“Some say Google is God,” Sergey Brin once said. “Others say Google is Satan.”
The way Google makes money is straightforward: It brokers and publishes advertisements through digital media. More than 99 percent of its sales have come from the fees it charges advertisers for using its network to get their messages out on the Internet.
Google’s protean appearance is not a reflection of its core business. Rather, it stems from the vast number of complements to its core business. Complements are, to put it simply, any products or services that tend be consumed together. Think hot dogs and mustard, or houses and mortgages. For Google, literally everything that happens on the Internet is a complement to its main business. The more things that people and companies do online, the more ads they see and the more money Google makes. In addition, as Internet activity increases, Google collects more data on consumers’ needs and behavior and can tailor its ads more precisely, strengthening its competitive advantage and further increasing its income. As more and more products and services are delivered digitally over computer networks — entertainment, news, software programs, financial transactions — Google’s range of complements expands into ever more industry sectors. That's why cute little Google has morphed into The Omnigoogle.
Google wants information to be free because as the cost of information falls it makes more money.
Daniel Suarez (aka author Leinad Zeraus of Daemon) on Bot-Mediated reality in this talk to The Long Now Foundation. (iTunes link)
An amazing, perspective changing on the effect of software bots on society. A must hear.
A link to his book's website: Daemon: A high-tech thriller by Leinad Zeraus