Why Google Owns the Internet

Why Google Is Taking Over The Internet

This is one of the huge welcoming signs for Go...
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Ever see that movie or have that recurring dream where the slow moving sloth-like monster is chasing you and there is no possible way to lose him? Even though he moves slowly and clumsily, as soon as you trip and fall he will be on top of you to engulf you. That’s Google and why they will continue to own the internet. Every time I turn around Google is turning out something new. They don’t need to advertise because they have such a vast and hungry following with appetites almost as voracious as Apple fanatics.

No too long ago Google entered the affiliate marketing market. I haven’t checked on their progress in awhile but it’s kind of like a big fat guy jumping in the pool–everyone feels the ripples. They also have been rolling out that Google wave thing. I’m not sure about the progress there either. Not to mention Google Buzz. Oh, and who can forget when Topeka Kansas wanted Google to rollout their broadband in their city that they offered to change the city name to Google?

I really believe Google is too big for their britches. Remember search engines like altavista and lycos? If Google pumps out great products, that’s great. But where is there customer service. If you have any problems with Google at all is like being kicked out of the party by a 300 pound gorilla.–good luck getting back in. I think I’m going to try their customer service in the next day or 2. Wait, do they even have customer service?

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There’s A New Internet Sheriff In Town

I Think Facebook Just Seized Control Of The Internet: “

The opening keynote at Facebook’s f8 conference today in San Francisco was short and sweet. But don’t let that fool you. It contained some huge announcements pertaining to how the service will interact with the broader web going forward. The three big ones: social plugins, Open Graph, and Open Graph API, make Facebook’s intentions very clear: they want to be the fabric of the web.

Erick already outlined Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s perspective on this from his keynote, but perhaps more interesting was some of what Platform Lead Bret Taylor had to say. The most interesting thing Taylor said was that Facebook’s stance is that social connections are going to be just as important going forward as hyperlinks have been for the web. Obviously, as the largest social network, Facebook to some degree has to believe (or at least say) that. But today, and really over the past several months of huge growth, Facebook has given us all a reason to believe that may be the case.

And if that’s so, Google had better watch out. There may be a new sheriff in web town.

Right off the bat, Zuckerberg rattled off some impressive numbers. While we all know that Facebook has over 400 million users (and it appears to be approaching 500 million rapidly), he also said that the service is growing at a faster rate than ever before. That’s fairly insane. He also noted that while it took the service 5 years to get to 100 million users, it took only 3 years to reach the same total in terms of mobile users. And in the past year, they seen that number grow 3x. Perhaps most impressive of all is that in just one year, Facebook got 100 million people using Facebook Connect. And that’s why everything they announced today has a real shot at completely transforming the web. Because everything they’ve announced (and specifically, Open Graph) seems to be like Facebook Connect on steroids.

All of this may sound grandiose and a bit frightening, but that’s why it’s ingenious the way Facebook is using Taylor. As he explained on stage today, Taylor used to work on a “small social network called FriendFeed” (which, of course, Facebook acquired last year). While he’s now a key member of Facebook’s team leading this new strategy, he used some of his keynote today to talk about his experience working on a startup with Facebook Connect.

He noted that at FriendFeed they found that the key to getting users to stick around and keep them using the site was that they had to connect with five friends. Unfortunately, when you’re a startup with not very many users, that’s extremely hard to do (yes, even just five). So FriendFeed implemented all types of logins and email contact lookups to try and help users find friends. The key to FriendFeed’s growth was Facebook Connect, as users were four times more likely to become engaged users if they signed up through that service, he said. In fact, if FriendFeed has continued on as an independent service, “we would have removed all those other signup buttons,” Taylor said. Yes, that includes Twitter and Google.

And lest you think his experience with Connect was all peachy, Taylor went on to explain that FriendFeed was constantly frustrated with how difficult Facebook Connect was to implement into their site. This is something that many developers have echoed over the past year. But with the new social plugins announced today, that all changes, Taylor promised. “I didn’t think the platform needed to be this complex,” he said. And now, apparently, it isn’t.

So that’s Taylor selling Facebook’s Open Graph to thousands of startups out there. And many are likely to bite. There’s no denying that social graphs are the key to a service being sticky, and there is no better social graph than Facebook’s.

Companies will have to choose whether to fight against this, and attempt to launch their own graph, or get in line. “When we connect our graphs together, the web is gonna get a whole lot better,” Zuckerberg promised.

Facebook launched some of this social plugin and Open Graph integration with several (30) large partners today. Just clicking around the web earlier, I ran into the new “like” button on CNN. It’s excellent; much better than the current share buttons which are slow and clunky in comparison.

In my opinion, Facebook still has a ways to go towards improving its actual site if it’s really going to be the long-term center of the web. (As in, the place you go to rather than Google.com.) But its claws for pulling in outside content are now razor-sharp. It’s going to be very hard for anyone to escape.

Over the next several days and weeks, we’ll undoubtedly hear why that’s a bad thing. Maybe it is. But maybe, if Facebook plays its cards right, the web will be a bit better because it will be more connected. Of course, that’s a lot of power for a still-private company to have. Let’s hope they know what they’re doing, and aren’t evil.

[photos: flickr/ingridtaylar and flickr/alan vernon]

Is It Too Late For Google Docs?

Google Docs Just Picked A Bad Time To Fail (But There’s A Fix): “

Today’s tech news was dominated by f8, Facebook’s developer conference where the social network outlined some new features that may help it become the underlying social fabric of the web. One of the day’s announcements was that Facebook and Microsoft had teamed up to launch Docs.com, an online version of Microsoft Office that has extra access to Facebook data to make the site “instantly social”. And the site’s biggest competitor — Google Docs — has responded to the news by going down. Hard. Update: Google’s status dashboard now says that everything should be working properly.

Over the course of the last hour, we’ve gotten many tips reporting Google Docs issues. I’m unable to create a spreadsheet. And Twitter search yields countless matches of people complaining about the outage.

Google updated its Apps Status Dashboard an hour ago to say it was an aware of an issue with Google Docs List. They updated it again minutes ago. As it turns out, Lists isn’t what is being affected — it’s Spreadsheets, Drawings, and Documents. Fortunately, there’s a way to fix the issue: Google says the problem is only affecting users on the recently released preview version of Google Docs — switch it back to the old version using the option at the top of the screen and things should start working again. Here’s the latest status update:

Our team is continuing to investigate this issue. We will provide an update by April 21, 2010 6:36:00 PM UTC-7 with more information about this problem. Thank you for your patience.
The problem we detected does not affect Google Docs List. Instead, impacted users cannot access Spreadsheets, Presentations, Drawings, and Documents created in the new preview version.
Google Documents users can still access and edit documents created in the standard version and those using the preview version can switch to the standard version to create new documents.

What Would Google, Adsense & Adwords Do If There Was A National Ad Click Day?

What would Google do if there were a national ad click day–where everyone everywhere clicked on as many online ads as they could that day? Heck, we could even have an international ad click day…that would really mess things up. In fact, why stop with just one day? Let’s make it an ad click week, or month. Would advertisers have to pay for all those clicks or would Google’s “technology” be able to decipher which ones were legit? What about people with Adsense on their blogs? Would those bloggers just get screwed out of those commissions?

I’ll be the first to admit Google has a great search tool. But am I alone in thinking that they have gotten too big for their britches? Think about it. If you have Adsense on your website, you cannot even encourage your visitors to patronize your sponsors. What other business in the world tells their customers  NOT to visit or patronize their advertisers? Has Google ever unveiled or published the technology or algorithm they use to decipher legitimate from fraudulent clicks? Why isn’t it posted on their Adsense site? Who is Google to tell a user whether or not a visitor is legitimate or not? Does’t Google owe it to their advertisers on Adwords as well as their Adsense customers to communicate to them how they are getting paid? If I’m an advertiser, I want quality leads–but I also want as many leads or people looking at my product as possible. If  there were more clicks on ads, the cost per click would go down and actually decrease advertising costs. Google doesn’t want costs to advertisers to decrease because then they can’t gouge them as much. Isn’t price gouging in some industries illegal??? Gasoline comes to mind.

Google’s response might be that by publishing their algorithm that determines click fraud, they would be helping their competitors. Actually, they would be helping the industry as a whole and Their Customers! Google doesn’t want to publish that information because then both advertisers and website publishers would see how royally they are getting ripped off.

Google’s real product is their search engine. I don’t have any problem with them not sharing that information. If they did share their search formulas, and perhaps they already have, most people wouldn’t understand it anyway. Besides, there are only a couple other players in the search market anyway. By not sharing how they determine click fraud, they continue to support their own wide profit margins at the expense of advertisers and website publishers. That makes perfect business sense, as long as you support the idea of price gouging. Maybe the government should look in to whether or not there is any anti-trust stuff going on here.

Fortunately, although a bit late, there are other competitors on the pay per click scene that are emerging. Just to name a few: Bidvertiser, advertising.com, blogads, Adbrite, and Videoegg. Unfortunately, many ad networks follow Google’s lead by not disclosing their margins. Let me be more precise here. I am not asking them to disclose margins–simply publish how click fraud is determined. A publisher can merely compare how much they get paid from one network vs. another. However that can be very time consuming, cumbersome, and expensive.

Google, if you want to do your fans and customers a favor, share with everyone how you determine click fraud. I, for one, would like to encourage my visitors to patronize my advertisers. In the meantime, hopefully  some ad network will emerge with fairness and transparency–something that, in my opinion, Google has not done a good job of.

So what do you think? Should Google tell advertisers and publishers how they determine click fraud? What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so? Please leave your comments below…

Why Facebook, Twitter & The Little Guy Should Be Scared: Google Wave

Have you ever tried getting in contact with Google customer service? I’ve thought about it, but have never actually tried. If you have been successful, please let me know how your experience was with them in the comments below this article. I simply never had the ambition to even try. Someone once likened their customer service to that of a visit to the doctors office where you have to wait 45 minutes to get in, the incompetence of the bureau of motor vehicles and the worst service you’ve ever received from a phone company…..times 500. Basically, if you are able to get through, they simply direct you to their back website where you may then email them–lucky you! Hold onto that luck because you’ll need it to get any worthwhile response…if any.

But I must say, what I’ve seen with their demonstration with Google Wave, I am impressed. You can view their demo of the wave here. But that’s what actually scares me. It scares the crap out of me actually. Why? Well, look at Google Search, Adwords, & Adsense. Can you say monopoly? That’s changing a bit with other ad networks popping up, but they’ve managed to Dominate paid search–all while having THE WORST customer service in the world. How do they do that??? Well, they obviously have a great product in high demand. That’s the scary part. It’s like a mean monster having the power to create water on a deserted Pacific island. If you make that big monster mad, well, forget it, you’re screwed. It’s like in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. In the land of paid internet search, Google is king…there is no other.

Ever heard of a Google slap? Did you see what Twitter did to all those marketers that added or deleted friends too quickly? Ever sent out a bunch of emails on Facebook asking a lot of people to be friends? They don’t like that sort of thing–it’s kind of spammy. Google already has enough power and control and this Wave thing will only consolidate power even further?

Think I’m joking? While Google likes to say it wants the Wave to be open, it only invited 100,000 people to test it. Want to get into the network? You have to be invited. How waspy is that? Some remember that that is how gmail was introduced and people were willing to pay money for it. Think you can buy your way in? Nope. People have already tried so Google is no longer allowing anymore user invites. So much for openness.

So I am giving Google credit for their Wave, even though I’ve never personally used it. Heck, it only took them 2 years to develop it. But at least Google is in the black making money which is more than Facebook and Twitter can say.

I just hope Yahoo or MSN come out with something similar to rival the colorful  jolly  G giant. If not, where are all the little guys to go when Google gives them the boot for spamming or inviting too many friends? I don’t care for spam as much as the next person. But when a small publisher that’s just new and starting out tries to get into Adwords and can’t because they don’t get 100k views per month…well, that’s just not very open to me. Call me silly.

So Google will deserve all the credit they get for this little Wave app–and they do deserve it. I just hope and pray that there are alternatives being developed because it just doesn’t seem fair when the new guy gets shut out just because he can’t generate traffic like some of the big dogs.

So what do you think? What impact do you think Google Wave will have on online marketing and other services like Twitter and Facebook? Leave your comments below…

(Video) Wow, If You’re A Tech Geek, You Need To See This Google Wave Video

Video about Google Wave, I’m not a tech geek but it’s way cool.

Google Explains What A Web Browser Is?

Google Attempts to Explain What a Web Browser Is [VIDEO]: “

Although Google Chrome is starting to gain some adoption in the Web browser market, it faces a fairly significant challenge in becoming the leader: many Internet users simply don’t care what browser they use (see: 25% still use IE6).

Moreover, many don’t even know the difference between a browser, a search engine, and an operating system. Google has taken on this issue previously with their “What is a Browser?” man-on-the-street style interviews, but today they’ve gone a step further, launching WhatBrowser.org.

According to Google, the site “gives even more information about browsers. On this site, you can see which web browser you’re using, explore links to browser diagnostic tests and read some useful tips for getting the most out of your browser.”

It was probably a bit of a pride swallowing task for a Google employee to put this all together, but below, the company’s attempt to explain the very basics of what we take for granted. As a bonus, Google’s rather amusing interviews from earlier this year.

Reviews: Google

Tags: Google, google chrome, web browsers


Openx Receives Another $10 Million To Try To Hold Off Google in The Ad Server Business

This past May, Openx received another $10 million in financing to help it remain independent–from Google among others. The CEO believes this latest round of funding should take it through to profitability. Openx plans to charge a commission of 15% for ads placed through their open market. For ads less than 7 cents cpm, they will charge 2 cents.

I for one am so glad to see this. I’ve tinkered a little bit at their site but haven’t managed to buy or sell any ads yet. But, I’m not a big techie. For a computer person, it seems like it would be pretty easy to get ads up and running.

So what is Openx? Think of it as being like Google adwords, but without all the smoke in mirrors. When I think of Google’s adwords, it reminds me of the Wizard of Oz–you know, when the wizard is behind the curtain–pulling all the levers and you have no idea what he is doing inside there–and you aren’t allowed in to see either.

How much does Google make on each ad? Where was the ad served? How much did the ad cost? Google doesn’t want you to peak behind the curtain because then you will find out all their little tricks and how much they are really making.

And don’t even get me started on the Google slap thing. Hey little advertiser guy, you looked as us wrong. No more Google adwords or adsense for you–spanky spanky. You don’t have 50k hits per month? Then Google no likey you. You cannot play. Sound familiar?

If Google did buy Openx out, it would be horrible. In fact, I think the government would need to investigate if any antitrust laws were being violated.

Google already has a stranglehold on the market. Many of the ad networks have that popped up have that same wizard with a curtain feel to them.

I’m glad to see Openx. I really hope they succeed.

Why Is Pay Per Click PPC Dead?

Is PPC or Pay Per Click dead? If you ask Google, they  may disagree. If you ask some of Google’s competitors, they may disagree. If you’ve ever tried to actually make money from PPC, then you know what I’m talking about.

Let’s do some math. If you go to Google keyword tools, you can easily get an estimate for various keywords. Any keywords with substantial traffic costs 50 cents and up. That means you pay Google 50 cents every time someone clicks on your ad. And, 50 cents is cheap really. You’ll probably pay closer to a dollar–but I’ll be conservative and use 50 cents.

We’ll say you get a good response of 1%. Many marketers close less than 1% of sales. At 1%, that means 1 out of every 100 clicks buys your product. Most online products cost anywhere fro $20-%50. Those 100 clicks cost you $50. So if you close 1%, you are just breaking even. What if you do a little less than 1%? Now you’re losing money. And if your clicks cost more than 50 cents? You’re losing money again. If someone returns your product, you’re losing money.

If you are making money in PPC, then you really don;t need to hear what I’m saying anyway. if you’re losing money in PPC, take another look at the numbers–is it really worth it?

Of course, Google doesn’t mind–they love it when people bid up the price of keywords. Think I’m kidding? try running an ad for” car loan,” or “home loan” or heaven forbid, “mortgage”. Those keywords are pricey.

So what’s a little internet marketer to do? Stay tuned. Check back soon and we’ll inform you of few nice little alternatives…

So what do you think? What has been your experience with Google adwords or other ad networks?

Facebook Gains On Google In PPC

Watch Out Google, Facebook Is Gaining in PPC: ”

facebook ads.png

Alex Salkever has written a post on Facebok’s self service CPC platform, which has been getting a lot of traction lately and is largely responsible for the company’s recent boasting about being cash flow positive. From it:

I chatted with nearly two dozen people who are buying ads on Facebook. Many of them are also purchasing ads on Google (GOOG) and other online venues. The overwhelming sentiment? Facebook ads are actually more effective and do a better job of getting them in front of their target audiences.

The piece is worth reading and really contemplating. How many of you use Facebook ads? Do they work better than AdWords?