- 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
- 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
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.
WHO THE HELL IS CLICKING ON ALL THESE DAMN ADS?
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.