The Google Complex

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I’ve been thinking a lot about Google lately. I recently gave my full-day seminar on Social Media Marketing, and as I was running through the section, Tools of the Trade, I realized how much I rely on Google applications to make myself more effective. Out of the eight major tools, four are Google (including Google Reader, Google News Alerts, Google Analytics and Google search). Beyond that I am loyal to Gmail, Google Docs, YouTube, Picasa, Google Maps, etc…

I got some initial feedback from the group where some of the negative comments were around my passion for Google products (as if I were being paid by them to say good stuff). It made me realize that what sounds like "passion" in a presentation is actually misinterpreted. I am lazy (there, I said it). I spend my time doing everything I can to make my own life increasingly easier. The reality is that Google empowers me to do this.

Next up, I see Jeff Jarvis over at BuzzMachine has a new Blog posting, Google Is God, which includes a bunch of fascinating statistics like:

"- Google is the ‘fastest growing company in the history of the world.’ – Times of London, 1/29/06.

– Google controls 65.1% of all searches in the U.S. at the end of 2007 and 86% of all searches in the UK, according to measurement company Hitwise.

– Google earned $15 billion revenue and $6.4 billion profit in 2007, a profit margin of 26.9%. Its revenue was up 57% in the last quarter of 2007 over 2006, says Yahoo Finance.

– As of late 2007, its stock was up 53% in a year. The company has a market capitalization of $207.6 billion.

– Google controls 79% of the pay-per-click ad market, according to RimmKaufman. It controls 40% of all online advertising, according to web site HipMojo.

– Google became the No. 1 brand in the world in 2007, according to Millward Brown Brandz Top 100."

There are also a handful of gems I picked up when I was asked to speak at the Googleplex earlier this year:

– 20% of all searches done on Google every month are keywords/keyphrases that have never been searched before.

– Every sixty seconds, eights hours of new video content is uploaded to YouTube.

– Google manufactures all of its own hardware. It is one of the largest manufacturers of hardware in the world, and it sells none of it. This is a cost savings of 40 to 1.

Bottom line, the world does have a Google Complex.

From United States Presidential candidates who show up at their office to talk to Googlers (Google employees), to having Tony Bennett playing in their cafeteria (apparently, he was there two days before I was) – there are a lot of perks that come with working at Google. And while it can’t all be lollipops and bellyrubs, the focus they put on making employees happy seems to convert into products that people care passionately about. I tend to never dump all of the Google stuff I use into one bucket – and maybe that’s their secret. Keep people using all of their products and not realizing how connected they all are.

For the Marketers out there, imagine the amount of data and inventory that Google has access to. Think about links, behavioural targeting, etc…

It’s hard not to have a Google Complex in a world where most technology does let you down. It’s nice to know that no matter how many times your OS crashes (Mac and/or PC), or how corrupt your hard drive files get, you can always go online and access your Google applications. I think about my own Google Complex, and how most of my "stuff" resides in the Google "cloud." It’s enough to make a conspiracy theorist run wild, or enough to make someone like me feel comfortable and excited about where this will all lead.


  1. I would venture to say that Google actually knows more than cinema legends the NSA and CIA. Google simply possesses more resources, more knowledge, more rockstars, and more power than the government(s) under which it operates.
    When you think about that, it can be occasionally chilling.
    The Orion algorithm analyzes your behavioral actions in Google Saerch results. Reader tracks your reads, shares, and stars. Feedburner gives the other end to see how else other users on that feed behave. OpenSocial will tie together your behaviors on Social Networks and Android will give up your ghosts on mobile platforms.
    What doesn’t Google know? Currently they don’t manufacture a toilet or a frying pan. That’s about it.

  2. My passion for Google is based on the fact that it allows us to employ 10 people in a division dedicated to Google. Oh sure, we advertise on the other search engines as well but Google spending pays the bills. Incredible when you think this didn’t exist for us 2 years ago.

  3. I think that both of your comments reflect the feeling that most people have. They love everything from Google and use it extensively… but then there’s all this data and usage that exists… and it’s centralized.
    Chris, I think it was you who told me that we really need to start worrying when Google becomes self-aware 😉
    All kidding aside, that could be sooner than we think.

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