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During his keynote at the Interop show here this week, Girouard explained that the firm blows through "an incredible amount" of computing power, disk space, and bandwidth. The exec noted that the firm has “concerns about the future in all these respects.”
“If you look at what we’re doing with Google Earth,” he explained, “it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to say that there’s a tremendous amount of processing power, bandwidth, and storage going on at Google in everything that we do.” Google Earth, part Web-based geography app, part 3D-rendering machine, whirls users around the globe with frightening speed and clarity.
I can barely imagine what they see as approaching challenges in this area -- but I'm pretty sure they'll find answers and continue to innovate.
I could speculate:
Urchin - a step toward getting into the hosting business (a source of revenue)
Picasa - maybe Google wants to get into the print business (competing with Kodak...)
Google Earth - real estate and travel?!?
Certainly these are a move away from its core business and all involve considerable risk. If there is a big plan, I'm just not seeing it yet. The coming year might help us put some of these puzzle pieces together.
The stunning speed with which Google can return search results has always been astounding -- and that takes more than a good algorithm.
A few good algorithms are ALL it takes - the results are so fast not because Google has got lots of servers (that too of course), but because algorithms are so good :)
Google Earth - Billions of dollars are spent globally - particularly by transport companies - on mapping and finding direct routes to locations. I often find a company by searching the White Pages (phone directory) for the company name then go to Wises (mapping) and type the address in.
Its not apparent yet because you cant get the info when you need it, when you're lost, frustrated and only 2 blocks from where you should be you cant just whip out your desktop... but soon you'll be able to get it on your handheld/cellphone.
A microsoft video I saw recently introducing XAML and Longhorn showed the use of soap by connecting search results with mapping technology.
Urchin - Easy, more clarity on your successful keywords through goal setting makes Adwords not only more valuable but more efficient, I've just put adsense in rotation on my site after years of not bothering, the ads still arent that relevant and that stems from the advertisers choosing blanket keywords instead of phrases.
The kicker is that when Google does things we just expect them to be massive, remember that an idea still has to grow and critical mass reached before you can monetise it.
Google could easily build reliance on Google Earth or Urchin then wall off useful features and charge for them.
The evolution of the mission statement
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Google's mission is to monetise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Google's mission is to monopolize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
If you are in travel or real estate. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Simple ... analyze user behaviour - both browsing and click behaviour. Better learn user patterns to deliver better ads.
We have our own stat service, and track roughly 400,000 unique visitors per day (with a lot of meta-data added) - marketing firms are coming left and right to get at the data. Now I can imagine Google's Urchin is easily doing 100x that.
Its all about information :)
Power could cost more than servers, Google warns
People often equate Google's rise with the breakthrough success of Page Rank algorithm, but an equal factor was always their savvy and innovation around hardware and all things related to networking. The stunning speed with which Google can return search results has always been astounding -- and that takes more than a good algorithm.
I wouldn't give them that much credit.
1. They only show the first ~1k results. So even if they have 8 billion pages consumed in there database the indexes aren't nearly representative of that size.
2. Cheap hardware & fast networks have been a commodity for a while. It isn't hard to do what google does technically, just economically.
Google is an adveritising company. More of the revenue they get is put back into advertising technologies and learning what you and i do every day vs creating a fair and balanced index or trying to innovate search.
Google is just a marketing company using services to sell there ads.
Being the CEO of technology company myself, I know how hard it is to achieve the kind of technical excellence that G has achieved.
Where G lacks is in the man machine interface; Adobe, Apple, Sony, Samsung, Mercedes Benz are the poster boys there.
In car search advertising. Mark my words, it'll be huge. Google Earth is just the beginning.Take a real estate tour of any town, without ever seeing an agent.
It is not free now. We paid $5k for it a year ago and we still have not had it delivered. The irony of it is that the Urchin on Demand they gave us in the itermin completely crashed when they introduced Google analytics and we were without anything. I am not very happy with Google Analytics right now.
Google decided to invest millions in Broadband over Powerline - in a company called Current Technologies. They have a pilot with Cinergy and they were supposed to have 50,000 customers at this point. They have a fraction of that number. Last time I looked at this the company couldn't deliver the service in an underground system (think Cincinnati).
Google appears to be casting a wide net in an attempt to capture another winner. Then again organizing the world’s information is a pretty big task. That net might catch some winners, but they are going to catch some losers too.
I actually like Google, there is no reason for me to dislike the company. But that doesn’t mean I have to like everything they do. Adwords is a great system – their bidding / ranking logic is something that Overture should follow.
Perhaps I am too stupid to understand the path they are taking. For me, Microsoft has a very clear strategy and it’s something I think they will pull off because everything they do seems to support that strategy. I don’t see that YET with Google.