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The Almighty Buck

Google Gets Bigtime Funding 117

EtherSnoot writes "Google just got $25 Million in funding from some Internet Big-Wigs. I guess there going big time. Awesome to see such a cool search engine getting the bucks. The article is here. " Wow-they've got both Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins for VC funding. Excellent-I'm glad to see they are getting what they deserve.
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Google Gets Bigtime Funding

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  • is relative url's. such as fortune's website etc. i love google but sites that dont have their documents living at one url forever really suck!
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    Everything shouyld be free
    I'm not,paying for anytihng
  • They're pretty damn vague about that in the article, aren't they? I mentioned a little earlier that I'd be happy paying $0.05 per search, rather than be accosted by ads. Or maybe pay $20 per year for unlimited search. The quality of the results and the time saved is worth it.

    Ok, here's where I start talking way over my head. Let's say that a search engine is a public service (it's hard to get more public than the Internet). All the search engines I've seen (except Google) have been based on the model of commercial television, where you don't pay directly for the service, but you do have to put up with ads. A different model is public television and radio which (in the U.S.) severely restrict their ads, but request that their listeners donate money once a year, for which the patrons receive some kind of extra bonus (magazine, coffee mug, etc.) At the end of the scale is cable television, where you have to pay charges for your level of service each month, and extra charges for certain shows (pay-per-view), but you get exactly what you pay for and very few ads.

    The key here is that the consumers choose the level of service they want. I like avoiding ads, so I avoid commercial television and listen to a lot of public radio.

    Another public service that springs to mind is phones. Everyone (again, speaking for the U.S.) gets a phone book when they get basic phone service. They can look up phone numbers themselves. Or, for an extra charge, they can call the operator and have the operator look up a phone number for them. They save time and get more current information that way, but at a cost.

    Google's got enough good word-of-mouth that I'll bet they could charge for their service and still retain a significant number of users. If they keep it flexible, maybe using one or more of the revenue models described above, they could keep people happy (they get to choose their level of service) and still tie in seamlessly with other sites and services.

    Anyway, enough economic pontificating from this computer geek.

    Carl Patten
  • One point of view is that at the very least, you'll only be subjected to one page of ads at most (the results page) as interfaces to sites become more distributed.

    This is already evident with the true usefulness of things like Apple's Sherlock, and to a lesser extend, the googol search slashbox. Content is opening up -- at some point, users will take the power into their own hands and decide how they want their content presented.

  • Y'know, I can live with an ad or two on a webpage. What I cannot -- and will not -- accept is advertising that blinks, fades, shimmers, dances, or in some other way interferes with my ability to read a web page by attacking my peripheral vision.

    Television and movie advertising are not the appropriate model for the Web. You can get away with eye-popping visuals in those media because you have either interrupted the programming (TV) or not yet begun it (movie).

    The Web is more like a newspaper. Sure, the content is dynamic and all that jazz, but the bottom line is that nearly every page I'm interested in consists of content that has to be read, and animated advertising actively hinders my ability to do so.

    I don't know if you're involved with advertising or if you just hate to see people proxying ads off their browsers, but consider this: when advertising consisted of billboard-like banners and plaintext hyperlinks, I occasionally clicked-through. Only when the marketing whores turned it into a cross between a casino and a video arcade did I seek out a proxy filter (specifically, Junkbuster).
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    I'll do it but I'm not paying as I could use a perfectly good toilet instead.

    Unless you're willing to lick my arse clean afterwards then I'd be willing to pay.
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    No I don't shaft sheep!!!!
  • Well, well, well... did we get up on the wrong side of the net this morning?

    when referring to the third party, is is "their" not there. You half-witted, half-baked, pig-eating piece of crap !

    You are correct; the proper word in this context would have been their.

    However, for some reason, it seems especially easy to confuse these homonyms (and others, like to, too, and two) in the world of electronic communications. Even I, who would never make such a mistake in (traditional) writing or speaking, have caught myself misusing such words. I am not sure why this is the case, but it does seem to be common.

    Furthermore, in the world of the internet, it is incorrect to assume that everyone you meet is a native english speaker. Having attempted to discuss classic computers in french (after 3 years of high school french, 2 years of college, and occasional use at home and socially) I am continually amazed at how well non-native english speakers actually do. How good is your French, German, Tagalog, mandarin, cantonese, etc.?

    And lastly, a lack of emphasis on good grammar does not necessarily indicate lower intelligence. I know plenty of geniuses who are barely coherent, grammatically speaking. Personally, I'm one of the few people I know who knows the proper use of a semicolon, yet I am still patting myself on the back for finally comprehending the function of a capacitor. Eloquence of communication does not equal general intelligence.

    So, you scoff at the mistakes of others, yet is that any different from any other type of discrimination? It is simply the labelling of some attribute of another as a weakness so that one can feel better about one's own inadequacies.

  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    Well I was using it in June, so there!
  • I've been looking for information on American Impressionist painter, Paul Cornoyer, for about a year now. I've used Google frequently to search for information.

    I recently found an eBay auction of one of Cornoyer's works from Google, but when I jumped to eBay, the page was long gone. I was able to use Google's cached copy to get enough information to be useful. Without Google's caching, I would have missed out on a great painting.

    While I, too, question the overall usefulness of caching very dynamic sites, if they've got it, I'll be happy to use it.
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    No I don't shaft sheep!
  • Sure, maybe Google will end up with a banner add or two. But who has to see them. If you really want to get work done, Lynx is the way to go.

  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    It better not be as we all know Red$at $ux. DIY is the only way to be. Make your own Linux distro and don't be lame.
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    Exactly, a good point.
  • I've got mixed feelings on this one.

    First is that it's great to see a web site this
    good get this much money. Google is the best and
    fastest search engine I've ever used. The
    front page loads up fast, the graphics are
    minimal, and the results are most reliable.

    On the other hand, money like this can only
    mean the coming of more useless graphics,
    plenty of annoying advertising, and more
    annoying and useless features. (And from
    a completely selfish point of view: More
    funding might lead to more people using it
    which means it might also slow down. But even
    that's a bit iffy right now.)

    I wish only the best for Google, but I hope this
    isn't the first step to self-destruction.

  • They re-spidered my site this afternoon.

    Seriously, I do find it quite strange that many of the tops hits when searching for the name of my site are cached /. pages. I do wonder how much disk space they're using (wasting?) caching sites like /. which are so dynamic that there's not much point caching them
  • /. is dynamic, but intelligently, the content doesn't go away, and always lives at the same URI. This means that it's worth it for spiders to index /.

  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    Yeah whatever
  • I really hope this doesn't mean they're starting down the slippery slope which ends up in an interface as ugly as, say, DejaNews []'. Google's incredibly minimalistic interface is part of the charm. It's fast and efficient (and gets excellent search results).

    It's also really nice to see a search engine with no banner ads, they really get on my nerves (even though I don't see many, thanks to Junkbuster [] --- awesome program.

  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    Probably doesn't give a fuck
  • it was about a terrabyte when altavista first started up IIRC.
  • It is difficult to IPO with only 3 or 4 people :) Google was founded in September 1998, so doing an IPO in 1998 would be rather hard.

    We are planning to keep a large focus on our technology development.

    A bunch of us at Goog
    -Larry Page
    CEO, Google.comle have enjoyed reading all these comments!
  • FWIW, I once worked at an ISP. I got to sit in on meetings where the execs were discussing the value of the company if it were to go public.

    As you said, they base the company value on the user count at $xx per user. In this case, the explanation was that $xx per user is how telcos are valued. They believed that the telco model was the closest thing to an ISP (since no/few ISPs have been around long enough to show real long-term returns).

    Of course, that wasn't a big enough number for them, so they pumped it up a bit because ISP customers are worth more per user. Their conservative estimate was basically midway between the value per customer of a telco and the value per customer of another ISP that had already gone public.

    I am sure that if they IPO soon and catch the wave, their estimate will be about right. It just amuses me that this kind of creative math is used to estimate the value of these companies. It will probably require several years of profit/loss statements to figure out the real equation.
  • I like google, because it tells you if it can't find something, rather than spewing a bunch of vaguely related links at you
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    Personally I think that money should be scrapped altogether and that we run the world on the favor scheme. In other words in return for goods we do someone a favour instead of handing them cash.
  • I prefer a shotgun [] or a sniper's rifle [] when I'm huntin' ;-)...
  • IIRC, Google existed as a research project (at Stanford?) before it became an independent entity. I remember getting to it through a ".edu" domain before "" came on-line.
  • not for long :(
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    You have to be joking about Lynx. The WWW is meant to be about multimedia and graphics and stuff like that and Lynx reduces it down to boring plain text. How exciting is that meant to be?
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    No I don't shaft sheep!!
  • I don't think it would have been a good IPO, even last year (when the world was nuts). The other former search engines -- altavista, yahoo, excite, etc. all have "succeeded" because they became portals. Not because they stayed search engines. And google doesn't even have a revenue model!
  • Micropay just makes sense, as it streamlines the web site and the business model. Expect to see sites remain free for basic services, but provide augmented service to people submitting micropay cookies. For the micropay customer, the search will be faster (higher priority) and indexed against your personal profile and surfing history.

    Authors will no longer need publishers. Musicians will no longer need record companies. Micropay will better allow shareware programmers to quit their dull jobs and pay their bills doing what they love.

    Sort of reminds me of a segment I heard on NPR a year ago about an economist's ideas of a modern barter economy, and how computers might be used to manage the complex graph of service providers and people requesting services such that people could potentially do away with money (and income taxes?). I don't think I'll live to see a barter economy, but at least the micropay concept seems to be a step in the right direction that will empower people.

  • about a month ago (after it had been in beta a while) google started returning crap.

    searches that I have performed many times before now give results that are way worse than they used to be.

    does anyone know what happened?


  • According to the internet archive ( who have been saving the web and usenet since 1996 (I think - can't quite remember), the internet is "reaching ten terabytes".
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    Spot on. I agree totally.
  • The problem here is that you see raising lots of money through an IPO as the opportunity that was missed out on. That assumes that Brin's goal is to IPO. Perhaps, instead, his goal is simply to make an excellent search engine and make a healthy profit.

    I don't know the guy, and it's certainly an idealistic viewpoint, but is it so unreasonable for a tech firm to have a goal aside from a good IPO?
  • Thanks! I've been using webwasher on my Win32 machines and thought I had to wait for them to port to Linux.
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    I just hope they retain their functionality after this announcement
  • Exactly. For the high quality results that Google produces, I'd be happy to pay a few cents per search, rather than have to look at a screen 90% covered with ads and useless time- and bandwidth-wasting fluff.

    The article doesn't mention anything about how these investors expect Google to make money. And they're expanding their staff to 100? I love Google, but they've got me worried.

    Carl Patten
  • Man, Google was my 'backdoor' search engine, free from the overwhelming crap on sites like yahoo and snap.... One banner is ok, even inevitable I guess, but if they turn google into yahoo...what a waste. Ack, the humanity! :-)
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    No I don't shaft sheep!!!
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    Personally I love the GOOOOOOGLE thing at the bottom of each search page. It's really cool.
  • Um, they have several Sherlock plugins listed in the "More Google..." link. (See They just don't advertise it on their front page. If they advertised everything they have on the front page, the people in this forum would be complaining about how cluttered the interface is. ;-)

  • I'm already paying for advertising in my time and attention. Personally, I'd rather micropay Rob directly. Maybe US$.10 for each day that I view /. I get at least US$36.50 of information, enjoyment, fulfillment out of /. per year. Why not pay for it?

    Ad banners are a poor revenue model. Clickthru rates are falling and will continue to fall -- see Jakob Nielsen's site [] for more details.

    I'm not saying that micropayments are a great answer...but they would make the web more competetive for what's *really* worthwhile - content.

  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

  • Do you have one iota of evidence for the claim that it'll go IE only?

    One shred?

    Even a smidgen?
  • Bottom line:

    No they dont NEED more cash, but now they sure as hell better start producing some revenue.

    Remember that they didn't hit the lotto, that $25 million is an investment. Now Google needs to find some way of producing good returns for its investors. Most of the time, when someone pours that kind of money into a business, arguments like "We dont like banner ads" and "We dont sell search keywords" start to fall short. They had better have some great new ideas and some compelling reasons not to (IE they can make more money another way) or else they will have two choices: Start with the whole banner-ad gig and other traditional ways of web portaldom, or be replaced with someone who will. Now all they need is to put together a good looking revenue stream, do the IPO, and hope to some-day become profitable. Sadly this will probably kill the functionality of the engine itself.

  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    Peatsa face
  • geezus people.. cry a lil more why don't you. Banner add shmanner add they have to make money somehow. Google could ofcourse become the PBS of search engines and that might be there plans, but obviously the funding is there, they have to figure a profit margin in somewhere so ohhh.. we have to get banner adds.. SO WHAT.
    I bet most of the people bitching here have banner adds on there own website or are thinking of ways to setup there own mini portals or what not. It has to be paid for somehow, so why don't you quit whining and say congrats for someone making it in an already flooded market, and use what you want. Speed/quickneess/reliability - yahoo works great. so does google, but they all havea niche and they all fit in somewhere.. Google may just use the funding to sell there engines/software products too.. WHO KNOWS? and who cares. use what you want. if you dont' like it, no reason to whine about it.
  • I had never heard of Google until this morning. They don't have a Macintosh Sherlock plugin, so I took a moment to write one [].

    Metasearching rules!

  • How many /. readers would pay $30/year to read it? Very few. And the best part of /. is that there are so many readers, so it would quickly decay and die, just because you don't want to see ads.
    Using clickthrough rates is a poor evaluator anyways. A company doesnt measure the effectiveness of its radio campaign by how many calls they get immediately after each ad, they measure by how much they sell overall.
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    Just consider, however, that Amazon has yet to show a profit.
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    No I don't shaft sheep!
    Please don't ask any more
  • Yes, the said algorithm is simply a rehash of the idea that exists for MANY years in scientific publications. We know a publication (website/webpage) is an "authority" if many people cite it (hyperlink to it). And we know that a publication is a "hub" (good starting point) if it cites many publications. Good scientific papers are authoritative papers. Good review articles in books etc are hubs.

    Unfortunately, google doesn't have a good review system to further improve the signal to noise ratio. But then, it's hard to get someone to review the whole web. In this case, /. does a much better jobs in promoting peer review, since information is tighter and manageable here. Maybe /. could use the ideas of "authorities and hubs"?
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    I wwatch tv while surfing the internet and I'm sure many others do too. So why don't they just advertise on TV and we'd all be happy.
    I'm used to the tv ads you see.
  • Wasn't Lycos talking up this method of winnowing a while back? Come to think of it, don't they claim a patent on the idea? I think it was a /. story [], come to think of it...

    And /. does use the ideas of "authorities and hubs", in an organic way: "Some dude and about a bajillion other sent in this really lame starwars story..."

  • Advertising? They just got $25 MILLION dollars. Why would they need advertising? They're still in dire need of cash?
  • Posted by MaldaSuX: is one of the top Linux sites?

    Don't you mean one of the top joke sites?
  • Can anyone explain the reasoning behind the massive overvaluation of anything 'Internet' these days?

    I can understand the desire of investors to want in on an expanding market, but how can anyone in their right mind value a "portal" in the hundreds of millions of dollars? How can this value be sustained for any period of time?
  • Enjoy it while it lasts....


    -If a search engine works and is quick, I'll keep coming back to it.

    -If there is only one ad on the page I am more likely to click it.

    -They could charge their advertisers more $$$ with a higher click through rate (w/one ad only)
  • I can't wait until we can block ALL advertisements on the net. Things will be so much cooler when you have to pay to go to every website and there is no good content available. These pesky free information sites and search engines are a bane to the future of the information age.

    Seriously, are you really enough of a dumbass that you think these sites don't have to pay thier employees? Someone has to pay the piper, and if its not advertisers, it YOU!
  • I think it's a bit to hasty to worry about Google 'selling out', seeing as how they haven't done it yet.

    p.s.: the department of this article misses the alliterative affect of the original 'fifty-thousand french franks in my fridge'
    SG:Who is your arch enemy?
    Bobcat: John Tesh.
    SG:The compser?

  • They are the coolest, cleanest engine I've used.
  • Pick up a copy of "Fortune", "Forbes", "Upside", or any other magazine which targets executives. I seem to find article after article about small tech companies that went big-time and made some college student rich.

    These stories are great sources of inspiration, but they tend to gloss over the technical side of things. This is understandable if your audience is not technical, but sometimes understanding the nuts and bolts helps explain WHY the company succeeded.

    Of course, to many managers and execs, the technical side is irrelevent. (sarcasm) Obviously, these companies succeeded because they have great management. Engineers and techies are just laborers who help the fulfill the executive "vision".

    Sorry to sound bitter, I'm just dealing with a situation right now where a certain CEO keeps repeating the word "portal" like some kind of mantra. He doesn't really know what a portal is, he just wants one ("What color would you like that portal to be?" "I think mauve has the most RAM.").
  • There is a practice of assessing the value of Internet companies based on their user count at $xx per user (yes, I think it is usually two digits!). I imagine that the more exclusive and stratified a slice of humanity that the user base represents, the higher the value of xx.

    I think this investment philosophy includes very little _revenue model_ and very much _grab it and its user base now and figure out how to make money later_.

  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    No I don't shaft sheep!..
  • Google is "cool" because a bunch of math guys came up with a really interesting new idea for searching the web which makes the others look très "brute force".
    Basically, their brainwave was to use the fact that hypertext documents contain links to other hypertext documents - seems obvious doesn't it?
    So instead of just looking for instances of a word or phrase in various webpages they rank webpages by popularity and the popularity of each webpage is determined by how many other webpages with a high popularity ranking link to it in a kind of smart crypto-recursive-algorithm sort of way.
    It's elegant. It's smart. It's running on Linux.
    What's not to love?

    It's clever algorithm produces very accurate search results try it for yourself. Type in Linux and the top hits in Google are stuff like:

    i.e. the top linux websites

    *None*, ***None***, of those sites will appear in your first page or results at altavista or excite...

    Give it a try... it's not the "less mainstream", it's the "works better"
  • Ooh, now there's some witty repartee!

    I bet your gay as all youre saying is pointless bent stuff. Only a queer would waste their time posting commints like that.

    Well, had you bothered to take a few seconds to look at my personal web page [], you would have seen this picture [] of my wife, and possibly even found this page [], all of which would have shown the falsity of your statement.

    Members of the gay community are not especially known for their grammatical expertise -- some may be very skilled, linguistically, others less so. Sexual orientation has little to do with knowledge of the English language.

    As for taking on a personal crusade to stand up for those less skilled than others, I am well known for loudly voicing my opinions [], and I do love to write [].

    You, on the other hand, seem barely able to communicate, despite being, apparently from the UK where the language was popularized, and are too cowardly to post other than as an AC.

    When you decide to come out of the closet, let me know and we can discuss this further.

  • The funny thing about Yahoo is that I no longer find anything useful when I run a search. The only thing Yahoo is good for nowadays are its auxilliary functions, like news, stock quotes, maps, weather, etc. It's sort of like Bloomberg for the general public in that sense.
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    No I don't shaft sheep!
    So fuck off
  • I agree. There are some things that I just couldn't find on Altavista or any other search engine, but when I tried it on google it was the first link listed. This thing is great.
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    It's a fact of life that people don't like paying for anything
  • Google does well on large collections where the links between pages are (thought to be) determined by how good the content is (as in research paper references -- the best papers are referenced the most). Google searches on intranets suck. In that world, the links are mostly artificial to unrelated and not necessarily good (look at the search at Red Hat to see for yourself). Inside of a corporate website, I cannot see any good reasons to use Google over something like Inktomi or Altavista.

    Besides AskJeeves kicks ass over Google.
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    Mark him up a few points. He is right.
  • Well, when all the internet stock values finally deflates, and all the hype is washed away (and a few people jump out of windows when all their portfolio becomes worthless), there will still be information that people need to be able to find.

    People will still use search engines like google. And those engines will be valuable, because they provide relevant, useful results.
  • Agree, but I would rather pay a monthly subscription fee than suffer advertising.
    And I do realize that all the web services I use would need 30-100 $/month from me to make up for the lost ad revenue.
    I think I'm in the minority here: most prefer zero-cost services.
  • but look at who he has as part of his board of directors now...

    John Doerr - Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
    Michael Moritz - Sequoia Capital
    Ram Shriram - Amazon VP of business development

    Andy Bechtolsheim of Sun Microsystems invested privately.

    With names and companies backing them like this they can go after some strong talent and put together something huge before going public.

    then again... who knows...

    Resume []
  • How long before the google engine only becomes accessible through some overburdened overbranded 'portal' site?
  • How does Google plan to make any money? Are they going to come up with a simple search interface that works well and gets people hooked, then one day ambush us with ads in every corner of the screen? Or is there another plan?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This month's SciAm has an interesting piece on search engines that discusses Google and a prorotype engine called Clever. It talks about the algorithms and history of problems inherent in coming up with good search results.
  • Posted by MaldaSuX:

    I boycott what the fuck I want not what you say.

    BTW US TV is a heap of shite. It's better in Europe

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court