Google Chairman To Congress: We’re Much Smarter Than You

Author: Gab Goldenberg

Via Eric Ward’s newsletter, I found out that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt recently testified (PDF) before Congress about claims that Google is anti-competitive. Amongst his remarks are some truly amusing statements for anyone that knows Google and/or the current state of the web. Other things were less amusing and more amazing in what they revealed.

Some of my favourite selections, and their translations:

Eric: “Microsoft’s Bing launched in June 2009 and has grown so rapidly that some commentators have speculated that it could overtake Google as early as 2012.”

Translation: Some commentators said idiotic things, and I hope you’ll take believe my tongue in cheek reference to said foolishness seriously. In other news, the sky is falling, the sky is falling!

Eric: “For current events, news-seekers can visit the websites of major publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or The Washington Post.”

Translation: “We’re shaking in our boots due to the stiff competition for non-commercial pageviews by bankrupt companies sailing a sinking business model.”

Eric: “From an advertising perspective, Google’s search advertising tools compete for ad dollars every day against other forms of advertising including, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, direct mail and banner ads.”

Translation: “You have no clue about direct response advertising on a small-scale or for niche markets and I’d like you to be gullible enough to believe someone selling SEO services is going to advertise on the TV or the radio or the newspaper.’

Eric: “Advertisers know that they have other options and they can and do turn off their Google ad campaign whenever they want.”

Translation: “If advertisers don’t like us arbitrarily increasing click costs to meet our predictions for Wall Street, they can spend their money on TV, or get the massive volume available [at the rapidly growing] Bing. *snicker*”

Eric: “Our business principles that have guided us from the beginning include

– “Transparency. We give advertisers detailed information about the ad auction, including their ad quality score.”

Translation: “We tell advertisers explicitly when we’re going to charge them more money ‘cuz we feel like it.” (See Google charging Aaron Wall of $2 CPC for the term SEO Book. )

– “Loyalty, not Lock-In. As much as we would like users to stay with Google, if consumers don’t like the answers that Google Search provides, they can switch.”

Translation: “You can switch to Google Product Search, Youtube, Google Mortgage Comparisons, Google Travel Search… All with one click [from our search results].

You should also be loyal to Google search to buy ads not just on generic queries but on brand keywords.”

As Aaron Wall writes, “The whole point of building a brand is increased affinity with users & not needing to pay for incremental distribution driven by brand demand. To spend money to build brand only to have to keep rebuying the existing brand equity is quite a futile exercise. ”

– “Be Open Not Closed. [Insert rest of quote]

Translation: “We openly explained to our Android partners that they could comply or get lost. We are using compatibility as a club.”

– “Label Ads Clearly.”

Translation: “We’ll label them clearly as Sponsored Links… in the upper right hand corner so you have a good user experience and don’t think to ignore the ads. That’s because in the upper right, you’re unlikely to pay attention, given the Western reading pattern to start in the upper left and move diagonally down to the right.”

Do you have a positive view on Google? Am I wrong on these things… feel free to pipe in and comment, even and especially if you disagree or have something more to add!

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  1. Can't say I have a very positive view of Google at all Gab! It's gotta be very scary if your livelihood depends on adwords and the Google organic traffic.

    Comment by Dan - October 7, 2011 @ 10:12pm
  2. I absolutely love your translations! And although they are absolutely true, thanks for the laugh.

    Comment by Your Article Service - October 8, 2011 @ 1:26am
  3. Google seems to be more and more arrogant with the passing of time. How ironic that slogan "Do No Evil" seems now. They appear to want to become as ubiquitous and unpopular as Microsoft, AOL or Yahoo once were... Their house is also built on sand. They don't even do a very good job with their search engine, upon which all the rest is built. I've lost count of the number of times I've searched for something obvious like a company web site on Google and expected it to be at the top of the results and it wasn't. Nor do they even get close to indexing the entire web. Surely there is room for someone to come along and do a better job at search?

    Comment by Christopher Rose - October 10, 2011 @ 3:48am
  4. Yessir... that's why I'm doing what I can to get more into email marketing.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - October 10, 2011 @ 6:16am
  5. Not to say I'm dropping SEO, obviously, but looking at it more as an acquisition channel and trying to keep it as one of many...

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - October 10, 2011 @ 6:17am
  6. I wish there was... I'm still waiting on people to do that. Let me know what you find, Chris.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - October 10, 2011 @ 6:35am
  7. I absolutely love your translations!!!!!

    Comment by Dell - October 10, 2011 @ 11:41am
  8. I've noticed that Bing seems to be returning more relevant results for branded search. Personally, I'm not a massive fan of anything that comes out of Redmond but a healthly degree of competition for Google is acceptable until, like Chris said, someone builds something better.

    Comment by James - October 21, 2011 @ 4:16am

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