I stumbled upon something interesting today. I was searching Google for a map to a specific address and I saw a sponsored link for Maps.Live.com, a Google Maps competitor… at the top of the Google Search Results.
Now, to me, that says a lot about Google. Especially in light of the current tactics Fox is taking to eliminate competitor’s advertising on MySpace. The fact that Google will allow competitors to advertise on their network, as well as the fact that competitors want to advertise on their network, says a lot.
Its very smart of Google to allow this for many reasons.
- Google’s competitors have large pockets. I seriously doubt Microsoft only spent a couple thousand dollars with Google on their ads.
- The fact the competitors’ ads appear on Google make Google appear as a more trustworthy and more thorough source of information.
- Since their ad network is open at all, they steer clear of anti-trust and fair business practice complaints.
- It promotes a sense of fair play & openness in business dealings.
- It increases the pool of advertisers and spreads wealth. I’ll talk more about this in a minute.
Google’s thinking is wise and much different than the “lets drive our competitors into the dust” type of mentality that has permeated many other companies.
Back to point 5:
Wealth is created by the movement of money, not in the money in itself. The more the money changes hands, the more wealth is created. Google is capitalizing on a phenomenon that I saw in the mail order advertising industry years ago. When I was 13 years old I started one of my first businesses and published my own small mail order magazine as well as sold advertising space in other people’s publications. What was interesting is that in order to get advertisers, you had to advertise… in your competitors publications. So I would place ads in publications asking people to place ads in my publications or publications I represented. And people would place ads in my publication advertising advertising space in their publications. So, essentially, 10% to 25% of the ads in a publication could, at times, be advertising for adverting in competitors publications.
Or, put another way, 10 to 25% of the revenue in advertising was from competitors selling advertising.
And the best part is that I almost always made a profit from placing an ad selling my advertising. Some publications were better than others, mind you, but it did attract advertisers.
So, Google, being smart, has kept it open to all, because in the end that means more revenue for all.
Very smart indeed. 🙂
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