John wakes up every morning to the allarm in his Samsung phones, which like 75% of the smartphones of the world, it runs on Android, the Google software for cell phones. He checks his Gmail box like the other 425 million people in the world who use the most popular mail system, and checks his day through his Google Calendar. During breakfast, he reads the news with Google News, he checks the address he has to go with Google Maps and searches for the name of the person he is meeting using Google. This is just one of the 4.717 million searches that Google will have during the day. He finds a video uploaded on Youtube, owned by Google, in which there are more than 72 hours of video uploaded every minute. He doesn’t want to see the video on his cellphone screen so he turns on his laptop and checks it out with Google Chrome, the most popular browser in the world.
This is just a store to illustrate the power of Google in our lives, which is also free for everyone to use. So how does Google make its money? Well 96% of the companies revenue comes from On line Advertising. AdWords is the largest and advances online advertising service. And it is the most relevant, because it can access the mails, the webs that are being checked, and when John is doing all his routine with the internet, he will not see random advertisement, he will be shown advertisement specifically designed for him and his habits.
This massive information gathering of our behaviour on the Internet has become so large this year that is has allowed companies to personalize the advertisement to an extreme. It Is important to say that Google does not sell personal information to any company, but rather offers a way of segmentation that allows advertisers to show ads to the people that have the biggest chances of being interested in their offers. For example, if I sell trips overseas, my ads will be shown to people that have just searched hotels, plane tickets, etc. The identity of the users is always private and is never revelled.
John got his job interview by typing on google “looking for a job” and clicking on the first result he got. For example “ empleos Clarin”. For each click, Clarin pays google an average of $5. Nonetheless, john did not apply to any job during that search and he kept going. By entering “empleos Clarin”, suddenly there were a lot of ads in every page he would go through advertising job opportunities. At one moment, John found an ad that sounded good, so he clicked on it and Clarin payed another 2 dollars to Google. That day, Google made $7. In average google makes 30 dolares for each of the billion of people that use Google every month.
Monopoly by choice?
In this area, Google dominates over every other company. This position was not generated by being a pioneer in the business like Microsoft, but rather by being creative and having the most amazing search algorithm. It was so good, that even Yahoo! Used Google’s search engine.
Nowadays, Google is so powerful that the royal Spanish Academy has accepted the Word “googlear” as a definition of looking up a term on Google. Because it’s a web service there are no limitations, it can reach anyone in the world, it can create publicity for every single user in the world. How can we manage a free service that wins you over through quality? Will this make us use worst search engines or browsers just to avoid a monopoly?
Google is not only the biggest online company, its a complex organism full of myths and layers, its relationship to the environment, its workers, freedom of speech and even its competitors is unprecedented. But we will talk about that later on.