The World Wide GooWeb - Vote to Rename the Internet!
About a year ago, I told an investor friend of mine that I thought it was only a matter of time until Google came down from trading at $400+ a share and got in-line with companies like Microsoft and other NASDAQ-100 companies trading at lower levels.
I was wrong (yes, I’m aware that July wasn’t a great month for Google shareholders).
I now am ready to push legislatures to rename the Internet, “Google.” Sure there will be some monopoly and anti-trust uproar, but I remain amazed at what is happening at Google - and I’m not referring to its contextual advertising service for publishers (AdSense) or its sister product for marketers (AdWords), which honestly I don’t find overly impressive. With advertising still a large chunk of its business, I’m a strong believer that Google needs to make click fraud more of a priority and stop spending so much time on things like Google Maps and Picasso.
Speaking of the Google “portfolio,” let’s take a look at the company’s biggest coups from a financial perspective.
First, its $1.65 billion acquisiton of YouTube last fall. Starving for a busines model despite all of its traffic, Google already has plans to intergrate AdSense into YouTube pages while other options exist such as “video in video” and maybe even some pre-roll.
I still think that Google’s $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick eariler this year was way over-priced. Google now has access to even a larger number of advertisers. You never know, some could be interested in doing pre-roll on YouTube videos!
Regardless, DoubleClick became a shell of its former self starting with its 1999 failed merger with Abacus (which it later sold to Alliance Data), selling its list business to InfoUSA in 2002, dumping its enterprise marketing business in 2005 and unloading the DARTMail e-mail platform to Epsilon (also an Alliance Data company) in early 2006. I also should mention that over the past year or so, I’ve talked to some marketing people who each told me they expect publishers to be able to deliver ads and reports as part of an e-media buy.
Publishers should take note of these other Google initiatives.
The two-year-old acquistion of Urchin - rumored to be aournd $30 million - has made Google Analytics a powerful Web analytics program for publishers. We use it at NAPCO. Offered for free, Google hopes that more ad dollars will go to AdWords since Analytics integrates some robust reporting functionality for easier ROI analysis.
Publishers who rely on SalesForce.com for their customer relationship management (CRM) solution can apparently integrate buys of Google AdWords with the CRM tool. I have to admit, we don’t use SalesForce.com, so I haven’t seen this in action.
Google also has significantly extended the reach of RSS by acquiring FeedBurner for $100 million and integrating feeds and widgets into its iGoogle personalized search. If you haven’t tried it yet, I suggest you start getting your feeds integrated with FeedBurner, especially if you use Google Analytics as it should become integrated soon.
Still don’t beieve that we should push to rename the Internet “Google?” The company announced last week that it’s investing $4.6 billion to promote open broadband platforms, and get high-speed “Google” to the other 50% of Americans who lack broadband access and billions of others around the world.