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WWT June Event Presentation Highlights

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					Toronto Chapter – My Business, My Career Event


                      WWT June Event Presentation Highlights
                       Google in the Garage – June 21, 2006
                     Keynote Speaker: Wendy Muller, Head of Canada,
                          Ad Sales and Operations, Google Inc.

The Toronto Chapter of the Wired Woman Society on Wednesday, June 21st took an exciting look at
Google’s growing business success. A highly respected leader in her field, Wendy Muller, shared her
unique insights on the search engine industry and discussed the strategies, lessons learned, Google’s
technological innovations and “what’s next” in the increasingly competitive search engine market.

In her keynote address, Wendy Muller addressed the “Google in the Garage” seminar from 3
different perspectives:

      The Google Myth;
      Hiring at Google and
      Google Today.

The Google Myth

      From the beginning, Google's mission was to organize the world's information and make it
       universally accessible and useful.

      As a first step to fulfilling that mission, Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin
       developed a new approach to online search that took root in a Stanford University dorm room
       and quickly spread to information seekers worldwide.

      When Google first entered the web search industry, the search engine was named BackRub
       and it ran on a collection of servers borrowed from Stanford University. At that time no one
       believed that there was money to be made from search engines and the field was already
       dominated by other successful established products such as of Excite, Alta Vista, Infoseek and
       Ask Jeeves.

      Larry Page and Sergey Brin were 25 years old and they did not have any experience in the
       field but the pair could innovate and their search engine had two unique qualities: it had a
       backward linking structure and it could scale.

      The only way that Google’s founders could get their company off the ground was to seek
       funding from “angel” investors. An initial investment of $100,000 US from Andy Bechtolstein in
       1998 prompted the pair to adopt the name “Google” for their newly created company.

      Larry Page and Sergey Brin moved their company into Susan Wojcicki’s garage and their work
       on developing the search engine into the indispensable Internet tool that we know today began
       in earnest.

      How did Google start on its road to success? Engineers at Stanford University readily
       embraced the use of the BackRub search engine to solve their academic problems and the
Toronto Chapter – My Business, My Career Event

       news of the new search engine spread by word of mouth quickly through the techie
       community. Muller says "You had to be good if these people were using your product."

      Muller says that Google's main advantage over their competition was that "they had a product
       that was better and one that scaled." However, no one had figured out how to make money out
       generating web page search results. This was Page and Brin’s challenge, the big boys in the
       search engine industry had not yet figured it all out yet.

      Muller said some lessons learned during Google’s early period were:
          o Think big and don’t be afraid to dream;
          o Develop a unique vision;
          o Solve difficult problems with creative solutions;
          o Build a great product that consumers love to use;
          o Run the business for the long term;
          o Hire the best people and
          o Always measure your success.

      Right from the beginning, Google tackled the issue of whether to concentrate on generating
       revenue through ads verses concentrating on its core mission of organizing the world's
       information into a universally accessible form through the best search engine possible.

      When other companies were pasting large and garish banner ads on their web pages in an
       attempt to generate revenue, Google stuck to its guns and kept its search screens clean. They
       decided that they would only use plain text sponsored links so that the ads would not interfere
       with the user’s search experience.

      In order to generate ad revenue, the company initiated new trends in advertising by pairing
       only relevant (and popular) ads with their “natural” search results and by charging their clients
       only when people clicked through to their client's site. Google also licensed its search
       technology to third party web sites so that clients would not have to worry about loosing traffic
       to other external web sites. This revenue scheme pleased clients, advertizers and search
       engine users alike.

Hiring at Google

      Google today is 3 times larger than any other search engine and it possess the world’s largest
       market share: 59.7 percent of all searches / search result pages on the Internet. It has 20
       offices worldwide and the search engine is available in a hundred different languages.

      Although the Googleplex has built a reputation for being one of the most fun places to work on
       the globe, Google is very serious about hiring the best and brightest workers in the technology
       sector.

      Applicants are not just hired for their education; Google also scrutinizes their personal
       achievements, their attitude and their overall “fit” in the company. Wendy Muller recollected
       one of Google’s early hiring scenarios which involved posting a mathematical formula and a
       web address on a highway billboard:

          o   Techies who took notice of the ad visited the web site to solve the problem, were they
              were led to another web site with another mathematical puzzle and so on. The curious
Toronto Chapter – My Business, My Career Event

              candidate was eventually led to a page inviting them to the Googleplex for an interview.

          o   If the applicant survived Google’s initial application process, then the prospective
              candidate was then put through a battery of inventive and quirky interviews and HR
              exercises which were designed to suss out the best (and worst) qualities in applicants.

      Google’s hiring policy has enabled it to maintain critical skill levels while growing rapidly. In
       2005, Google hired approximately 19 employees per day worldwide, doubling its work force to
       almost 6,800.

      Despite such rapid company growth, Google’s hiring strategy is not just a mere numbers
       game. Hiring the best talent continues to be one of Google’s core objectives. It's a strategy
       that Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin embraced in the company’s early years to
       survive in a very competitive market.

Google Today - The 70/20/10 Rule

      The Google founders enforced the 70/20/10 Rule on their company’s work flow to foster
       creativity amongst their employees:

          o   Google employees invest a sizeable amount of their time on technological exploration:
              70 per cent of their time is spent on core search products (site search and advertizing);
              20 per cent of their time is spent on related search products (i.e. Google News) and 10
              per cent of their time is spent on innovation, exploration and research.

          o   This rule has spawned many great successes but it also forces Google’s employees to
              embrace the chaos of change which is the only constant rule at Google.

      Employees at Google are encouraged to wait for the right data, base their decisions on the
       most current information, question accepted procedures and to invent new ones if the right
       one does not exist yet for the problem they are solving.

      The end result of this work flow approach is that their engineers have been responsible for
       many successful technical innovations such as Google News, Google Earth, Google Trends
       and Google Video.

          o   Google Trends shows the number of queries for a particular topic or keyword over
              time. This application could be useful to businesses trying to gauge the popularity of
              their products.

          o   Google Earth allows users instant visual access to satellite imagery. This application
              runs everyday and 3rd party developers can create additional layers. This application
              has already proven it’s usefulness beyond just gadgets and advertizing: Rescuers were
              able to locate New Orleans flood survivors on unmarked roof tops by comparing before
              and after maps of the devastated city.

          o   Google Video allows users access to TV programs, commercials, home movies and
              other video content that was previously unavailable (and unsearchable) on the web.
Toronto Chapter – My Business, My Career Event

What’s Next …

      When asked what keeps Brin and Page up at night, Muller replies that "they lie awake thinking
       who could be the next duo working in a garage." They regard the next (unknown) technical
       innovation as their real business completion.

Seminar Question and Answer

   1. How did Google become such a big name by word of mouth?

       Google has never spent money on advertizing itself to the world. The news of the new search
       engine was spread by word of mouth through the techie community starting with the engineers
       and techies at Stanford University. The fact that the search engine had a backward linking
       structure and it could scale to any situation meant it could do things that other search engines
       could not do.

   2. How do small business owners increase their ranking in the Google search results?

       If you click on the “About Google” link at the bottom of the Search page you will find a lot of
       information that will help your web site’s webmaster to set up your web site properly to
       increase your to standing in the “natural” search results. Of course, the other option would be
       to buy a sponsored Google ad.

   3. How can advertizers / businesses protect themselves from being affected by Big Daddy
      Rollouts?

       Brin, Page and the other engineers are always measuring their success of coming up with the
       perfect search results every time. The engineers at Google are constantly tweaking the search
       engine algorithm so that it works just a little bit better.

       Of course, when you change the rules it will change the “natural” search results. A web site
       that has been on top for the last couple of months could drop out of sight because the factors
       that are being input into the search engine algorithm have changed. Businesses should not
       depend on their search ranking status in the “natural “search results to drive their customers to
       their web site.

   4. What are the best advertizing strategies for business that want to use Google?

       The best way to make sure your web site is visible to Google users is to buy a sponsored ad. It
       has been shown that an ad which is paired with relevant “natural” search results is 3 to 4 times
       more likely to be clicked by a user than depending on “natural” search result links alone. You
       can also licence Google technology to work on your web site and businesses can use “Google
       in a Box” to search for documents or items in their inventory or on their Intranet.

   5. Does Google collect any personal information for it products (i.e. for Gmail accounts)?

       Google is not interested in and does not collect personal information when your sign up for its
       products. For example, when you signup for a Gmail account it only asks you to create a
       password. That’s it, nothing else in required.
Toronto Chapter – My Business, My Career Event

  6. Is Google hiring in Canada?

     Yes. Google recently held a job fair at the University of Waterloo.

  7. What does Google think of the restricted access to information in China?

     There was a big debate in Google in regard to setting up a search engine that had “restricted”
     access to information in China. Google was very serious in looking into this issue. Google
     decided that it was better to bring some information to the people of China than nothing at all.

  8. Do all of the (thousands of) search results lead to unique web pages?

     No. The web crawler regularly goes out on the web and creates an index of existing web
     pages on the Internet. The search engine’s algorithm produces search results from Google’s
     index of web pages and produces results that it thinks are relevant to the user’s search.

     This means that many of the search result listings can be for the same or similar web pages
     on one website. Also, if you search the Internet for the same keyword more than once you will
     come up with different search results each time because the composition of the web is
     constantly changing.

				
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