In the 10 years that I have been a Web professional (all of
which I’ve spent developing and promoting websites) I’ve
never seen a company as dominant in its industry as Google.
And I would bet the 30 domain names I call my own that you
feel the exact same way.
Not only has Google become part of the common lexicon, it is
a company whose services most of us rely on greatly each and
every day to sustain our businesses, even keep us connected
with friends and colleagues. To “Google,” in the minds of many,
now means to find — but what have we found? Let’s look at a
day in the life of a Google junkie, yours truly, to find out.
The first thing upon waking in the morning is
to check my personal Gmail account. I do that
one of two ways — either on my laptop (through my Chrome
browser) or through my G1 mobile phone and the Android
operating system. While Gmail continues fighting for market
share against the likes of Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Hotmail
and even AOL, the addition of new technology approaches to
daily communication (such as Google Wave) might arguably
make short work of the competition. In fact, Gmail grew 43
percent in 2008 alone. Expect big growth in 2009 too.
After arriving at the Website Magazine offices, I
immediately log into my Google Reader account
and review the many Google Alerts I’ve established since
that offering launched. (I am a former user of Bloglines but it
was much more convenient to keep my official communication
under the same virtual umbrella.)
When I have sufficiently stuffed myself with information,
it’s off to do some quick analysis.
There are about 10 domains that I watch closely in my Google
Analytics account — some are parked courtesy of Google, so
there is occasionally a detour to my AdSense account. Then
it’s off to my Webmaster Central account to make sure everything
is humming along nicely; search engine positions and
all. Then, AdWords to check the status and performance of
paid search campaigns, to generate a few reports, and maybe
add some more funds to the account. Since Google drives
about 70 percent of the natural and paid traffic to our Web
properties, other sources often wait for later in the day.
Finally, it’s lunchtime. Since I tend to eat at my
desk (which I’ve been told is unhealthy), I have
the luxury of quickly scanning the news (Google News),
checking my stock portfolio (Google Finance), and maybe
even watching a few videos (YouTube).
Next, it’s time to get some real work done. Most
of the documents I create are stored on Google
Docs, so I can access them from home and the office. I’m routinely
interrupted, however, thanks to Google Talk — but it’s
proven to be a powerful way to keep in touch with people as
I’m working on projects. Plus, downloading the AIM client behind
the corporate firewall is not a possibility.
Before leaving the office, it’s not uncommon for
me to check Google Maps for traffic info, and
perhaps the location of some stores on the way home using
After the kids are in bed, an entire micro-cycle
of my day resumes — last checks on all the important
Google accounts (AdWords, AdSense, Reader, Gmail,
etc.) and then it’s off to bed where neither my laptop nor my
phone are allowed. Unfortunately.
There is a small contingent of Web professionals — you
might be one of them — that fear Google. They believe that
their absolute and unabated power and control might sooner
or later corrupt them.
So what, in all this introspection have I found with Google?
Convenience, simplicity, support, value, even entertainment. I
encourage you not to fear Google. Rather, I encourage you to
willfully submit to them in all their fascinating, glorious totality.
You might just learn something about how to serve customers
and generate revenue.
So what if the critics worry that the cloud might implode,
or that another pair of genius programmers working in their
garage will develop a new way of organizing the world’s information?
What I have learned about Google probably won’t surprise
you — it is that they are the benchmark on which all
great companies today and in the future will be measured.
What are you doing to get users “hooked”?