The published Secret of Google

MIT's Magazine of information.-Technology Review - jan 2005

Google is everybody business. These days, even if you ask someone a simple question, they will ask you to google it. For instance, "do you know where to buy iron laminator ?". Asking around 10 people in your MSN would result in a union which agrees upon a common idealogy "Google it and see how ?". What worst, "What is google ah ?, sound familiar..." --> "Go google and find lar...abuthen"

The leader:
CEO - Eric Schmidt, a PHD from the university of carlifornia, Berkeley. Did reseach at Xeros PARC, ex-CTO of Sun Microssystem and ex-CEO of Novell.
Larry Page & Sergey Brin - founders and control 30% voting shares, Stanford's PHD students.

Star-centric Employee:
Adam Bosworth - Developer of HTML engine in MS IE and for its pioneering work on the XML.
Rob Pike - A pioneer of the Unix Operating System at Bell Labs.
Joshua Bloch - A leading Java coder from Sun
Cedric Beust - Developer of the Weblogic platform at BEA Systems.

The Goal:
Create an ultimate search engine which has the mind of god. They just want to search everything, including your emotion (if you blog, then it might work)

The Idea:
Citation ranking to the web.

For many years, reference publications like the ScienceCitationIndex have ranked scientific papers "impact" by counting the number of times they were cited in other papers. Brin and page's insight was that if hyperlinks were viewed as citations, the same thing could be done for the web. That insight led to the first truly superior search engine. Stanford applied for a patent on Brin and Page "PageRank" technique in 1998 (it was granted in 2001). Soon afterward, (3 years later after idea ignition), Google was started and raised money from top-tier venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers.

Couldn't they get started before the grant ?

How they convince the VC rather than their stanford's availability ?

We are not sure. The business model is contemporary advertisement.

According to the article, there are two ways of generating revenue from advertisement.
1. Auction system. This is much more like a commodity system where advertisers get to bid for a particular search term. For instance, a viagra seller might bid (mean put money) of say RM 1K for the word "viagra", another one might only bid for RM500. Then, the search accuracy would be the result of the bidding hierarchy. --> This is the core of Google's idealogy, where its indexing and search technologies flex its muscle.
2. Ad placement service. A rather conventional type. This is more easily understood using examples. Google provies the underlying search services for AOL and's A9 search susidiary. Means you give me the contents and I host it for you and then I make it searchable because the whole world is searching my ass. Just like those billboard where I provide the facilities, you provide the contents and you pay me.

The rest of it are pretty much the same as conventional advertising method, the hardest reality is of course, as bad as it gets; the advertiser is the one paying the money and viewers don't bother to look at them.

The third revenue generating unit for them is:A search appliance; A linux server running its indexing and search software,selling to organizations wishing to provide search services for their internal web servers. (Not a main revenue)

The Acceptance:
Many people today just wanted one thing "As long as google can find me, I am happy" Forget Yahoo, MSN, Alta Vista, Searchbot and etc. Just google will do. So the golden question is "How to make your URL searchable?"

The tricks:
According to the author, Google's success is due to the following:
1. Operates 250K linux-based servers of its own design worldwides. Means it has sold 250K units of its search appliance to probably 250K customers. - THey have huge knowledge of building and handling infrastructures.
2. To become the next Google, you also need to have such capacity lar.

This means that if you are doing a hosting business and wanted your customer's URL to be listed effectively in Google's search result. You gotta buy one of those unit too. Otherwise, you need to find someone who has such appliance and do a link by paying them money.

1. Amazon has scanned more than 100K books and made their contents searchable.
2. Pubsub; small startup in New York City, developed a high performance (real time) matching engine.
3. Vivisimo - clusty website.
4. Software from Blinkx, of San Francisco, let user search multiple information sources.
5. X1 technology - provides a popular desktop search tool.

Google's critical success factor:
1. Pioneer.
2. Ability to quickly setup the company and make it branded in a short period.
3. Ability to secure funds for continuous development.

You won't find much information from its website. Many are still blurred at how Google did it. One question we were asking is "How to make my web site searchable in google?" I get many interesting answers all over.
1. Google it again.
2. Use meta tag.
3. No need to do anything, just wait for the spider.
4. Register with google at the don't-know-what URL.
5. Go attend classes with Fione Tan's EOneNet. --> This is my favourite answer of all.
6. Write an email to google. --> Possible if they are charging you something for it.
7. Register with many search engine in order to create more links of your URL around the Internet. --> This is the most practical answer due to its searching idealogy.
Nevertheless, Google's repeatedly stresses that all are natural and non-guaranteed. Registration to its database doesn't guaranteed listing to its index. ??? So index is different from database ? It means that registration don't guaranteed listing.

Google is expecting a war with Microsoft.Why is Microsoft wanted so much to do with seach engine business ? They created IE because they understood the potential of the Internet, simply because you can't create OS for PC to run other significant application such as browser. They took part of the PDA market in order to show that its OS is also scalable to smaller version. Search Engine? I would think that it is like a responsibility for them. Since MS windwos housed almost majority of PC in the world, which means that it is serving majority of information in the world that is not yet searchable unless explicit done. Therefore, Microsoft have an advantage over Google in the sense that it already owns infinity of informations (files, pictures, videos and etc), the only problem is that you and I can't search through someone PC for information if not for the file sharing and etc. For google, on the other hand, relies on information available in the Internet. In short, Micrsoft wanted to expose information while Google wanted to dig more information. Therefore , Microsoft is focusing on creating seaching APIs(where you will be able to code an applicaiton to allow for its data in the database to be searchable) while google is still focusing on infrastructure. Once Microsoft is ready with the open standards, it can potentially created a new information subsystem which consists of non-web server devices that can allow information to be searched and retrieved for good use. Meaning, if they are successful, we can now search information from our friend PC without them explicitly exposing information to the Internet.

This contradicts the author opinions that Microsoft would steal the loyalty from Google's customer by having proprietary API. I disagree because Microsoft is targeting at the different subset of information.

Many people like my father felt that by sending me to a Computer school, I would be able to do wonderful feats in computer; that I would be able to tell why Microsoft (last time) gave that blue screen or why is the Internet slow or fix the harddisk which is spoiled. My famous answer is "If I am so damn good, I won't be here!"

One of the reason is that he is an Engineer where it seems like you need to learn everything first before you can apply it well. To me, I still have no exact answer to any google's question because I can assure you that the lecturers will be as blurred. In the I.T world, everyday awaits with more anticipations.

The million dollar question is "how do they sustain themselves in the initiative stage (from year 1998 to 2001)?" It is the period which Yahoo made its debut in the market. Do they get scholarship from Stanford and therefore managed to have some financial "contra" sort of stuff.
"how much did they asked for from the VC initially ?"
"Wouldn't the VC have agreed on sponsoring without the pattern grant ?"
"Is foreign VC better than Malaysian VC ?"

Google did teach me one thing--> Publicity to make money. Using branding to collect money. Publicity via search engine, money via advertising.

Watch out for new ideas!


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