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.
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.
It depends what you search for. If you search for something Google can monetize, like this search for sofas
then little room is left for "normal" results. But if you search for something non-monetizable, of course less ads will show up.
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.
On a side note I don't actually get the map results most of the time anymore. Guess I'm in a separate test group.
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...
And I think Google did a good job here as most purchases for heavy items like Sofas will be made locally.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Could you expand on this? Are you referring to how AdWords content is visually privileged over organic search results?
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.
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.
How about "playstation 4" for example?
Seems pretty reasonable.
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.
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.
Assuming you don't actually want to rent a car in Los Angeles (or maybe if you do), you will get much more entertaining results by adding a little qualification, e.g., "LA Car Rental scams".
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 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.
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.
You can see an article by Danny Sullivan from this summer here: http://searchengineland.com/google-results-too-ad-heavy-1662...
And this is great breakdown of the various types of results Google is providing these days: http://moz.com/blog/mega-serp-a-visual-guide-to-google
I usually go find my laptop.
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.
[EDIT]:'affects', not 'effects'
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 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.
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.
Well you can - you just can't offer the service for free.
Those concerns are completely unrelated to their algorithm. I doubt they want to maintain many Youtube UIs.
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.
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.
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?
Assuming "UUU" is a financial entity | Use as an airport instead
Assuming AMEX:UUU | Use ZA:UUU instead
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yeah, even the rather homogeneous group of HN readers seems to have very different opinions of what got better and what got worse :)
But with Android I was talking features. The UI is not bad but (without ever having used Win mobile) MS seems to have the better UI. And Apple the worst (again, without having used them).
Their new Google Apps control panel is impossible to use. It has icons that doesn't correspond to the function and no labels. It's like walking around in a nuclear control panel with no lights on.
While I'm moving my e-mail away from Google, 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.
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!)
I still use Google Image Search, though that's kind of a different beast.
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.
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.
On "html title tag" what do you want to know about it that the w3schools result at 1 doesn't give you? I know you may not like the site in general, but is there more to a title tag than that?
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>.
At this point, it's pretty safe to say that there's a reason, distinct from content quality, why w3schools is always promoted over better sources of information. Popularity doesn't seem likely either (http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/mozilla.org vs http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/w3schools.com). The site is:
1. Covered in questionable and low quality ads.
2. Intentionally misleading in general but especially in name (w3schools is not affiliated with the W3C or any standards body).
3. Abusing its position (in both search rank and in its misleading name) to sell useless "certifications" that not one company in existence would take seriously.
Why doesn't Google consider this a scam and factor that into its search ranking?
how come Google's ad clicks increased by 22% this quarter when Adsense was largely flat? Oh, I see. You decided that Google's properties are more "relevant" especially the ads.
Nice scam you got going.
Can you give a few example queries?
Probably not the definitive results driven answer you wanted but this is my experience and what I share with others when asked.
More ads in the email app gives more revenue. Youtube is integrated into Google plus which helps them target ads even more.
It makes a lot of sense to me.
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.
I trade stocks on the side for fun, and I blog about my trades here: http://songzmoney.quora.com/
The real headline should be: Google hits $330 Billion market cap, making it the 3rd most valuable company in the world.
On the other hand, It's more likely that we see the headline "$1T company" than "$3030.30/sh"
Market cap is what matters.
But my point was that, while market cap is all that matters, people still fixate on round numbers
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).
Surprised to see so many financially-minded people fail to understand how the market cap is a better indicator value, not individual stock price.
Granted, this is still a great feat for $GOOG, and it appears they will continue to innovate and sustain such growth.
As we head towards a strong earnings season, I feel that we might see many companies hitting their highest ever stock price, especially now that the government shutdown has been resolved (sort of)
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.
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.
That could be
- More ads, in places where organic used to be
- Lower quality organic results
From where I sit, neither of those reflect an engineer's preference. I'd be more interested in hearing an explanation for a runaway ad click growth than hearing a very specific denial.
Who's "we"? Are you Larry Page to speak with such confidence?
Nope, just a lowly engineer being observed by hundreds of Stanford and ivy League MBAs as your changes impact Ad Clicks, the golden eggs.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
And for what it's worth, this is the result I got just now in the UK: http://i.imgur.com/YHXngwR.png
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.
flights from los angeles to las vegas
Not sure if the organic results are relevant, because I can't see any.
This is kinda fun. I'd like a website that showed screenshots of popular search-results on Google from across the world.
(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).
Ma and Pop's widget shop is a wordpress clunker built by their teen son. He's not spending 20 hours a week watching metrics and messing with SEO. $big_shop_webmaster certainly is.
So are many web servers, why would this affect ranking? Content, not platform should be the determiner (though some hosted content might get penalized because of others using the same host).
It's arbitrary by itself because it's a function of shares outstanding and total market value, one of which the company can (relatively easily) control via stock splits.
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.
* Buy 100 GOOG at $1000.
* Sell 1 Nov 16 $1050 Call.
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:
$175,400 per share.
If you want to trade Berkshire Hathaway, you're supposed to trade the B shares -- not the A shares.
Berkshire A usually trades under a thousand shares per day. Even on a market-value basis, this is still much lower than the B shares.
"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."
How Google is Killing Organic Search
Forrester: Consumers Prefer Organic Search, Not Search Ads, For Discovery
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.
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 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.
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.
Unlike text based ads which require significant time/ tech investment to create a campaign across a large number of products, product listing ads just require a merchant to upload a feed.
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?
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).
GDP alone is a sufficient statistic, since the definition of a recession is very precise, and is based on GDP growth.