Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Search - Googles rise

I read an awesome book yesterday. “The Search - How Google and its rivals rewrote the rules of business and transformed our culture” by John Battelle. I always find it inspirational to read about people and companies that do great things. Of course it is technology which I also love. And it is modern business history. One of the things I like about being on the RIM board is seeing technological history made first hand.

It is amazing how a company like Google can come from nowhere to being a meaningful part of most peoples’ lives in only a few years. It is equally amazing to see which companies drop by the wayside at the same time (like Excite).

The Search explains the good and the bad about google. Their internal statement is funny “Do no evil”. As if you need to state that and much more why be proud of this obviousness. Even with this internal statement, Google has had some interesting brushes with ethical issues (like selling trademarked key word searches to the highest bidder even if they do not own the trademark and even copying copy write material)

I enjoyed the intrigue stories of small entrepreneurs whose business had come to depend on Google who were wiped out as Google tries to stop people from cheating themselves into higher positions. The Serach explains how many people and companies try to cheat the system to get better placement and even click fraud to gain advertising revenue (interestingly Google benefits short term from click fraud also so it is a double edge sword for them).

It also sheds light on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and solidifies the conclusion I was coming to which is there is not right way to optimize a page. So I basically just ignore it. There is a whole subindustry selling SEO – much of which is questionable.

As far as gaining traffic, I find things like the Globe article and more recently an article I wrote on Carnival of Entrepreneurs get me more hits (and hit traffic continues to be high).

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