Karela Fry

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What does Google sell?

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Everyone wants to know how Google can be profitable. A book review in NYRB has the answer:

Google’s business is not search but advertising. More than 96 percent of its $29 billion in revenue last year came directly from advertising, and most of the rest came from advertising-related services. Google makes more from advertising than all the nation’s newspapers combined. It’s worth understanding precisely how this works. Levy chronicles the development of the advertising engine: a “fantastic achievement in building a money machine from the virtual smoke and mirrors of the Internet.” In The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Should Worry), a book that can be read as a sober and admonitory companion, Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media scholar at the University of Virginia, puts it this way: “We are not Google’s customers: we are its product. We—our fancies, fetishes, predilections, and preferences—are what Google sells to advertisers.”

Google is the Übermensch. Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 6, 2011 at 9:52 am

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