Observations on Google in the New York Times

Jun 2, 2008 Michael Wurzer

There’s an interesting article in the NY Times today about Google.  Some of the highlights for me:

  • “Mr. Fox acknowledged that searches and clicks in some areas, like real estate and travel, have grown more slowly recently.”
  • “Mr. Fox said Google’s ability to constantly fine-tune its operations was intricately linked with its obsession with measuring just about everything that happened on its system.”
  • “Quality scores work as an incentive to advertisers to improve their ads, which benefits users and, in turn, benefits Google, Mr. Fox said.”
  • “The team determined that Google had suffered from a series of unrelated minor ailments. Mardi Gras and the Chinese New Year kept people away from their computers, while bad weather knocked out electricity in parts of China, Mr. Varian said.”

That Google measures everything isn’t too surprising, but that Chinese New Year and Mardi Gras show up as factors is.  Also, that real estate searches are less than before isn’t too surprising, but that Google charges more for “lower-quality” ads is.   I wonder what the quality score is of many real estate ads?  I agree with the article that Google should be more transparent about what “quality” means and that could be a win-win for everyone.