About This Site
This site is not affiliated with Google nor sponsored by Google – it contains my views on how to best use Google products and services.
My goal for this site is for it to become a reference site for the most commonly used Google services – how to research using Google, how to use Google services to simplify everyday tasks, SEO, code samples compatible with GCP services, reviews of mobile apps, etc. Along the way, I’ll be providing commentary on Google: where I see it going, common threads I see in news articles, and so forth.
While writing this blog, I’ll be drawing parallels between certain news stories and overarching themes/tendencies that I see Google repeat. These lines will help you to understand Google and better understand/use its services.
Theme – Automate All The Things
Google is the best at building services that manage all their needs through automation, with very little human assistance required.
Not only is Google the best at automating services, it has a bias to do so. Google prefers to automate everything, including customer service when possible. At Google scale, this preference is not only a preference – it transforms into a business need. For instance: YouTube contains so much video, there’s no way for Google to human-curate all the clips. This leads to the occasional firestorm over YouTube content being unfairly (or fairly, depending on your political viewpoint) being removed or demonetized (demonetized means that the channel owner earns no money from ads on their video clips).
Here’s an interesting article that covers the issue: https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/5/18287318/youtube-logan-paul-pewdiepie-demonetization-adpocalypse-premium-influencers-creators .
The issue of too much content to reasonably human-curate also leaks into other parts of Google’s businesses, such as their search index and image searches.
Theme – Core Ads Business Protection
Google’s core business is ads, full stop. Some profit admittedly comes from the Google Cloud Platform, GSuite, developer services such as the Maps API, and so forth, but the revenue that keeps Google running is the ads revenue.
Google goes to great lengths to protect its Ads revenue – for example, it pays ad blocking plugins to let Google ads remain on web sites:
Other ways of protecting the ad revenue are much more indirect: for example, Goldman Sachs estimates that Google pays Apple $9 billion to be the top search engine on Apple products – thus keeping Apple users inside the Google ecosystem of search and (more importantly) ads.
In future blog articles, I’ll continue to point out areas where Google is shielding its Ads revenue from competitor services.
Theme – Service Shutdowns
One general theme with Google is that it’s common to see it shutting down even well-used, beloved services such as Google Reader, Hangouts, Cloud Messaging, Picasa, and so forth. This has become so prevalent that it has spawned wry jokes, such as the Google Graveyard – a list of services shuttered by Google.
These service shutdowns might not seem a big deal on the surface, however this negativity bleeds over into services that have SLAs/guarantees of continuous operation. For example, see this top-rated comment on YCombinator News, a forum popular with startup and technology experts (highlight is mine):
This sentiment is common even on major tech sites. See this comment on ArsTechnica as another example:
As time goes on, I expect this negativity to continue and may even hurt the viability of future Google services.
My professional technology experience is mostly within the financial/banking/medical sectors, with a moderate amount of experience in consulting.