To convert its technological superiority into commercial success, Google stuck to its simplicity rule by creating web advertising that actually works, according to a Fortune article by David Kirkpatrick: For all the flash and animation that marketers have put into building Internet ads, the geeks have figured out the real trick: Relevance is more important than style. We’re turning to the Internet more and more in the ordinary course of our lives. Whether I’m researching a person or a company, finding the distance between Phoenix and Santa Fe for next week’s vacation, seeking a movie review, buying a book, or learning about bird watching, I turn to Google first, then move out. The marketer that can reach me with a relevant message while I’m searching will win.
Google has, reportedly, over 100,000 advertisers. It takes only a few minutes to set up an advertising program on Google and it can be all done online in do-it-yourself mechanism. Wrote Wall Street Journal recently: Google’s site has become the prime battleground because of its unprecedented power over the Web. Barely four years old, Google has grown largely by word of mouth to become the place where most people start to look for something on the Internet. Three-quarters of all online searches use Google or sites that use Google’s search results, according to WebSideStory Inc Because of its importance, Google can make or break businesses that sell over the Web. It’s the new location, location, location for online retailers, for whom ranking at the top of a Google search is the Web equivalent of landing a choice corner on Miracle Mile or Fifth Avenue.
Adds Business Week: Advertisers love Google. They supply two-thirds of its revenue by purchasing keywords on Google.com and Google’s network of affiliates, including America Online. Owning a keyword allows the advertiser to place simple text spots on pages returned for searches containing that keyword. The ads on Google.com are unobtrusive. No Flash player or screen effects are allowed, and ads are confined to a small box on the side of the screen and a handful of slots at the very top. Still, according to Google, the barebones format is effective enough to drive click-through rates several times those of standard Web ads.
Google has become the eBay of information, in the words of Mary Meeker. For advertisers, it is important to be part of the Google Economy. Wrote the New York Times: Much as eBay spawned an army of entrepreneurial auctioneers, Google has become enough of a Web gatekeeper that its leads now prop up plenty of commercial sites.
Next Week: Constructing the Memex (continued)
TECH TALK Constructing the Memex+T