On Google

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We'll take a look at one of the most successful post-bubble internet companies: Google. It's a major success as a brand and a business, as a director of traffic and as a nearly ubiquitous middle-man. How does Google create so much wealth? Why does it continue to grow and reap massive profits? And what of its editorial and political policies?

From the Un-Distinguished Lecture Series (http://ws.cs.ubc.ca/~udls/). The talk was given Jul. 13, 2007.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Technology
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On Google

  1. 1. On Google Lucas Rizoli July 13, 2007
  2. 2. Disclosure My summer funding comes from Google I use Google dozens of times a day I kinda have a geek-crush on Google 2
  3. 3. “Where’d you get that shirt?” 3 [photo by Lucas Rizoli]
  4. 4. Google services News Video Maps Groups Earth Social networking Scholar Calendar Mobile Documents Translate Pictures Finance Desktop Base Instant messaging Analytics Email etc. 4
  5. 5. Run by engineers Simple Useful Free shirts 5
  6. 6. “Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” 6
  7. 7. “I realized I wanted to invent things, but I also wanted to change the world. I wanted to get them out there, get them into people’s hands so they can use them, because that’s what really matters.” 7
  8. 8. “Don’t be evil.” 8
  9. 9. “Our approach became to invest in the product, and use [Public Relations] as a tool for getting people to read and talk about Google.” 9
  10. 10. Google brand Recognition Esteem Energy 10
  11. 11. Google is a business Listed on NASDAQ as of 2004 Claims ~8000 full-time employees Led by Larry Page, Sergei Brin, and Eric Schmidt 11
  12. 12. 12 [http://www.k2kapital.com/analytics/investorgallery/Brin_Schmidt_Page.jpg]
  13. 13. Google is a business It exists to make money Nothing wrong with making money 13
  14. 14. 14 [from http://finance.google.com/finance?q=GOOG]
  15. 15. “The 99% important thing to do in a company is to win... The 1% is to be very, very nice while you’re winning” 15
  16. 16. What does Google have that’s valuable? 16
  17. 17. Technology Data pagerank index software content bandwidth clickstreams brain power 17
  18. 18. Clickstream String of visited sites Search history 18
  19. 19. 19 [from Amazon.com]
  20. 20. 20 [Viégas, F. B., Golder, S., & Donath, J. (2006). Visualizing Email Content: Portraying Relationships from Conversational Histories]
  21. 21. Clickstream Short story about you Record of intentions, relations, changes What you’re interested in 21
  22. 22. How does Google make money? 22
  23. 23. 23 [from Google.ca]
  24. 24. 24 [http://www.christopherhawkins.com/gmail_ads.gif, modified]
  25. 25. AdWords and AdSense Advertisements based on... search terms clickstream content Self-selecting audience for ads 25
  26. 26. Google is an Intermediary Directs costumers to sellers Sold by approximate intention 26
  27. 27. Mega-intermediary Search and AdWords phone directory Gmail and AdSense magazine ads Google Book Search book publisher Google Video pay-per-view 27
  28. 28. Major concerns Privacy Policy Accountability 28
  29. 29. Privacy Everything is spidered sites, im, email, friendships, purchases Everything is stored somewhere caches, histories, user data Everything is used to bring you to advertisers 29
  30. 30. Editorial policy More than just PageRank how is the algorithm tuned? Appropriateness and variety what results are worthwhile? what is black-hat? Advertisers and keywords who is allowed to buy ads for a keyword? 30
  31. 31. Editorial policy “I don’t think I can think about all the implications” 31
  32. 32. Editorial and political policy Removing sites from index News service bias Using pre-hurricane images of New Orleans 32
  33. 33. Google.cn Google banned in China in 2002 Complied with PRC censorship demands Established Google.cn in 2006 33
  34. 34. 34 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Google-censorship.jpg, modified]
  35. 35. Google.cn “A lot of companies would say ‘It’s a big market. How do we get a chunk of it?’ We want to focus on how do we do the most good.” 35
  36. 36. Google.cn “It’s arrogant for us to walk into a country where we are just beginning to operate and tell that country how to behave” 36
  37. 37. Anti-censorship proposal Identifying data not hosted in restrictive countries No pro-active censorship Use legal means to resist demands for censorship Users told when requesting censored information Users told about stored and shared data Public document of all censorship requests 37
  38. 38. Anti-censorship proposal Triumvirate recommended voting against it Refused by shareholders in May 2007 38
  39. 39. Accountability Google Inc. is “an unaccountable tyranny” more so given strange corp. structure Responsible to its shareholders those with money profit-driven 39
  40. 40. Accountability Owns a huge amount of information Controls a huge amount of traffic Interest is translating it all into money 40
  41. 41. Google provides many useful services Google is liked—with good reason Google is a business 41
  42. 42. Privacy and security? Editorial and political policies? Accountability and openness? You have to just trust Google. 42
  43. 43. More on Google Google’s algorithms Google and Yahoo, Mozilla, Microsoft, etc. Google’s geek culture and appeal Google as a world-wide operating system Google as a parallel internet Google as an emergent intelligence 43
  44. 44. More on Google Page & Brin’s papers on search and PageRank Google Blog Search Engine Watch Google Watch and Scroogle No Luv 4 Google John Battelle’s The Search 44

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