Feeds

Google's riches rely on ads, algorithms, and worldwide confusion

'Please ignore the cash machine behind the curtain'

The essential guide to IT transformation

Turning the Knob

Behind the AdWords curtain, Google has the power to do just about whatever it wants. Which begs the question, How far does the company actually go?

Naturally, Google refuses to answer this. We first approached the company about an Adwords interview in early January. Two months and many requests later, we're still waiting - though the company did provide answers to a long list of questions over email.

Google always stops short of answering the biggest questions. After all, keeping AdWords a mystery suits the company just fine. During the fourth quarter of 2007, Google-owned sites raked in $3.12bn in revenue, and revenue from partner sites topped $1.6bn.

And the questions Google refuses to answer are far bigger than the world realizes. Considering Google's use of clever tricks like quality score and minimum bid, you might ask, is the AdWords auction is really an auction? But more on that later.

Yes, Google is interested in keeping ads relevant. But it's also interested in making large amounts of money. It's a business like any other - a publicly traded business under enormous pressure to grow revenue from quarter-to-quarter, from year-to-year. And though AdWords is designed to keep ads relevant, this design also gives Google tremendous latitude to adjust advertiser spending.

Erick Herring's company, Adapt, is run by a man named Michael Harris, who was once a senior VP at Overture, the company that pioneered search engine marketing and was eventually purchased by Yahoo!.

"We know for a fact - because we know what happened at Overture - that when a quarter runs short, you turn the knob and more money comes in," Herring says. "That happens all the time at Overture, and I'm sure it happens at Google. Why wouldn't it? Like you said, it's a publicly traded company." ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.