Google is one if not the largest and quickest search engines, and is the central technology choice for most Internet users. Google has a standard traditional focus on Internet Marketing. They seek to create and retain satisfied customers by providing a rich mix of services, tools, and content to meet all or at least most of their vast client’s needs. A close look at their website demonstrates a variety of tools, links, scrolling messages, news flashes, etc. and an abundance of content. Contrastingly, Yahoo has confidently place their marketing emphasis on virtual and network organizations with a clear mandate on establishing business partnerships.
“Google has strived to remain simple and clear cut while Yahoo strikes many as complex and varied. Not to say Google doesn't provide a variety of tools and cutting edge services, they do, but Yahoo is more of a "media driven" company while Google remains a "technology driven" company,”
In support of these findings, according to Cindy McCaffrey, head of Google’s marketing department, "We have done virtually nothing to market the brand." (Brown, 2006) Based on a decision early on to invest in innovative technology, Google chose not to implement an active consumer marketing or advertising campaign on or off line. Because of this clear focus on the user and delivering a product that stands above the rest, arguably 50% of all web searches start with Google.
If anything is to be said about Google’s Internet Marketing, it is the skillful ability to promote from within… Google is the biggest player when it comes to programs which have become marketing tools onto themselves, i.e. Google, Froogle, Adwords, Google Directory, Google Blog, Search Google, Mobile and specifically Google Earth, which appears to the geographical tool of choice for every broadcast news pision. Google Inc. indexes more than 1 billion URLs, thus providing access to the full text of 560 million web pages. This means that a single search is the equivalent of a stack of paper more than 70 miles high in less than half a second. “With searches available in 10 languages and highly relevant search results, Google is the first choice when using technology for communication, learning, and entertainment.” (Varey, 2001, p.232)
Promotion is largely via a targeted e-mail data mining system allowing personalization and offers relevant to inpidual consumers. “Google makes sites popular with users and attracts links from other sites - characteristics that search engines use in determining rankings.” It should be noted that directories of this nature can be very wide in scope, or they could be more focused, in the nature of a trade directory. To ensure contact with potential customers, e-retailers might consider something much more focused.
In technologically advanced countries, Google faces the emergence of government-backed rivals. Google offers country- and language-specific variants of its sites and requests of officials from, e.g. Germany to eliminate potentially illegal sites from its google.com counterpart at google.de. “So far, Germany does not appear to have asked Google to eliminate such sites from those presented to German-based visitors to google.com, but the notion of geographic specific information tailoring has lodged.” In China, thousands of routers around the country are apparently configured to simply drop packets going to or from Internet points of presence that have earned a bad reputation with the authorities, and increasingly subtle forms of filtering—such as temporarily denying access to Google. (Crews Jr, 2003, p.28)
Empirically, Google’s platform works on the principle that important, authoritative pages tend to be those that are heavily linked by other pages. This methodology is extremely useful for finding well-known and well-cited Web pages. The codification is organized by most to least cited pages on your topic or search terms. “Other search services have formed an alliance with Google to use its software or portions of its index.” (Lynch, 2004, p. 217) Researchers will retrieve similar (but not necessarily identical) search results using out sourced search engines, but only through Google directly will yield comprehensive proprietary results from their service.
Most online services were funded through advertisements, by venture capitalists, or through corporate cross-subsidization where the profitable pision of a company covered the costs of the online undertaking. Unlike many website who still seek legitimate funding, Google has been able to attract web sites that attract and keep visitors and encourage them to stay and revisit frequently. This achievement, as a search engine and portal site, expanded Google’s repertoire (as listed earlier) of services beyond simply pointing people to content elsewhere on the Web. Instead, they matured their business models to the goal of keeping users on their sites as long as possible. By contracting with large content providers they offered sports information, entertainment news, current events, and many other services all under one roof.
There is little question that Google, a quintessential American success story with a gilt-edged brand name, will have staying power in the United States for many years to come. Google’s pay-per-click advertising model earned it more than $6 billion in Internet advertising revenue last year, roughly half of all the money spent by advertisers online in 2005.
Amid heightened competition, Google’s marketing costs are rising, its profit margins are shrinking, and its slowing rate of growth has disappointed Wall Street. The high-flying stock that once exceeded $475 per share has plunged to less than $350, a drop of more than 25 percent in less than three months.
Google certainly tried to hang on to its idiosyncrasies by waiting longer than many other start-ups to offer shares to the public. But as soon as it announced its initial public offering, Google was beholden to the same rules as any other company.
But as the company's tentacles extend across the world, its one-size-fits-all strategy simply won't work where different customs and laws prevail. For Google's global winning streak to continue, the search engine born and nurtured in Silicon Valley will have to do more than simply translate its whimsical home page from English into other languages. It remains to be seen how successfully Google can navigate the challenges posed by distinct cultures and foreign governments as it aggressively pursues global growth in the Internet Age.
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