Google historically left a lot of money on the table (not using every spot on the page for ads, giving away services with real value, etc.) They decided to stop doing that when they decided they were a 'peer' of Apple's.
The shareholders love it because it means Google will finally be pulling in as much cash as they 'can' vs as much as they needed. Users seem to be somewhat divided on the issue.
Sophisticated users and people who are long time observers (like Danny Sullivan) have noted that Google is squeezing the value proposition at the expense of people who can ill afford it. ('Ranking' on Google is very much a pay to play kind of thing these days with their page layout). As others have mentioned they have gone all in as an exploiter of their demographic data. And "thinking big" as Larry would always exhort people to do, includes thinking about how much money you could get for the sorts of things that only someone who has Google's knowledge of the activity stream can get.
Now historically this has often been associated with fading influence and success (the old 'killing the goose that lays the egg' kind of thing). It will be interesting to see if Google is an example of this or they manage to grow into actually being a peer of Apple.
On my 26" display I have almost never seen ads taking up all the space. In fact most of the time, there is one or two ads at the top and rest 80% of the space if organic search results. People cherry pick examples to show how bad ads are but in general it's not true. So, no, ranking is still critical, well and alive with good algorithms.
Current revenue increase is because of YouTube's contribution that's finally happening. YouTube had been time bomb in terms of revenue explosion that has been ticking for a long while. YouTube probably generates more views then most popular TV channels but there were hardly any ads until recently. My guess is that YouTube might come close to revenues eventually to web search itself.
The organic results are a list of sofa vendors, each with pretty boring text descriptions like "we offer great sofas at great prices and with up to 4 years interest free credit available, there has never been a better time to buy!
Fabric Sofas - Famous Brands - Leather Sofas - Carpets". Similarly on Bing and DDG. There is not much to choose between them.
A page full of blah blah sofas is not very helpful if I'm looking to buy a sofa.
To me it seems actually more useful (and attractive) to show
photos, prices and filters in the "Shopping" results seem actually much more attractive and useful, or a map, or some kind of ratings.
It wouldn't surprise me if most of the people who do a search for "sofas" want to browse shopping websites for sofas. The naturally monetizable searches are going to be searches that users don't mind being monetized.
Google probably has teams full of people figuring out that sort of thing. The problem with maximizing revenue is it annoys people, so if you can figure out how to selectively maximize revenue when it doesn't annoy people...
currently their local listings are pretty shit. Theyre worse than what I can find in the yellow pages actually. Search for honda motorcyle repair in bellevue, wa for example. none of the top results are for that. but car dealers eat right into the results.
Wow! That makes sense. Sure enough, searching for "沙发" brings up three ads for the PRC market. Here I was thinking that Google scaled back their advertisements significantly, they are just more precisely targetted :)
In Chrome? I don't think so. I see no ads from Google at all, even if I try very hard. I am in the PRC market, which might have something to do with it, but even Bing will serve me ads if I switch to Bing.com.
Do you want the product that is considered the best value, the product that is the most popular? or do you want the product that the retailers are willing to pay the most to get you to buy?
Google (well, I shouldn't pick on google. All brokers of advertising) optimize to push you towards the product that their customers are willing to pay the highest ad rates for.
Of course, In a company concerned with it's long-term reputation, googlers will point out, this is modulated by a knowledge that they need annoy the customer less than any alternative.
My point is that an ad is always going to cause the broker to have a conflict between what the user needs and what the customer is willing to pay for, while an organic search result (unless it competes with an ad, which it often does) does not cause that conflict for the ad broker.
Your assertion would be better phrased as a conflict between short term and long term interests of the advertiser. That is, the short term interest of making money at the expense of the long term interest in retaining users. In the long term, consumers and advertisers interests are aligned: consumers want the best service they can find and advertisers want to give it to them.
>consumers and advertisers interests are aligned: consumers want the best service they can find and advertisers want to give it to them.
Huh? Advertisers want to make as much money as possible. Consumers want to pay as little as possible for the best goods.
This is a fundamental conflict for a company that has no way to add value for the consumer.
First? google only displays ads from companies that pay them for ads. Next? they order those ads by how much money they can make from those ads.
Do you really think that how much a company is willing to pay to get a consumer to see an ad has anything to do with how good of a deal that product is? If anything, the relationship is going to be inverse. I'll pay you more for a high-margin customer than a low-margin customer.
There is no inherent conflict of interest between consumer and advertiser.
There are conflicts of interest a between some consumers and advertisers. That is the point -- web search monetization is more complex than "ZOMG too many ads"
Both Google and Apple have reached this stage at around the same time in my opinion - both are now milking existing users rather than looking for innovative new markets or products. Once companies grow to a certain size it seems almost inevitable.
I'm not sure of the 'milking users' (which seems more pejorative than I feel about the situation). It's more of a 'business rules' than 'loose rules.'
I was at Google from 2006 to 2010, I arrived just after they decided "mini kitchens" (which were amazing collections of snacks and drinks near every bunch of engineers) needed to be reigned in, and left just after the first of the big purges of non-project projects. I was fortunate that since I had worked for Eric Schmidt at Sun we knew each other enough that I felt comfortable asking him pointed questions, like "Uh, seriously? What does changing out the juice supplier (Odwalla) for a cheaper one do for employess?" And he would often answer with insights into Google 'growing up' in many ways the same way Sun did. Much of the fiscal questions were being driven by Patrick Pichette who was the new CFO and trying to get a handle on where all the money was going, and of course in 2009 there was the economic crash and it really drove home the issue of "How much money is 'too much?'" (answer none) and "How much money do we need for the worse case scenario?" (answer all we can get) and questions of "Gee we burn money like gasoline, what would happen if suddenly nobody wanted to advertise on the Internet?" Those kinds of questions lead to a maturation process around money, and making sure that all the money that could be in the bank, was in the bank. Just good business. Challenging to make compelling user experiences though, although Apple had done so.
So long way of saying I don't think that Google is "milking" their customers so much as they are no longer giving quite the value they used to, choosing instead to keep that additional value for themselves.
I'll be interested to see how wholeheartedly they pursue those ventures, and how many turn into real markets, but yes there are definitely potential counter-examples, I'm sure you could think of some for Apple too, like the now seemingly inevitable smart watch. I don't expect something with the impact of the ipod/iphone/google search from either of them now though, and glass to me is completely underwhelming because I have no interest in walking around with a camera on my person linked to google. Ubiquitous networked computing is coming though, and you could say that's a forerunner of it even if it doesn't pan out.
However Google's search and advertising business (which funds all the rest) has definitely been more focussed on revenue for a while, and Apple has that same feel to me (as a customer and developer) of a company which has peaked and been taken over by those more interested in generating cash than ideas.
Completely understand why you might not agree though.
Fortunately, Google isn't HP. They're not mining their good brand-name for crap, they're still trying to push quality products (at leaast, the ones they can monetize). The new WebGL Google Maps is wonderful, and Google's most ad-heavy search-results are cases where you're probably shopping and so their products (with prices) + local vendors + ads approach is actually what you're looking for.
I think Danny Sullivan over at Searchengineland has done a better job of chronicling the changes but to give you a flavor, the size of the ad space before the first organic has grown tremendously, the injection of Google properties (G+, Youtube, etc) has further pushed on search results. When a buying intent is detected the 'shopping' bar activates which only shows shopping results from people who advertise on Google, etc.
An interesting experiment is to look at every link on the search results page and try to figure out how many don't generate cash for Google, its getting harder to find more than one, yet when Google was started it only profited from the ad-links.
As others have mentioned search has changed. There is no longer a big push for 'finding things on the web' which was the appeal of early search engines, now the bulk of the web use search as their portal to a giant reference library and product catalog. One of the things Google tried to monetize and failed was reference information (Knol) so now more and more they just show you the fact you were looking for, scraped from some web page, right on their page, no need to click away.
I think it was a smart move on their part from the shareholder perspective (disclosure I sold all my Google stock at $650 :-(). The second order effects though will be interesting. You see if Google becomes just a catalog, sort of like SkyMall "Magazine" in airplane seats, then it risks losing all of its unique utility. I'm certain that Microsoft can construct an equally compelling catalog as can Yahoo. This will shape the future for them.
I performed your experiment and it didn't seem to match your conclusions.
My search was: jwt web toolkit
The search page itself had no Google ads on it.
The top link was the homepage for the toolkit project. There were no ad links on the page.
The second and third links were for wikipedia, which contained no Google ads.
The fourth link did have Google ads on it. The fifth and sixth lengths did not. The seventh link did.
I tried again with a different set of search terms: neutron spin echo
The top of the page did contain a link to Google Scholar, followed by three links to pay walled articles. I am not aware of any profit agreement between Google and the publishers, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that it's there.
The remaining links were either to pages containing no advertising (Google or otherwise) or to more pay walled articles. Short of Google have a relationship with the publishers, Google again made no money on this search.
For the record, I don't have an ad-blocker turned on, so I would see ads if they were there.
Those weren't my best examples of pages that might contain ads. They were my last two Google searches. If was I looking for ads, I'd probably search of acai berry or something similar. However, I had understood the original complain to be that you're assaulted with Google ads on all searches, not just the ones where you're intentionally looking for ads.
I guess the main place where I was unfair to the parent was his comment that not recognizing his comment that:
>There is no longer a big push for 'finding things on the web' which was the appeal of early search engines, now the bulk of the web use search as their portal to a giant reference library and product catalog.
I do use it as a reference library, but almost never as a product catalog. I imagine that, if I used Google to search for things to buy, there would be far more ads, but that forms a negligible part of my internet usage.
You really took an extreme here. Those queries are so far from the mainstream that the fact that you don't see ads for those keywords doesn't invalidate your parent. Think outside of those niche queries to realize what a more traditional user sees.
A query like "LA Car Rental" will give you an idea of what the parent post describes.
If you want to stick closer to the tech niche, try "build iphone app". Even the query "java profiler" gets me four ads on the page.
I do not disagree with those statements, but your comment somehow comes across as unnecessarily contradictory. I was just showing that there are ads on the pages. I did not take any stance regarding what those pages should contain.
Hm, I'm divided on this. The more shallow population got addicted to the Internet and the search results represent that. I don't think it's a problem of Google search results. It's more a herd mentality. Geeks not excluded (hey look, it's shiny! - what, useful?).
On the other hand, Google also provides much more value in search than before. When I travel to a city I can go to Google maps and visualize my destination and find a hotel near by. Navigation is useful, we are perfecting it since thousands of years and Google is really good at it.
As for advertising, it has it's place (like when I'm traveling) and somehow Google got good at showing it to me when I need it.
It's sad that they are the only player to provide this kind of value from a backup perspective, but I don't see a credible alternative to them. And they do contribute back to the community, so I can't even fault them in that respect.
Now maybe there is a point that advertisement is a kind of manipulation and they are brain washing you plus spying on your every move. But if there is one thing I learned it's that nobody cares what you want to say. Algorithms don't frighten me for every day searches (you want to know I search for Ubuntu and Python 3? be my guest!).
I also use add-block and intuitively ignore the highlighted search results in (which sometimes confuses me, as the thing I search is in there). I hate ads for stuff I don't care about or even dislike and add-block is good with that.
Maybe that's why they are so successful, they computed what to show me when I'm looking for it and keep the crap away otherwise..
> I think it was a smart move on their part from the shareholder perspective (disclosure I sold all my Google stock at $650 :-(). The second order effects though will be interesting. You see if Google becomes just a catalog, sort of like SkyMall "Magazine" in airplane seats, then it risks losing all of its unique utility.
I think the main thing is whether Google can monetize the relevant results, without letting in the irrelevant ones.
I work for an online retailer, and we pretty much show up in all the places we always have, except that now we are paying for more of those spots. Some of our organic search results have fallen off a bit as Google emphasizes larger brand names, but I imagine they'll pick up via their Trusted Stores initiative or whatever the next monetization scheme is.
>When a buying intent is detected the 'shopping' bar activates which only shows shopping results from people who advertise on Google
From the end user side this one is particularly frustrating. Google Shopping has gone from being an incredibly valuable tool when I was looking to make a purchase to being practically worthless. I don't even bother with it anymore.
> As others have mentioned they have gone all in as an exploiter of their demographic data
Oh, and exploit it they will. As expected, a future where "privacy" will become a lot more important, would be the "enemy" of what Google is trying to do, as long as ads are their main source of revenue.
> Lloyd made his pitch, proposing a quantum version of Google’s search engine whereby users could make queries and receive results without Google knowing which questions were asked. The men were intrigued. But after conferring with their business manager the next day, Brin and Page informed Lloyd that his scheme went against their business plan. “They want to know everything about everybody who uses their products and services,” he joked.
I'm hoping sooner rather than later, Google will find another cash cow, perhaps in self-driving cars, or Google Glass, or Calico or whatever, that will allow them to make a lot of money from that, and not be as desperate about tracking every single thing everyone wants does online, almost as much as the NSA.
Until that happens, we won't be seeing any true secure or private services from Google, because the desire to track will always come first, before anything.
I think this is interesting because it matches my user experience with Google products in a very inverted way. Google search has gotten worse and worse lately, forcing me on to other search engines with worse UIs just so that I can get useful results. Youtube UI gets worse every time they update it. They cancelled the RSS reader. The email UI keeps getting worse and featuring more ads.
But the stock value hit $1000. I guess they're doing something right, it's just not something that affects me in any positive way.
This is because Google has started optimizing for the 99% use case, which most HN'ers usually don't fall under. They originally optimized for what most Googlers like (who are generally the 1%) and have since learned that you can't run a business just pleasing the elite and whiny ones.
Surely it can't be the case that Google was serving the 1% till recently. Their products - Gmail, YouTube, Android, Search, Maps etc. - are all leaders in their categories. So the 1%-to-99% argument doesn't quite hold.
I personally think Google held itself back from OTT monetization strategies all these years as it waited for (a) its individual products to become undisputed market leaders, and (b) a unified privacy/social glue across all its products.
Now that the majority of users are locked in to Google - to specific products and across their entire suite of products - they are lifting their self-imposed restraints on privacy/aesthetics/advertising.
That's the wrong way to look at it. They served the whole 100%, and now they are starting to optimize for the 99% at the expense of the 1% of power users. (My guess would be more like 95% / 5%, but I may have a biased view myself)
That's the only explanation to the whole set of stupid decisions they've been taking lately (reader, yt UI, gmail compose, ...): they make more cash by doing so.
Personally, I have noticed a multi-year trend towards serving that 95% at the expense of the 5%.
I'm usually flamed or attacked for suggesting it in most forums, so it's very nice to see people experiencing the same thing with Google
Hangouts is the perfect example. Instead of an easily sortable, easily curatable list of contacts with an easy way to see if they're available or not... now the whole product is shiny, with flashy animations, very little user control of any part of the software, and a whole bunch of Google's "we know best" design ideas like a "special mix" of "recent*" contacts that you cannot alter in any way without actually removing a contact from Google entirely.
Quarter after quarter Google needs to monetize more. In their earnings announcements, they love to mention it's only a fraction of what Google can achieve. But their heavy monetization of web assets makes me think, they are at the beginning of the second half of their post IPO life. Of course the Glass, the Car, the Hardware may change everything. That final argument is valid for any company, even for startups and even more for YC startups.
Some of their algorithms, yes. But that doesn't mean that users who fall into the "elite and whiny" bunch get the privilege of using the service ad-free and in a format that doesn't work as well for their business.
I'm not in any way affiliated with Google but a Google employee has strongly and empathetically suggested to me that the ad people (and algorithms) have absolutely no access to user account data.
That is the reason why AdWords location targeting is kinda broken currently (at least on non-mobile devices it relies on IP geolocation). If one day AdWords start serving geographically correct ads for everyone, that's the day when the ad people got access to account data.
Google AD CLICKS increased by 22% and PPC went down 4%-8% so Googe made it up on volume. If showing more ads and/or making ads better than organic search is "optimizing for the 99% use case" then you aright.
But as shown on a few comments below Google in many cases shows only ads on the first browser screen. Terrible for users and terrible for Google long term. They should enjoy the steroid boost while it lasts.
And in my experience Google products have gotten significantly better and more polished in the last few years. Goes to show that their products aren't getting worse, just shifting in focus and priority.
Some products have improved, and some have gotten worse (losing Exchange on Gmail, Reader, Google Talk, Google Checkout) and some haven't changed in years (Google Finance).
I use a lot of Google services, and it's frustrating when they keep removing features, or killing off products that I use daily. It's gotten to the point where I'd rather pay for a service now and be the customer rather than signing up for another Google product.
Google should just shut the google finance android app down. Its so bad its embarassing. Adding arbitrary securities (some foreign adrs in the cases I have found) will prevent any portfolios from being displayed at all. When you open the app and hit update it will update the portfolios and show a notification that portfolios updated but the portfolios themselves will never appear anywhere in the UI.
God. I have two different google accounts linked to my android devices -- my work address and my personal one. And Google Finance just Can Not Cope with that. Every time I open it, it prompts me (again) to choose (again) the only account I've ever used for Finance. And then, having chosen my account, it promptly makes all of my stocks disappear. THANKS FINANCE. So then I background and foreground and refresh a few time and it says, "Oh, okay, maybe I'll list your stocks for you."
As its postscript, if you click on your stock, you get a list of articles about that stock! Helpful! Those articles are webpages. So if you click on the article that's actually a link to the webpage, in a Google app, it will open the webpage in the other Google app that's designed for opening webpages, ie Chrome, right? WRONG. What you wanted was a crippled web browser inside the Finance app, right?
Google finance is one of those apps that seems to just work, but if you try to actually use it you keep hitting bugs. My latest bug is that it thinks UUU should redirect to UUU.TO I keep end up going and using yahoo finance for quick things, what about you guys?
For me, Google also returned Uranium One, trading on the Toronto Exchange.
However, Yahoo Finance showed Universal Security Instruments trading in New York, Uranium One in Toronto, and some wireless company trading on six different exchanges. The only symbol without a dot qualifier was the one for Universal Security Instruments.
It's all subjective but I love the new Gmail interfaces, Hangouts is much better than Talk and keeps getting better. Google+ photos is so much better than Picasa, I love how I can search for 'blue cars' in my photos and it returns them even though I've never tagged any of them.
Android has seen enormous improvements, I love stock 4.3 and Google Now.
Chrome's new 'native' apps wrapper-like thing is neat.
Even Youtube has improved a little bit, they've got a nice nifty ajax loader bar up top instead of refreshing the entire page when you go to another video.
But I guess with a different perspective, someone could argue how they don't like any of those changes. But for me, I love them.
I'm using a poor internet connection (because of geography) and my experience is that the usability of Youtube has gone down dramatically.
They made a change a while back where the video will only buffer a few seconds beyond where you've paused it. Previously, you could go a few seconds into the video, pause it, and let it buffer 100% in whatever quality you needed, now I find myself having to constantly pause the video to let it load. One workaround I was forced to use is TaperMonkey Chrome addon with a script that adds a download link underneath the Youtube video in Chrome. I download the video and watch it offline in perfect quality.
I double that. It's slow, clunky and unnecessarily heavy. That's why most of my contacts have already switched to other platforms.
Talk for Android 4, that added support for multiple accounts, was just good enough.
For many queries Google search is now better than Wikipedia. For example, Google 'Tom Cruise' and the right-hand side of the results page has an almost perfect summary of the actor: A great selection of photos, a concise biography, a clickable list of his popular movies and other actors related to him. This is the sort of thing that makes Google search far better than the competition for most people.
> .. the last thing I still use is the search, which still feels light weight and easy to use.
If you haven't, you should really give DuckDuckGo  a shot. I used Google's search for the longest time, and finally just forced myself to switch to DDG this summer. It was rough for a while, but either I've gotten used to their search algorithm / results, or the results have gotten better. I hardly ever have to use Google's search to find anything anymore.
DDG's search results are terrible for me most of the time.
Though DDG as a frontend is quite nice. I use the bang shortcuts all the time. It's actually a better frontend to google's search than google's search itself: I can easily switch between google France results (which emphasize french speaking pages) and normal google results, something that I haven't been able to do in years since google.com/ncr (no country redirect) no longer works when you're logged in with a user account.
Overall I love the idea of DDG's bangs. I've found many of them useful and you can infer those you don't know easily (if !a is amazon.com, then !afr is amazon.fr; !hn is very useful as well!)
One thing that kills me is how terrible DDG is at parsing an address. If the street is misspelled at all you get nothing but real estate listings but if it's correct it shows a ghetto gif map from MapQuest :(
Yeah I switched my domain to Google Apps this year and somewhat regret it. It is pretty clear that Google Apps might work, but clearly it is made for the guy that is being paid to deal with its interface and can spend hours if not days just getting basic things working as he tries to figure out the docs (most all public discussions of course talk about the old control panel and link are busted etc) when he runs into a problem. And as a bonus anyone else notice how the POP interface fails to implement a core "feature" of pop. When using POP with google apps and you try to delete an email it doesn't actually get deleted. tricky tricky
I hate the new UI for gmail, (mobile and web) is the worst aberration in the history of google UIs. For example for web, now they hide the "from", "cc", "cco" fields, also they moved the reply, reply to all and forward to a drop down menu. The attach, and format buttons now are tiny and moved to the bottom. In the mobile they removed the check-boxes so when you want to select multiple mails you have to keep pressed a mail until it becomes blue and to select the other mails you have to tap where it used to be a check-box and if you mistakenly tap the title of the mail then your selection is lost and it opens that mail in a new view. They also hided the "from", "cc", "cco" fields in the mobile version. I seriously considering to use other clients.
>In the mobile they removed the check-boxes so when you want to select multiple mails you have to keep pressed a mail until it becomes blue and to select the other mails you have to tap
FYI, you can just tap on the email's avatar to select them. Maybe not the simplest interface, but it works well once you get used to it.
This is the exact reply you offered me a few weeks ago when we were complaining about w3schools ranking at the top of Google's results. Ultimately, your "debugging" amounted to explaining that you rank lower-quality results higher because they are more "popular", and therefore, somehow, more useful.
I still don't understand the strategy of promoting less reliable, poorer quality information as a way to help the user. But it's easy to understand as a (short term) way to help Google, as these low-quality sites invariably carry Adsense, and the better sites often do not.
You didn't really give me a query to debug. I also don't think that's an accurate characterization. (Here's a link to the discussion for those curious. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6426892) People like w3schools probably because it has code samples front and center on every page. People find that very useful, even though as a reference MDN might be better in an abstract sense.
It's right there in quotes, at the top of the very discussion page you link to. I'd like to think you are really interested in these issues and not mounting a disingenuous public relations campaign, but you don't make it easy.
It includes no link to normative documentation, for one, but this isn't one of the most egregious examples of w3schools sitting at the top of search results when it provides absolutely terrible (either wrong, or completely useless) information.
A better example is: "html iframe element". Go ahead and look. What's more interesting here is that if you modify this query to "html iframe element scripting" the top 3 results are now w3schools, one related to the <script> tag, while the relevant section header in MDN on scripting isn't even highlighted in the matching result from MDN. The word "scripting" does not even appear in the rendered DOM of the w3schools page for <iframe>.
Thanks for following up with this. There's a real bug here that I'm passing along. Unfortunately, I can't share any of the details, so this will be a bit unsatisfying, but your hunch was correct, there is something wrong going on there.
These days I find Google is good for finding things you already know but don't remember. e.g. Number to my favorite Thai restaurant. But has become worse for finding things you don't know. I encounter this a lot when Im trying to find information related to my work but am not knowledgeable enough to narrow my keywords. Mainly programming or server related info....
Right now I cannot. This is more of a generalization I've found over the past year or so (+/- ~6mos). Typically when it deals with work Im more interested in just finding an answer and move on to the next best resource. I guess this is true when Im at home and the results end up being more spam/ad based, e.g. finding a plumber with a good reputation.
Probably not the definitive results driven answer you wanted but this is my experience and what I share with others when asked.
Agreed. They are removing features that were quite valuable for me, especially in apps like Google Maps, and I absolutely hate the new ads that look like email rows in GMail and don't let me delete them. I can move off their web email client, but Maps is tough to replace. Will have to move to Apple or Nokia or something.
Shutting down reader will give them stock value. Google plus is now the aggregation of your niche content. Reader was obsoleted by Google plus. This makes it easier to track an individual as well as create more intelligence on ads for that individual's likes.
More ads in the email app gives more revenue. Youtube is integrated into Google plus which helps them target ads even more.
In my opinion, the increase in Google share price really has to do with the Motorola purchase. There is a potential that Motorola phones could some day be just as popular as Samsung or Apple - this a huge add to the share price and Google's revenue and profits. Just take 10% the market cap of Apple and Samsung and add it to Google, you'll see the picture.
Fun fact: If you had bought a call yesterday for $300, it would now be worth $3100. 1000% return on investment.
Yesterday I bought a chipotle call (because of earnings release) for $600 and now its worth $3600
Now that the political budget debate is over, I think we will see a spectacularly volatile movement upwards and strong earnings will push stocks to absurd prices way over any reason. The best thing to do is to ride the wave and make some extra cash. It doesn't make any sense (price vs earnings), but as long I'm making money thats okay.
Do keep in mind that Google did not jump $130/share because its earnings was spectacularly better than ever. It made this huge jump because the market is headed for another bullish run and the market is crazy.
Google has a tradition of jumping up to 10% in either direction after quarterly releases. It might be worthwhile to buy both, put and call options before a release and then profit from the one that goes into the money.
54 PE ratio, growing at 6%. Welcome to another extreme Fed bubble, round three. A round of POMO shots on the house!
What happens to stocks with 60 and 80 pe ratios, growing at 6% to 12% when the music stops? Same thing that always happens.
Need a Dr. Koop example? How about RetailMeNot (SALE). By the time this bubble is done, they'll probably have a $2.5 to $3 billion market cap, with not even the slightest of fundamentals to support that.
Yellen's dove policy will see this stock market pushed to the limits, and then see it crash spectacularly, again. Repeating asset bubbles is the only trick they know.
I guess the June search-algorithm updates really worked. (Kicking out everyone that earns without giving Google it's piece of the pie).
Google keeps removing small business websites from its results, forcing them to use Ad-Words. This strategy cannot be sustained unless they want 100% commercial / 100% junk results. I wonder what will they do in the future.
Google does not make ranking changes based on revenue. We don't even collect statistics about that for ranking changes. Worrying about the fate of small sites in Google's rankings is a reasonable concern, and one that we share. But whatever you think we are doing incorrectly in ranking, it has nothing to do with making more money.
I know you're basically just trolling, but I'll reply seriously anyways.
I'm one of the people who makes changes to Google's rankings. As a result, for any change I want to make, I have to collect the statistics to justify it. This is done with the help of an analyst who has a different reporting chain from the ranking engineers in order to ensure that they remain unbiased. These statistics include things like what results people click on, how often people hit "next page," how humans rate the results before and after the change, etc. (None of these statistics involve ads or revenue in any way.) Once we've collected those statistics, the analyst writes up a report about the change summarizing their findings and pointing out any areas of concern.
This report is then presented at a weekly launch meeting, where the ranking leads review each change both for its metrics and for its complexity, ongoing infrastructure cost, etc. and make a decision about whether to launch it. You can view an example launch meeting here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtRJXnXgE-A
FWIW, for most engineers the entire Search org chart, all the way up to Larry, is engineers. Larry was an engineer, Alan Eustace was a hardware engineer, Amit Singhal is an engineer. In my management chain there are two people with an M.S. in computer science (Larry is one of them), zero with MBAs, and everybody else has a Ph.D in CS.
If your mental model of Google is a bunch of MBAs who tell engineers what to do, you're quite incorrect. That's Microsoft.
I guess since Google got a court verdict stating that their search results are their "opinion" and thus "free speech", they cannot be really attacked from this point. Add to that the fact that their algorithm is top-secret and probably heavily compartmentalized and it becomes even harder.
I am not arguing whether Google breaks a law or not, I simply say that they hurt the smaller players. Getting rankings is getting harder and harder with each update. Soon, paying for AdWords will be the only affordable option.
Some of the smaller players who've been complaining to the EU really, really needed to be hurt. They were spamming up the search results with their crappy "vertical search" pages which couldn't actually find anything - they just relied on SEO to get them ranked above actual search results and then hoped people would get desperate enough to click them.
This is true but when Google's ad clicks increase by 20+% a quarter what you said is irrelevant, Google is keeping almost all the clicks for Adwords. So you're competing with Google's Youtube, Google Local, Google Images, and the whole shebang. Guess who's winning?
As far as I see it there is something of a chicken and egg problem here. Google has often maintained, publicly, that its search algorithm is only interested in providing the most utility to end-users.
To an extent (and in some cases, I except that there are exceptions) this holds true:
If I google for a video streaming website I want Youtube to be at the top of the list. Semantically that is the correct answer to the "question" implied by the search.
Are google services popular because they are highly represented in google's search results?
Are google services highly represented in google's search results because they are popular.
I absolutely do not believe that google should feel pressured to artificially demote its own offerings over fears of anti-competition litigation/legislation. On the other hand I can see an argument for clearly marking a result that points to a google service as 'belonging' to google.
I'm not going to defend the overall conspiracy here but I totally buy into the theory that Google would prefer a big brand ranking over several small businesses...
The logic in my mind is -- Google wants the rankings to be unequivocally trustworthy, e.g., if I'm searching for an espresso machine, would I trust a small ecommerce shop where the experience could be terrible or do we just throw an Amazon or Bed Bath and Beyond result at the top because those are vetted companies.
Sure, the little guy has to grind to get a better ranking and free traffic, but it should in the long term encourage better behavior by companies as they attempt to earn that trust.
You are a showing a handpicked example which is disingenuous and not representative of real user experience. You decided to include a one-time cookie message that pushes down the content and not include the actual search results which are further down the page. FWIW the visitor that used this query got a clear answer to what bitcoin is and I'm pretty sure that any of the "small businesses" that are advertising in that spot are not deserving to be the first result for that query anyway so no conspiracy here.
Yes, it's just an example. I'm sure there are other terms that get more ads in the US than the UK. The point isn't this exact search term, it's that there are combinations of searches+locations that return pages where the entire of the visible page is filled with ads or google content and you have to scroll to see any real results at all.
Interestingly I (also UK) got the same, except missing the ad about mining. Isn't this tailoring (presumably with some basis in the users' behaviour) a substantial part of what is increasing their revenues (thus share price)?
this bullshit example gets trotted out every time somebody tries to prove this point, but it never gets any more relevant.
yes, google shows a lot of ads for a vague, contextless search query. but nobody ever searches for anything so vague unless they're trying to prove how google search results are going down the toilet. if you search for the name of a category of information, it's impossible to know what aspect is relevant to you and you're either going to get ads or irrelevant results, and google has chosen to serve ads instead of irrelevant results..
try searching for bitcoin mining, bitcoin exchange, etc, and you'll see relevant results.
Data straight from Google's mouth. Their Google properties ad clicks increased by 22%, an astounding number when Adsense stayed flat. All ads above fold is a great steroid shot but horrible long term strategy.
And this is based on what? If people are 'forced' to use AdWords it would be because of the move towards 100% not provided keywords in natural search, thus nudging you to go into AdWords to see the full search report.
I really don't understand that. What is the relation between AdWords and not having keywords provided? Won't the search query report in adwords have actually less data than what you get for free with webmaster tools?
(With adwords you will only see the traffic from the keywords you decided to bid on, while webmaster tools will show all the organic traffic, including segments you didn't know about).
I started with adWords and then quickly got into the first page for organic. It doesn't matter, I still get negligible organic traffic, it's almost all paid. Seems like consumers have been trained to go to adwords results when they're looking for a service or good they want to pay for, and organic when searching pure information (free).
Share price is hardly meaningless. Most people (correctly, i might add) think in term of relative movement of the share price, since that is the easiest one to track. In fact, as the second line of the article says:
"Shares in the giant online search and ads company rose more than 13% to $1,006, and are now up 41% since the start of 2013."
Such a big jump in a big company is what makes this really newsworthy.
$1000 is meaningful on its own but not for the reasons most of these comments think: it's an awkwardly large amount to pay for a single share, and an even more awkwardly large amount to pay for a standard option.
Standard options are contracts of 100 shares, so that's $100,000 covered by a single option, which at current prices are about $2,500 each. This puts it out of the realm of small time investors, which is why GOOG is one of the few options available as "mini": 10 share contracts. Even at mini it's damn expensive per option.
I wouldn't be surprised if they split the stock at some point soon.
Especially if you wanted to do a simple covered-call, e.g:
* Buy 100 GOOG at $1000.
* Sell 1 Nov 16 $1050 Call.
(Edit: Then assuming GOOG doesn't go down significantly it's a profit even if assigned)
Normally that would be a relatively low risk position, but you'd need $100,000 in GOOG underlying to cover it, which is a rather large amount for small investors to throw around even with margin accounts. And that's just for ONE option.
Edit: Oh, and if you thought $1000 is annoying to trade, check out Berkshire Hathaway:
This anecdotally proves that focusing in on your core business can result in stronger earning potential. It's not a new concept, but it is somewhat easier to explain to my boss (who needs to learn focus).
I trade stocks, it's a large part (majority?) of my income. The only metric I care about is the market value of my shares over the book value (ie. percent increase). It's the only thing that counts (since it directly reflects my profit).
Edit - milestones are nice, they're a bit of a psychological boost - but ultimately are worthless (except for said psychological boost they give to other traders, thus potentially driving up price).
I think it's a second-order, behavior-finance oriented line of thinking. I know that stock price is basically arbitrary and market cap is a much better measure of value. (And arguably, earnings and growth rate are even better than market cap.) However, I also know that many people consider $1000/share to be an important psychological milestone, and that it will command news headlines when the stock makes it. And so, understanding that the stock market is to some extent a beauty contest and other peoples' perception of a stock's momentum influences the stock price, it's rational for me to believe that when it hits $1000 it will go up, at least in the short term. It's also rational for me to feed into and cheerlead that perspective, because as a Google shareholder, I benefit when other people believe Google stock is going up.
Its interesting how $1000 is a psychological number for a lot of people, $1000 number makes the Google stock join some "prestigious" $1000 club according to CNBC. Some people now think its too expensive because of its $1000 and Facebook is in $50s.
If Google decided to split the stock early on, it wouldn't have seen this day, and all the news that comes with crossing the $1000 mark.
So much for all the financial models that assume investors are rational.
...except for the last two quarters, where it missed earnings and the stock took a huge tumble after they came out. GOOG tumbled from $813 -> $774 in April when earnings came out, and from $923 -> $882 in July. That's probably why calls were affordable this earnings season; after the last couple quarters, the street didn't expect Google to blow out earnings.
Google doesn't pay dividends or give public shares voting rights, while I get it that people believe the intrinsic value will appear at some point, this is not how I would like to invest money in a company, regardless of what price the stock hits.
Shareholders don't have voting rights, how can they pressure Google to do anything? I don't know if they should be paying a dividend at the moment, but their stock conveys no power to the stockholder. It's like paying taxes without getting to vote.
Their stock price might go up for the next decade for all I know, and it's not like they don't make money or something. I just don't want to invest my money without getting something in return other than the ability to convey my investment to someone else.
> Shareholders don't have voting rights, how can they pressure Google to do anything?
Shareholders do have voting rights at present. The problem is that Google Class B shares carry 10x the voting rights of Class A shares. Thus, even an overwhelming majority of market cap would still be unable to outvote the insiders.
Google is in the process of introducing a nonvoting C share class. This innovation was passed despite a mere 12% support among Google's Class A shares, because the insiders voted all of their Class B shares in favor. From now on, new shares created through stock options will no longer dilute insider control of the company.
because goog is a type of tech startup fund. Its a bet that google can identify, acquire, and integrate high quality tech companies and get better returns than any etf or hedge fund can. Some investors want google to take those profits from the cash cows and spend it on tech ventures instead of dividends.
And no privacy issues, NSA revelations, services shutdown, Google+ coercion, and further exploitation of users have any effect on the bottom line. You can get away with anything when you're big and important.
It seems Google has entered a stage where the data is starting to really pay off. They seem to be using it not only to help consumers but also tweak their own business decisions. That's some powerful stuff.
No, Google is merely squeezing organic results off their SERPs and replacing them with ads. That's not helping consumers as they prefer organic results. They have to continuously stuff more ads into the model to keep the growth machine running, making tweaks here and there. Google is probably only a few years away from adding "paid inclusion" into the results like Yahoo used to have, where you could literally pay to have your result listed at the top of the page where it wouldn't look like an advertisement.
"Google said that paid-for clicks increased by a quarter during the July-to-September period, from a year earlier, the highest rate of growth in the past year."
Well, two issues. First, there hasn't really been much time for viable replacements to be constructed, so who knows? Second, people who thought that was a likelihood as opposed to a faint possibility were deluding themselves.
I am always surprised at how much Google can make. I always see ads but I barely ever clicked on ads. I might click on one or two ocassionally. I might click on a few ads before Youtube content is loaded for me. But that's it. I can understand a few clicks * two billion users is a lot of clicks.
Remember those days when adsense was crazy on everyone's page. Somehow, Google's ad marketing works so well (and probably pretty expensive by now) that it just works. Plus, since everyone is moving to the Internet, ads are just a norm to do for businesses.
Advertising sales is a good indicator as to how well the economy is doing - if times are good then people advertise, if everyone is screaming recession then there is not so much money around to advertise.
Hence, if Google does well does that mean the economy as a whole is doing well? Is the Google share price a good indicator, perhaps a better indicator than conventional metrics such as employment level or the FTSE?
No, dollars are scarce so there's more competition for those dollars. Advertising has become more relevant but that's not an indicator that "times are good." Tactics are used to get people to spend money they don't have.
Grandparent poster is looking for leading indicators, since that's where you make your money. GDP growth, by definition, tracks how the economy is doing today. Unemployment is a lagging indicator, tracking how the economy did a few months ago, because it takes businesses time to hire. Bond yields and stock market prices are considered leading indicators, because traders try to anticipate how the economy will do in the future.
To beat the market you need reliable indicators that are more leading than the stock market. Some of the ones people look at are advertising spending (companies only advertise when they expect consumers will have money to spend in the near future), capital investment (companies invest in new productive capacity when they expect demand will be higher in the future), and R&D spending (companies can only afford to spend on speculative goals when they have cash burning a hole in their bottom line).