Week One – e-Business Cases – Google

This week covered e-Business Cases, around three particular companies, Google, Amazon, and Netflix.

For Google, we looked at the products offered, which are stated at (Google.co.nz, 2015) include:

  • Search
  • Social
  • Mobile
  • Analytics
  • Cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).

(Google.com, 2015) states that Google’s mission is to:

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Which is reflected in their broad product offering.

Google’s Business Model is primarily advertising, with (Investor.google.com, 2015) stating that for the first nine months of 2014, 90% of revenue came from advertising, and 10% coming from other sources such as the Google Cloud Platform.

Google had a big bet on social, with the creation of their Google Plus platform, which hasn’t been very successful notes (Denning, 2015), with the following quote:

The number of truly active users on Google+ is significantly less than 1% of the total 2.2 billion Google users

And has led to the fragmentation of Google Plus into discrete products such as Google Photos.

(Google.co.nz, 2015) states that Google captures information about you including:

  • Information you give them, such as profile information for Google Plus;
  • Information gathered through the use of their services like YouTube statistics and interactions with advertising;
  • Device information from the device you use to access their services;
  • Location information;
  • Cookies they’ve stored.

One of the key technologies of Google is the Search Engine. Google has a function called the Knowledge Graph, which (Google.co.nz, 2015) explains:

With the Knowledge Graph, Google can understand the difference, helping you more precisely express what you mean as you enter your search.

The Knowledge Graph is how Google can determine that when you search for weather, that when combined with your location, you want the results for the weather in Wellington for the next few days.

Of course, all sites look much the same on the Internet. So in order to provide trust to results, a social component is added, Recommendations through Google Plus, or other platforms like Yelp! for restaurant reviews. These Social recommendations allow users to determine if a site is trustworthy, with the number of users recommendations used a proxy about whether to trust a recommendation.

In the past, search engines competed with directories, including physical world equivalents such as the Yellow Pages. But directories only ever provide a static view towards looking up information at another site. Google with the Knowledge Graph has started to interpret queries, and return results directly without pointing to other websites. For example, searching for “convert 100 usd to nzd” returns back an actual conversion based on a conversion rate, rather than a directory, which would only direct you to a currency conversion website.

As (Investor.google.com, 2015) states, advertising is the big revenue earner at Google. Google has the attention of the world, and as (Solveforinteresting.com, 2015) notes:

Converting money to attention is simply advertising.


Google.co.nz,. (2015). About Google – Products. Retrieved 16 July 2015, from https://www.google.co.nz/about/products/

Google.com,. (2015). About Google. Retrieved 16 July 2015, from http://www.google.com/about/

Investor.google.com,. (2015). Retrieved 16 July 2015, from https://investor.google.com/earnings/2014/Q3_google_earnings_tab6.html

Denning, S. (2015). Has Google+ Really Died?. Forbes. Retrieved 16 July 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2015/04/23/has-google-really-died/

Google.co.nz,. (2015). Privacy Policy – Privacy & Terms – Google. Retrieved 16 July 2015, from http://www.google.co.nz/policies/privacy/#infocollect

Google.co.nz,. (2015). Knowledge – Inside Search – Google. Retrieved 16 July 2015, from http://www.google.co.nz/search/about/insidesearch/features/search/knowledge.html

Solveforinteresting.com,. (2015). The three currencies of the online economy – Solve for Interesting. Retrieved 16 July 2015, from http://solveforinteresting.com/the-three-currencies-of-the-online-economy/

3 Replies to “Week One – e-Business Cases – Google”

  1. Do we have reason to be afraid of Google? In Europe we see that countries within the EU are constantly attacking Google for breaching privacy, and Google is taken to court for that. Seems not be an issue over here.

  2. I think we all have a reason to be afraid of google and anyone else that collects large amounts of Meta Data. I think there is a quote from an American department that said they kill people based on Meta Data, and of course the wiki-leaks was an eye opener for all.
    I think in Australasia we have a close relationship with America (syndicate group spying) and therefore certain companies like Google. I suspect this is the mos likely reason we don’t see our Government not raising concerns about meta data collection and companies like Google.

  3. I think people are afraid about Google because of their monopoly on processing the world’s information. Is it prudent to store all your emails on Google, all your social activity on Google, all your photos, videos, virtual servers, all within Google?

    http://xahlee.info/js/Google_shut_your_account.html is a good article around what happens when Google decides it doesn’t want to do business with you. If/when that happens, a large part of your life is uprooted. Is it wise to consolidate so much power into a corporate entity that has arbitrary rules around how you can and can’t interact with it?

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