Google launches Adwords and becomes tech's most important company
1. Google launches Adwords and becomes tech's most important company
Without Adwords, Google is a terrific search engine in search of a business model. Launched in 2000, Adwords added the little contextual ads next to the billions of searches conducted on Google engine. By the close of 2009, those little ads, along with the contextual ads run on partners through the Adsense service, brought in the vast majority of Google's estimated $17.39 billion in annual revenue.
Sure, it's a question of the chicken or the egg. You can't sustain a business without revenue. And you can't bring in revenue (in this case through one very smart acquisition) without a compelling product. The combination of the two is what makes Google Google. But without those little ads, the Google story becomes a tale of a technical curiosity rather than the rise of a business powerhouse to rival Microsoft and, arguably, the most important company in tech.
Interestingly, as the decade comes to an end, Google is drawing the sort of unwanted government scrutiny that Microsoft received in the '90s. Will Google be humbled by the trustbusters in the coming years? Or will it learn from Microsoft's mistakes and make nice with the feds before business plans get squashed? For the tech press, that's likely to be the biggest story of all in the coming decade.
Caption by Tom Krazit and Jim Kerstetter
December 22, 2009 4:00 AM PST
Photo by: James Martin/CNET
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