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GMAIL - Google Announces Their e-mail service
Part 2
Chris_R




msg:1554182
 6:26 am on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Continued From:

[webmasterworld.com...]

Original Links:

[biz.yahoo.com...]

[mercurynews.com...]

[wired.com...]

[gmail.google.com...]

 

SEOMike




msg:1554302
 7:46 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Several of my sites send out many automated emails a day that the users request. None will be delivered to gmail domains.

Yeah I could see that. I'd hate for someone to buy a widgit from me, then see an advertisment for a cheaper one.

Anyone given any thought to how ads would be delivered here? Would that open up a whole new bidding war in Adsense?

If it's real that is...

loanuniverse




msg:1554303
 7:57 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Anyone given any thought to how ads would be delivered here? Would that open up a whole new bidding war in Adsense?

Interesting... had not thought about adsense implications, but could you afford to stay out of a user's inbox if you knew that the competitor might be there?

Also, how many ads will fit?

As of right now, you could very well be sixth in your ctr/cpc combination and still appear on the first page of the SERPs, what position will it take to be on the first page of the Google Email Page

GEP <- trademark 2004 by loanuniverse

SEOmariachi




msg:1554304
 8:02 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Google's free e-mail service called Gmail, which will offer significantly more storage than Yahoo or MSN, "is not a hoax," said Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's vice president of products. "

[forbes.com...]

Good grief it is real... amazing..

Ole!
SEOMariachi..

SEOMike




msg:1554305
 8:07 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Getting in the GEPs could really drive prices up. That makes this email thing seem more real to me. They would more than offset the cost of the storage needed for accounts by charging a fee for ads... Now, another thing...

Do you think the ads will be static? I could see them having a box inserted that would deliver the highest paying ads of the day. IF they went with this, the earnings potential is HUGE!

<downside> it would drive the cost of advertising on Google's Adsense network through the roof! </downside>

Maybe they will create a "GEP-Sense" or "MailSense"?

GEP <- trademark 2004 by loanuniverse

Allergic




msg:1554306
 8:14 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Speculation with Data:
For 10M peoples using Gmail divide by 80 Gig hard drive = 125,000 hard drives. Not so bad, but I do not like to see the electricity bill!

Chndru




msg:1554307
 8:17 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>10M people

Yahoo has along the lines of 50M & Hotmail around 40M. So I think 10M is a bit conservative :)

richmondsteve




msg:1554308
 8:20 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

I already gave part of my opinion on why Google can offer 1 GB of disk space in message #45, but in reading this thread it's interesting that no one (or almost no one) is focusing on the search aspect of the service. To me that's the biggest selling point.

...enables people to quickly search every email they've ever sent or received. Using keywords or advanced search features, Gmail users can find what they need, when they need it.

I currently have 10+ GB of email dating back to 1998 in IMAP folders across several email accounts, most of which is routed to the appropriate folder via elaborate procmail rules. Yes, 10+ GB. And it's nearly all plain text. I spend significant time looking for certain emails and often don't find what I'm looking for.

If the search and organization functionality of gmail works well, I'd likely try it since it could potentially save me plenty of time. I realize I'm not the typical email user, but if those features work well, I think word will spread quickly about the benefits.

For the record, I don't have a problem with contextual ads appearing in the gmail web interface. The Internet was supposed to deliver targeted ads, hasn't ever really lived up to it, and AdSense and other future services from other companies will likely transform advertising via the Internet (and not just the web). It's inevitable and it'll be rampant.

Allergic




msg:1554309
 8:22 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Chndru for the first year and with 1 people by email. I know dozen of peoples who got 10 Hotmail account. I think Google will try to avoid that, specially at the beginning!

And they suppose to have already 261k hard drives, 100k computers already with a 10 megawatts bill.
M2C

SEOMike




msg:1554310
 8:32 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

richmondsteve-

I can see how you would have a use for it... but do you think it's going to be that big of a deal to the average user? I use POP3 now and can search for phrases in my email client, so it's not that big of a deal to me. I think most will agree that the gig of storage would be the main selling point here. I am constantly getting email rejected by my firends' hotmail because of quota issues.

Email search... good idea, but not that big of a selling point for your average Joe I don't think.

loanuniverse




msg:1554311
 8:37 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

I realize I'm not the typical email user, but if those features work well, I think word will spread quickly about the benefits.

10 Gigs of email? You are right, you are not a typical user. I learned long ago that folders, and periodic pruning are my friends when it comes to handling the email beast. Only the stuff that is important gets to stay.

On the other hand, everything at works gets saved {CYA}, but this is kept in my employer's server so its no problem. Also, nobody here is a typical user with most of us having access to our own mailserver or mailserver(s).

richmondsteve




msg:1554312
 8:56 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Allergic wrote:
Speculation with Data:
For 10M peoples using Gmail divide by 80 Gig hard drive = 125,000 hard drives. Not so bad, but I do not like to see the electricity bill!

They'd need far fewer drives than that. This seems like a good email to reply to in order to explain - nothing personal.

Not every user will use their 1,000 MB allotment and those that do will certainly take some time to get to that point. Just to have some numbers to play with assume that all users of the service use it as their primary email account and send/receive a total of 2 MB of email per day. Assuming they're compressed at an average 3:1 ratio and emails can't be deleted it would be 1,500 days before the average user reaches the storage limit.

So if gmail started with 10 million users today (just for sake of argument), I'd expect that if none of the email is deleted after a year about 243 MB of disk space would be needed for each user. Google can easily get 200 GB drives today in bulk at a great price. Next year we might be able to say the same for 500 GB drives. At 500 GB, that's more than 2,000 users per drive and 20,000 drives total.

There are lots of variables I left out and the assumptions were for example only, but the point is that the per user hardware costs would be nominal (say 25 cents to $1 per year) and at scale bandwidth costs would be maybe 25 to 75 cents per user per year. I won't bother with all of the other costs, but it's reasonable to assume that per user revenue from contextual advertising would far outstrip the costs *and* this service would be a gateway to offering other value added user services a la portals like Yahoo.

Just my 2 cents.

Chndru




msg:1554313
 9:01 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>this service would be a gateway to offering other value added user services

Yup. Like building profile information for personalized searches.

SEOMike




msg:1554314
 9:05 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

this service would be a gateway to offering other value added user services

And just think of the junk mail you'll get in these accounts. Google could sell the information they get from the reading of your emails. A NEVER used MSN account will have junk mail in a day or two, Google could let spammers go crazy in their Gmail.. for the right price.

Man, this thing has profit written all over it!

Kirby




msg:1554315
 9:12 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Google could let spammers go crazy in their Gmail.. for the right price.

Except one of the features they push is the spam filter.

SEOMike




msg:1554316
 9:16 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Except one of the features they push is the spam filter.

Hmm... good point. I still think they would come up with a profitable way to use the info gleened from emails.

Maybe a "google recommends...' type thing?

richmondsteve




msg:1554317
 9:29 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

loanuniverse, 90% of my email is business email. I save it all for the same reason you (or your employer) does, but I also mine it regularly for various purposes related to running my business.

I know you and SEOMike are right that advanced search capabilities won't appeal as much to the average user today as it does to me, but I think if people set aside the paradigm of what email is today and how people currently use it, they might be able to envision utilizing, organizing and mining email in ways that aren't currently typical. I'm excited b/c I see advanced searching as just the beginning of what Google and others will likely incorporate into email services.

I don't want to take this thread off-track, but think about news as a parallel. Most people were content with news as it existed a few years ago - visiting individual sites and having to take the initiative to find news. Now think about what news is like today with RSS feeds, RSS aggregators/readers, custom keyword news alerts, etc. Internet news is by no means mature, but email hasn't advanced much at all over the years and is nowhere near where news is today. People are fixated on spam, antivirus and space in their account, but not much on the usability and productivity aspects of email. That's why I'm excited about advanced email search and "automatic organization" (whatever that might entail).

Give it another couple of years and I think email will be a different beast than it is today.

Now let's get back to being amazed at how much space Google is going to give and whether it's an April Fool's joke...

richmondsteve




msg:1554318
 9:38 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Chndru wrote:
Yup. Like building profile information for personalized searches.

I'd say that's pretty likely. Google's long been faulted for not having user services a la Yahoo and other portals. gmail is their in. And offering 1,000 MB of storage will appeal to users initially, but I guarantee that if they stick around it will because it's a better mousetrap - 1,000 MB alone won't cut it. After all, the 1,000 MB carrot won't do much good alone if the big number storage and bandwidth numbers dangled in front of web hosting customers are any indication. Said another way, when Hotmail and Yahoo raise their disk quotas because Google raised the bar, the appeal of 1,000 MB will be a little duller.

SEOMike




msg:1554319
 10:12 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

when Hotmail and Yahoo raise their disk quotas because Google raised the bar, the appeal of 1,000 MB will be a little duller.

So, do you think that when the playing field is leveled, Gmail might not perform as well because of people's fear of personal info being gathered on the internet. Also, the prospect of having ALL emails stored forever is daunting.

If the disk quota wasn't an issue, I don't think I'd have a Gmail account.

1. Don't like advertisements
2. Don't like them keeping my emails indefinitely
3. Don't like them deciding how my email should be sorted
4. Have my own mailserver :-) (ok, that one's not fair in the discussion.)

Kirby




msg:1554320
 10:26 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Gmail might not perform as well because of people's fear of personal info being gathered on the internet. Also, the prospect of having ALL emails stored forever is daunting.

Many will bite on the promise of a workable spam filter. Others just because its Google and they think its cool. Too many people are way to cavalier about personal info and paper trails to give it a second thought.

I wonder how many spam filters will look at ad laden Gmail as spam.

SEOMike




msg:1554321
 10:36 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

I wonder how many spam filters will look at ad laden Gmail as spam.

Ooooo.... That's a good point! I hadn't thought of THAT! But... do you think the ads will only be presented on INCOMING mail (mail to the Gmail cust.) or on the bottom of all mail like MSN? I could see a real problem if it was applied to all mail.

richmondsteve




msg:1554322
 10:45 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

SEOMike, I'm not sure how the personal info. issue will affect most of their potential users. I guess it'll come down to how much FUD is spread and how much users trust Google with their old emails. I couldn't tell from the gmail site whether users wouldn't be able to delete email or whether Google was simply saying that with 1,000 MB users wouldn't need to delete it. If they can delete it I think it's not as big of an issue.

In any case, I'm sure Google realizes that 1,000 MB of storage alone might attract a lot of users initially, but if the usability isn't good and the features are weak 1,000 MB might not be enough to keep them. Until Yahoo or MSN implement contextual advertising in their email web interface I doubt they'll match Google's 1,000 MB since it probably wouldn't be economically feasible and it's not even really beneficial unless they plan on using it to mine for data to personalize searches and other portal tools. But bumping theirs up to 50 or 100 MB would probably be enough to stop the mass exodus since that would probably be plenty for anyone who only keeps important emails, doesn't use email as a file storage tool and doesn't need to go 3 months without checking his/her email.

richmondsteve




msg:1554323
 10:50 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

SEOMike, I got the idea that the ads would just be on the web pages of the email web interface while users were reading email. If Google turned all email into HTML email and embedded AdSense-like ads in them I don't think it would be well-received. And when people are reading an email from a friend, a colleague or a client they're not really in buy/research mode so I would imagine it wouldn't be very effective. I'd hate to see Adwords and AdSense become despised and ignored by people b/c they can't stand getting AdMail in emails from gmail users.

SEOMike




msg:1554324
 10:54 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Good point RichmondSteve...

I had envisioned a GUI with the text ads off to the right, like they are now.

Well, whatever happens... I'm not going to believe it until I see it.

zuko105




msg:1554325
 10:58 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

ditto richmondsteve

Maybe the only ad served to a person receiving mail from another user on gmail, is like what yahoo and msn do and just advertise their email service itself.

Kirby




msg:1554326
 11:41 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

>And when people are reading an email from a friend, a colleague or a client they're not really in buy/research mode so I would imagine it wouldn't be very effective.

Dont know why, but I pictured a "Dear John" email with ads on the side for dating services and certain pharmaceuticals. Would make opening your email a bit of an adventure.

Tom_Dalton




msg:1554327
 11:46 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Kirby --

We get that now! Open a 'dear John' letter in Hotmail today, and odds are you'll be seeing an ad for a dating service and certain pharmeceuticals.

Craven de Kere




msg:1554328
 11:55 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

SEOMike,

Google's initial plan is to serve ads completely outside of the body of the email. Just like regular banners on most webmail services.

The move to an in-email ad is still up in the air. I've heard rumours about sig ads but IMO true in-email ads will not be around until they settle the POP question.

Nacho




msg:1554329
 12:17 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Perhaps a new approach to this topic would be to highlight the advantages and disadvantages to everyone related in the industry. Kind of like the best of what is being said out there and here.

ADVANTAGES

Benefits for the user:

  • Mail storage (1Gb) for a long time. Probably with an option to expand when full for an upgrade $$.
  • Faster search of emails vs. than what is available now through MSFT, Eudora, etc.
  • Search vs. Sort
  • Keeping email all in context (grouped) and displayed as a conversation
  • eMail provides will be more competitive and provide users with higher benefits, lower prices, etc.
  • If Google comes up with a POP3 version through subscription and similar services, no ads, it will probably be a great product for users and revenues for Google. Queston is how much?

    Benefits for Google:

  • Owning Internet users, which is a valuable and measurable accounting asset
  • New revenue streams through more places to distribute ads
  • More branding power
  • Control of information (to the point that they could know how much you’re spending online through order confirmations)
  • Knowing the user through data collection and identification of demography and geography.
  • More market share
  • Creative ways to increase the value and interest for the IPO
  • Lots and lots of PR from the media + the actual users through forums
  • Incredible amounts of feedback. We are telling them how they should do it right.
  • And I’m sure there are more. . .

    Benefits to the Internet Industry

  • Increase competitiveness
  • Re-invent the “email” wheel through creativity for Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, etc.
  • SEMarketers will have new opportunities to manage this for their clients and do it right.
  • Google will bring the storage market to lower their costs
  • New opportunities to track by the analytics firms

    Benefits to Companies:

  • New ways to target users and increase awareness of their brands, product or service.
  • Small businesses could use this if Google will allow a nacho@mycompanydomain.com be alias to nacho@gmail.com

    DISADVANTAGES

    Disadvantages for the user:

  • Invasion of privacy. If you are a customer that is very worried about this, then this service is not for you. There are millions that are ok with this, “Yahoo dominates the niche, with 52.6 million unique users per month in the United States, according to a February survey by online research firm comScore Media Metrix. Hotmail is next, with 45.4 million users. AOL has 40.2 million paying users.”
  • Can Google turn off my entire account or my emails as they can remove pages from the index?
  • I'm sure there are more, please fill in . . .

    Disadvantages for Google:

  • Finding ways around “privacy issues” so that they can effectively use this. "Perhaps there is not a huge privacy risk that Google is going to 'read my mail' – when all they are doing is running their adsense analysis on the processed page they serve me that has my email included on it."
  • New ways for spammers to use their resources to get the users
  • Late entry, make it work and debug.
  • Trademarks & Patents are not aligned (according to posts here in WebmasterWorld). They will probably deal with this with no mayor problems.
  • (not a disadvantage, but a challenge) How to carefully implement an algorithm that will rank the right document to the top of the list.

    Disadvantages to the Internet Industry

  • The storage market will suffer from this.
  • SEMarketers will have to deal with clients about “why so poor conversion?” and “am I getting the right ROI?”
  • Increasing competitiveness sometimes means sacrificing profit margins, not a good thing for the many shareholders that have Y!, MSN or AOL.

    Disadvantages to Companies:

  • Poor conversion rates from these types of ads because users are not in buying/research mode. However, if this is controllable by Google on the Adwords/Adsense account by opting out, then OK.
  • Sending out an email newsletter to the users of @gmail.com and having competitor ads being served right next to it.

    Feel welcome to Add/Remove any of these bullets. There are many points of view here from online and offline friends.

    Saludos,

    Nacho

  • Scarecrow




    msg:1554330
     1:44 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    * Finding ways around?privacy issues? so that they can effectively use this. "Perhaps there is not a huge privacy risk that Google is going to 'read my mail'? when all they are doing is running their adsense analysis on the processed page they serve me that has my email included on it."

    They don't need to read your mail -- that takes too long anyway. But consider, their machines are already scanning your mail to determine context for ad-serving purposes. How difficult would it be to insert profiling algorithms into this scan? Google knows who you are at this point, so it's "personally identifiable profiling." Corporations pay big bucks for this, and the feds might be interested too.

    tictoc




    msg:1554331
     1:52 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    1000 megabytes of free storage vs. Yahoo measly 4 m.

    Yeah for Google!

    ThatAdamGuy




    msg:1554332
     3:48 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    A few thoughts, observations, questions, etc.

    Quotas
    It's my understanding that incoming and outgoing attachments are limited to 10 megs each, but I'm not sure.

    Ads
    I believe that they are displayed on incoming, not outgoing e-mails, but again, I'm unsure about this. Anyone have more details?

    On Craven de Kere's targeting fears
    I respectfully believe they are unfounded. Google has a pretty public history of declining hateful or anti-type ads. So "Dating Adam? Learn the truth about this cretin today!" ads are unlikely to be happening ;). Besides, few of my exes have AdWords accounts and... uh, nevermind :D. And while I believe Mr. de Kere is firm in his stance already, I personally feel that rejecting potential customers based upon the e-mail system they use is asking for a PR nightmare.

    On market penetration
    I'm skeptical that many current Hotmail / Yahoo users will really switch to gmail, at least outside the more transient / 'trendsetter' 25-years-old and younger demographic. In talking with my roommate and several other non-uber-geeky friends, I've found that -- while most are quite frustrated with their Hotmail or Yahoo accounts -- they are loathe to discontinue them for the following reasons:
    1) They don't feel like notifying all their friends of a new address.
    2) Several have their Hotmail address on their business cards! (which, of course, as a geek I think this is horrific, but hey, even in San Francisco, not everyone's a geek).
    3) They don't want to change their e-mail address on amazon.com, newsletters, etc.
    4) They don't really have that much important e-mail they need to keep.

    With that said, I think gmail may be a hit with more tech-savvy / younger folks who perhaps have fewer or more-understanding contacts to notify and so on.

    On non-primary uses
    I already own several domains, including one that's my surname, and I'm rather content with these. I get my mail by POP3, already have a fabulous spam filter (POPfile), and currently check my e-mail from home 99% of the time. For those times when I want to read or send mail away from home, I'm able to do so with my Treo PDA/phone, which connects nicely to my Outlook via software called Basejet.

    With that said, though, when I get back into the corporate world and perhaps am traveling more (and maybe even internationally), I can definitely see the benefits of having a copy of my mails forwarded to my gmail account, saving me from the hassles of reading and replying to e-mail on my tiny PDA screen and keyboard.

    I can also envision gmail as a nice mail backup! Though I try to backup my Outlook PST file and other critical files regularly, I certainly don't get to this every day... and if I forwarded all my e-mail (automatically) to my gmail account, I'd have a secure, handy backup!

    This 228 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 228 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 > >
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