Subscribe to RSS

Subscribe ( RSS or )

Zoomstart Subscribers

“Google Share Price Plunges 80% …”

Google Stock

Could it actually happen? Read on …

Google invests in (or buys) a lot of very innovative web projects; YouTube, Firefox, Android, and many more. And their share of search engine traffic is growing. It’s not inaccurate to describe Google as unassailable, even in the face of controversy.

All Roads Lead to AdWords

But despite all the innovation they’ve brought to the web, from a business perspective, they’ve often been described as a one trick pony.

And the trick is called AdWords.

It’s the only thing they’ve ever made serious money at, and serious money they do make. And this is where the problem lies. AdWords is a pinch point. Damage AdWords and you damage all that Google is.

The Kick is in The Code

Take, for example, this cool little browser plugin called Customize Google. The plugin has a lot of great¬†features. It’s even on Lifehacker’s list of 10 Must-have Firefox Extensions.

One of the features in Customize Google is called “remove click tracking”. It’s disabled by default, but once enabled, it allows users to click away to their hearts content on Google AdWords ads … and Google can’t track them. No tracking, no getting paid.

I’m not saying that Customize Google or its developers have any evil intentions. Not in the least. I’m simply using this plugin’s functionality as proof of concept …

Similar code, put into a widely used browser, browser toolbar, or browser plugin could effectively wipe out tens of millions of dollars a day of Google revenue. AdWords Advertisers would have a heyday, at least initially.

Will it happen? Probably not. Could it happen? Stranger things have. The point is, it’s never wise to put all your eggs in one basket.

Especially if it’s a big basket.

Denouement
 

Subscribe to Zoomstart

Or, subscribe by email:

  Zoomstart Subscribers

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for your good article. What I hate about Google is the fact that they try so hard to make their AdWords/AdSense systems work, and in the process, convoluted the actual search engine.

  2. Hey Mie,

    They do have some problems …

    Their efforts to tweak the system continue to make it more difficult for the average internet marketer to see results, so you’re seeing a mass exodus into the dark side of SEO. And that’s mostly what populates their search results right now – either large companies that are hand-ranked or spam.

    I think they forget that if they’re of little use to average marketers, those markerters will stop talking about Google. They’ll start talking about new players like Searchme.com instead.

  3. Google has neither bought nor invested in Firefox.

    Mozilla is wholly owned by the public benefit, non-profit Mozilla Foundation and there are no outside investors at all.

    Google, along with several other search providers, pay Mozilla for search traffic. As our choice for default placement among the several search services offered (in most but not all of the Firefox language versions,) Google gets a majority of Firefox’s search traffic and in turn the bulk of Firefox’s revenue comes from Google. But that’s it. Google does not own or have any stake in Firefox or Firefox’s parent organizations.

    - A

  4. Hi Asa,

    You’re absolutely correct. To clarify, when I say Google has invested in Firefox, I don’t mean they’ve acquired an equity position in the organization.

    They’ve “invested” in supporting the growth and development of Firefox. Significantly. And it’s been a great relationship (one of the best partnerships the internet has ever seen, I think) that’s been very beneficial to both of them.


 

Share your Comments