IPO.


    -Fantastic Lad.

    • Some Google pages have advertisements but they're text based rather than graphical.

      However they're always at the top and highlighted as such (with a different colour background and the mention it's a sponsored link), or they appear down the right hand side of the page.

      I think this is the best way to do advertising, it's effective as it's not annoying but it's still clear what is the sponsored links and the real search results.
  • Here's a graph of the number of visitors to my book review site [dannyreviews.com] coming from Google over the last 18 months or so:

    200002: 1628: 1.70%
    200004: 1116: 0.92%
    200005: 3583: 3.21%
    200006: 3184: 5.05%
    200007: 3347: 5.83%
    200008: 5085: 6.89%
    200009: 6216: 5.29%
    200010: 9341: 7.06%
    200011: 7786: 6.18%
    200012: 7345: 7.44%
    200101: 8985: 8.08%
    200102: 8422: 7.45%
    200103: 9685: 7.60%
    200104: 11588: 8.56%
    200105: 12983: 9.02%
    200106: 11740: 10.85%
    200107: 11917: 13.23%
    200108: 15378: 14.06%

    The percentages need to be multipled by about 2.5 to get fractions of external referers - ie in August 2001 about 35% of my traffic came from www.google.com. (Also, these figures don't include google.yahoo.com or google.co.uk or the other sites using Google.)

    Danny [danny.oz.au].

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