Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Chicago Tribune Reports on Google and Its Effort to Stay Ahead of Competitors

Chicago Tribune writers David Greising and John McCormick report on the inner working of Google in today's Chicago Tribune in an feature article entitled "Inside a Web Giant's Manic Search for Staying Power." Above the headline is "Gunning for Google." Google executives allowed Tribune staff to attend design meetings and interview Google staff in the Mountain View, California headquarters that is called Googleplex. The authors explain how the complex itself is a symbol, the reflection of a major company with clout and innovation; they also remind the readers the building was once owned by Silicon Graphics, a defunct company. Google is well aware of the symbolism. The article is on the front page of today's newspaper.

After telling how executive Marissa Mayer conducts design meetings (protecting the simplicity of the main page) and a brief history of the company, the authors spend 22 column inches discussing Google's response to the challenge of You Tube. A discussion of the 70-20-10 focus on core search-existing products-innovations follows; an internal audit by chief executive Eric Schmidt revealed that Google had lost focus and was spending only 60 per cent of its effort on the core search. The article ends with a description of the challenge of Microsoft Bird's Eye to Google Earth.

Readers who like ranking will like the tables showing what companies lead in popularity of their products.

Social Networking (rank and percent of visitors)
1. - 55.8
2. - 17.2
3. - 14.8
4. Windows Live Spaces - 9.8
18. Orkut (Google product) - 0.4

1. You Tube - 34.0
2. MySpace Videos - 17.9
3. Google Videos - 13.5
4. MSN Video - 11.9
5. Yahoo Video - 5.9

1. Google - 43.7
2. Yahoo - 28.8
3. Microsoft - 12.8
4. Time Warner Network - 5.9
5. Ask Network - 5.4

There are also tables for email and news services with the article, as well as a graph showing the rise in the price of Google stock.

There is a slide/audio presentation discussing the article on the Chicago Tribune website. In 3:47 seconds it makes some of the main points and shows many scenes inside Googleplex.

Tomorrow's Chicago Tribune will carry an article promoted as "The battle to be your search engine."

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