Thursday, July 09, 2009

Yesterday Google announced that next year they will release their new operating system: Google Chrome OS. So, by then Google will be offering the following services:
  • World's best search engine
  • A suite of office productivity applications (spreadsheet, word processor, etc)
  • One of the most popular email services
  • Their own whizzy browser
  • YouTube
  • A cell phone operating system
  • Really cool desktop programs like Google Earth and Google Desktop
  • ... Aw, hell, the list is really long. You can see most of it here
To this list, they will be adding an operating system, something that competes with Windows.

How much do they charge people to use this stuff? Zero. All these products, which include some of the world's best and most popular software, are basically free. Not only do we get to use this stuff for free, but Google has so much extra cash to burn, that they spend a lot of time working on most any crazy idea they can think of, in case it turns into something cool or indispensable.

What pays for all this? How does Google get the money to afford giving away these services for free while simultaneously working on countless other unprofitable efforts?

It's those little text ads that we see next to the results when we search for something. It's the couple of ads on the right hand side of the page of my gmail page. It's a few more on various pages scattered through the web. Every time someone clicks on one of those ads, Google makes a few pennies (sometimes more). This leads me to a question that has been haunting me for many years.


Is it my mom? Is it you? It's sure as hell not me. I mean, I've clicked on a few of them throughout the years, but if we all clicked as few as I did, Google would be about as profitable as the company I work for (not very).

Furthermore, out of the few ads that I have clicked on, I don't think I have ever purchased the corresponding product afterwards. So, why is it worthwhile for advertisers to pay Google so much damn money for all these clicks?

Every time I think about it, and I contemplate this often, I'm amazed that a behemoth like Google, as well as countless other dot coms, make all their money from some set of unseen masses furiously clicking on ads. Who are you people? Freakin' crazy.


The 4th Sister said...

I click No ads!!! NONE....
Once in a while my curser runs across one and it auto pops up and you can almost never shut one of those stupid things down...hit 'cancel' it takes you to the page anyway...I am really irritated by those kind! and they are not by Google... So I am not that stupid person that clicks on none of my Sisters click on them that makes 4 of about the other billion people in the world...

Mike said...

It's no you or your sisters, eh? The mystery deepens!

Portlander said...

Dude, you figured it out! It's me and your mom clicking all those ads. Otherwise there would be no internet to speak of. Another mystery solved! QED.

Mike said...

Portlander, I thank you. I really appreciate the Internet and now I realize that I have you to thank for it and not Al Gore.

JaneB said...

Wow, Portlander, is there a shrine somewhere?? Thanks so much for doing my clicking for me as well... and my Mom's share, since my folks haven't got internet yet "in case it takes over the phone and runs up the bills"

Mike said...

Hi JaneB! Too bad about your parents though. We need more people clicking on ads.

venus said...

Once in a while my curser runs across one and it auto pops up and you can almost never shut one of those stupid things down...
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