Reporter Maria Bartiromo was given the opportunity to get a firsthand look inside the Google headquarters in Mountainview, CA. Fortunately, she decided to take us on along for the journey and dive us even deeper “Inside The Mind of Google.”
The show started with a look inside the headquarters. Their conference rooms have a movie like feel with conferences rooms that have monitors with international attendees displayed in real-time on the walls. Keeping in stride with the work environment that most of us can only dream of, employee benefits are more like pamper packages and Google has just about everything available in the office to keep its 20,000 employees minds off of daily task, that way they can focus on the most important thing—their work.
Bartiromo discussed with the founders the starting point of the company—it’s search engine.
She got them to be able to retell the success story of two grad students expanding on a class project and coming to the current status of the world’s most powerful technology company.
One of the things that may have gone under the radar was a method one of the employees was using to track Google searches. Imagine a globe being displayed. On this globe was points of light with various color. Each light represented a search and each color represented a different language.
Bartiromo explained how Google uses its advertising service, AdWords, to cash in on Google queries. According to MSNBC, “Google is pulling more and more advertising dollars on to the Internet and away from traditional media like print, radio and television.”
The show got a hold of a shoe making company that used AdWords to keep its company afloat and still uses AdWords today to reel in targeted consumers.
We also got to see how and why Google is expanding from its foundation of internet search to the development of Android, an operating system tailored for use on mobile devices.
Handing out free Google cell phones at a mobile conference was Sergy Brin, co-founder of Google. Why was he at a mobile conference? It is because mobile use is rising, more than 4 billion worldwide, and Google want to get in on the profit margin available. “We’re investing now, not just in search, but the platforms that can bring the content that you find to people more efficiently, more interactively and with greater availability,” said Brin.
In charge of doing just this is Vic Gundotra, Vice-President of Engineering for Google. Gundotra said “We are seeing a very fundamental shift, particularly among a young demographic and in Asian countries, the primary access to the internet is not through the PC, but through mobile devices.”
One of the controversial topics during this show was when Bartiromo discussed privacy issues with Kevin Bankston, from the Electronic Freedom Foundation, and Marissa Mayer, from Google, using the 2006 “AOL blunder,” in which AOL published over 600,000 users search histories for research use.
Keeping this in mind Google has a very strict protocol around their logging infrastructure to protect the privacy of users as it relates to their searches.
This sounds great and all, but we can’t forget the issues of privacy as it relates to such a large and powerful company, that may be powerless against certain governmental powers. Google is susceptible to the government and will turn in private data if asked to do so.
I want to leave you with a quote from an article written by Jerry Cobb, a reporter for CNBC:
“The Internet is the only medium that’s growing,” said Stewart Barry, a research analyst at ThinkEquity Partners. “TV’s in decline, news print circulation is in decline and the Internet is expected to grow in usage in the U.S. by at least double digits over the next three years.”
For me it is both fascinating and frightening to see the shift in the dominating power of the media and the nearly monopolizing rule that Google has gained throughout such a short period of time.
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