Google is the most influential force behind the proliferation of social media. Yet many of us think we know everything or close to everything we need to know about Google. In an eye opening article by Search Engine People’s Ruud Hein “20 Things You Don’t Know About Google” you can learn something new and in most cases be very surprised at what you did not know. Here is Ruud’s list and my impressions.
20 Google Facts
1. Adwords accounts for 99% Google’s annual revenue; dg: that seems obvious but we are just warming up
2. Google’s advertising revenue in 2008 was $21 billion; dg: incredible and more than I imagined!
3. 1.35% of the US’ Adwords advertisers make up 80% of Google US ad revenue; dg: this goes beyond the 90-10 rule
4. Adwords as we know it used to be called Adwords Select. The top banner position was sold old school style through a program call Adwords Premium; dg: I did NOT know that fact
5. The first Adwords Select ad was in 2000 for live mail-order lobsters; dg: you have to start somewhere, a precursor to WebVan?
6. Google’s pricing mechanism where the winner pays the runner up’s price was devised to prevent super-inflated bid prices but the second-price auctions resulted in higher prices for Google right away; dg: brilliant strategy
7. In 2009 Google began showing ads based on their previous online activities. User patterns are segmented in 20 categories and roughly 600 subcategories; dg: this will continue to expand and be refined
8. In 2008, 80% of 80,000 typo-squatting domains in the US alone were funded through Adsense; dg: that is a bit alarming
9. Google’s query forecasting models are founded in their efforts to understand and predict Adwords pricing and click patterns; dg: again this will continue to be refined
10. Although it doesn’t like to talk about using user data, Google cross references everything. “We have temperature data, weather data, and queries data, so we can do correlation and statistical modeling.”; dg: this is part of the power and “secret sauce” that makes Google
11. In the last 10 years Google’s latency has gone from 1000ms to 200ms.
12. In the last 10 years Google has made seven major rearchitecture changes.
13. Compared to 1999 Google’s index is now 100x larger but they update it 10,000 times faster; dg: growth and speed continue to be a Google staple and it is another building block that keeps them ahead of the other search engines
14. Google cataloged its trillionth web page in 2008; dg: with one trillion cataloged web pages will any company ever challenge Google’s supremacy in the search industry?
15. To translate one sentence Google does a million lookups in a multi-terabyte data structure.
16. To punish itself for artificial link inflation (paid links) Google penalized itself in 2009 by lowering the PageRank of it’s Japan domain from PR9 to PR5; dg: why not across the board?
17. Since January 2009 Gmail regularly beats YouTube in market share by US visits and is the 2nd most popular Google property; dg: very surprising considering Youtubes viral capabilities
18. The 3 largest traffic drivers for Gmail are Google, Facebook — and Yahoo! Mail…; dg: oh yea Yahoo helping Google is a bit like the Red Sox helping the Yankees–hard to understand
19. To encourage developer teams to move to new servers Google uses auctions where teams bid how many extra computers dedicated to their service it would take for them to move; the lowest bidding team wins.
20. In 2007 Google announced it will award $20 million to the 1st private team which builds a robot — and puts it on the moon; dg: my money is on Mark Cuban who is never shy about a challenge or the type of publicity this challenge would generate