Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Friday, October 16, 2009

Can Google Stay on Top of the Web?

A fascinating article was posted in Business Week , October 12th issue, by Robert D. Hof indicating that although Google is the giant leading the search engine business that they are investing significant resources in order to come up with "smarter answers" to tackle  the issue of losing market share. 

This article reported that there are 2.5 billion searches made on Google each and every day.  That 720 million people a month are relying on this giant for links to information worldwide.  I don't know about you, but I can hardly fathom those numbers.  Just think about what traffic like that could do for an Internet-based business. 

Google made $22 billion in revenue last year from click-ads which is nearly its entire source of revenue.  This indicates to me, that this type of advertising must produce results; otherwise it would not provide enough security to this Internet giant to use it as its soul income source.  This article also reported that spending on search advertising has soared in recent years because it provides a great return on investment. 

New to the mix is Bing, a competitive search engine which has picked up 9.5% of the market share (August 2009), but who also invested $100 million in marketing to accomplish such a feat.  Needless to say, if you watch any television at all, you have seen their marketing campaign where someone has obviously spent too much time using a search engine and they begin to spit out all kinds of trivial facts based on someone using a "keyword". 

Google is competing for your attention with Twitter (55 million monthly visitors), Facebook (300 million) and a new "knowledge based" search engine called Wolfram Alpha.  What Google has found is that people are learning about current events much faster when using other tools.  Google is also aware that the Internet which was once dominated by AOL and Yahoo has fallen significantly from their original ranking.  One of the keys to Twitter and Facebook success is their approach to helping people "connect" through technology.  Not only are you finding old friends using these tools, but you're also getting recommendations on what products to buy.

While reading this article I stopped for a moment to consider a slogan that the head of the anti-spam unit at Google had inscribed above his door which read "What could possibly go wrong?"    This approach to solving a declining market share is helping Google to think about new features and options to provide their users to stay ahead of the game.  I had to consider how often I take this approach when trying to solve a business related puzzle.  Not only should I be striving to do things "right", but I should also look at the opposite side of the coin and ask myself to evaluate "what could possibly go wrong" when making business related decision. 

Another useful source of information supplied in this article revealed that the 20th century was about conquering nature, but the 21st century will be about understanding people.  According to Google, this is not about just listening with our ears, but looking at people's behavior for meaning.   

This post provides the highlights of this article, but if you would like to read it for yourself, I have included a link below:

Business Week Article by Robert D. Hof

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