Adam T. Sutton

Why Paid Search Rocks

December 8th, 2008

I love hearing about Google’s early days and its meteoric rise. When National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” segment ran an interview with New York Times columnist Randall Stross, author of Planet Google, I was all ears.

Much of the interview was old news for search marketers, but I heard some good tidbits:

1.) “By 2006, the company’s data centers consumed more electricity than all the television sets in America.”

2.) Google’s index recently exceed 1 trillion unique URLs

3.) Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin met while pursuing their PhDs at Stanford in the ’90s.

“Their research was investigating the way one page could be analyzed to come up with an educated guess about the value of another page. And they had full access to the Web. No one blocked their software from going out and making copies of all available pages on the Web,” said Stross in the interview.

“The Web was small enough at the time that it literally could fit on the hard drive of a single machine in their dorm room.”

4.) Searcher’s queries are likely to be routed to the geographically closest Google data center to minimize the time required.

5.) Why paid search ads rock:

“It turned out that the text ads were incredibly effective because they’re linked to what was on the mind of the searcher. And what’s ingenious about them–and they were an accidental discovery–is that they are useful without knowing anything about the person who’s typing in the search request,”  said Stross.

“You don’t need to know their gender, their race, their age, their religious background, or even their hobbies or interests. All you need to know is what is on their mind at that moment, and you know that because of what they put in as their search request.”

“It was a really radical idea that advertising could be incredibly targeted without knowing anything about the demographic profile of the person.”

The interview also gets into the amount of data Google’s accumulated, and whether or not that’s a good thing. It’s definitely an interesting listen if you have 15 minutes to kill.

Adam T. Sutton

About Adam T. Sutton

Adam T. Sutton, Senior Reporter, MarketingSherpa
Adam generates content for MarketingSherpa's Email and Inbound Marketing newsletters. His years of experience in interviewing marketers and conveying their insights has spanned topics such as search marketing, social media marketing, ecommerce, email and more. Adam previously powered the content behind MarketingSherpa's Search and Consumer-marketing newsletters and carries that experience into his new role. Today, in addition to writing articles, he contributes content to the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa blogs, as well as MECLABS webinars, workshops and summits.

Prior to joining MarketingSherpa, Adam was the Managing Editor at the Mequoda group. There he created content and promotions for the company's daily email newsletter and managed its schedule.

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