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Googled by Ken Auletta

This article was inspired by Ken Auletta's Googled . If you enjoy this article then consider purchasing or borrowing the book.

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How Google has taken over the World

“The world has been Googled. We don’t search for information, we “Google” it. Type a question in the Google search box, as do more than 70% of all searchers worldwide, and in about a half second answers appear.”

Founded in 1998, Google has transformed the way in which we gather and share information, thrilling entrepreneurs and frightening conventional media outlets around the world. This simple website has turned into a multibillion dollar money maker, while absorbing successful sites like YouTube and DoubleClick. With Google’s release of Android phones and Gmail, this company’s influence has extended even further into our everyday lives.

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google, they intended it to be the antithesis of Microsoft by offering their product for free. Originally opposed to advertising, the founders now have made their fortune through a new approach to advertising. Before Google, search engines allowed advertisers to buy their way to the top of search results. Rejecting this approach, Page and Brin instituted AdWords, which allows advertisers to bid on keywords. The more heavily trafficked an advertisement, the less clicks cost for that advertiser.

Google Analytics allows advertisers to determine the number of customers who click on ads and buy products. Using metrics to turn advertising into a science, Google threatens the media of old. Television and newspapers are no longer the most popular places to get the news.

While Google may not be popular with traditional media, it has developed a reputation of great benefits for employees. The company grants new moms five months of paid leave and seven weeks to new dads, while spending approximately $70 million annually on staffers’ free meals. Despite strict hiring standards, about one million people apply to Google each year.

While Page and Brin adopted “Don’t be evil” as the company’s philosophy, some have questioned the ethics of the firm. When Google announced a project in which all the books around the world would be scanned and made publically available, the plan was called piracy by some. Gmail has raised privacy concerns and copyright issues were raised following the YouTube purchase. Despite opposition, Google’s profits have continued to rise.

The success of Google is no more apparent than in the company’s ability to weather the storm that was the 2008 financial crisis. While traditional media suffered, Google News thrived. Entrepreneurs can learn a great deal from Google. Critics disapprove of the founders’ unconventional behavior and tactics, but their results can’t be argued against.

Whether Google is really committed to the phrase “Don’t be evil” is up for debate; however, there is no question that this company’s advertising approach has been made money and changed the world forever.


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