Category Archives: Google

Google in China – Business Decision?

Google’s announcement risking to quit China is controversial in nature. Not only in China, but also in the States, even in the high-tech camp, Microsoft, and Yahoo! hold different opinions.In fact, it is people’s reaction to this news that shocks many people, in both camp. Let me add my observation by starting from the easiest question:

“Is Google’s announcement about its China operation a business decision, or not?”

The critics about Google’s action that occupied the dominating position in Chinese (government approved) media is, it is all about money, and Google is mixing business with politics… In short, Bad! Ugly!

The argument is about Google’s motivation to do it. As a basic rule, when we argue, we should not focus on the motivation, since it can never be proved. It leads the discussion to nowhere. I neither suspect their motivation to be “its high moral standard” nor “evil anti-China blah/blah/blah”.

(If you ask me to guess, as a Google fans, I think it is the first part, but… Ops! Can we change a topic because the debate about motivation is not productive).

If it were a pure business decision

If it were purely a business decision, what is the right thing for Google to do? Jun made a public statement that “It is the most stupid thing Google did in history, by giving up half of the world” (source). With all the due respect, I don’t agree.

Let me share the The Ford Pinto Case (via Michael Sandel’s presentation)

Ford Pinto Case

Ford, as a company, learned that a defective design in its Pinto’s fuel system can cause death in accidents. But the cost to replace all the 10+ million car parts is significantly higher than just let the accident happen, and pay the victim the money ($137 million versus the $49.5 million price tag put on the death, injury, and car damage). If we don’t value people’s life, the decision is pretty simple and straight forward. 137 is bigger than 49.5, isn’t it?

The result is obvious. When the cost/benefit analysis of Ford exposes to the public sight, Ford was under huge pressure, and was forced to change the design, and also, that case deeply impacted the history of safety regulation in the auto industry since then.

With this case, we can easily understand why a small risk in toys sold in IKEA that caused no injure or death needs to be corrected, at the cost of millions of such toys be recalled and changed. Now it is the legal requires and moral common sense that safety should be placed before any business interest.

Trust as an Assert

Continuing to discuss on the Ford’s case. The mistake they made… (well, who are we to judge that they made a mistake many years ago? Well. That is the one big step forward on the moral standard, or civilization by millions of people’s efforts, and, sorry, many people’s life).

The mistake they made… is to assign zero dollar value for people’s life in the cost/benefit analysis. The other mistake is, they didn’t assign the value of the brand image as a safe car into the equation.

Google’s Case as a Business Decision

Let’s get back to the Google’s case and do a similar cost/benefit analysis. On the benefit side, there are 600 million USD annual revenue, and potentially, 10x of it in 5 years. On the cost side, is the safety of its data (“Take it easy. No one get killed”. No! Reminder Yahoo!’s case about the two journalists who are still in jail?), and the universal principle of free information and speech.

Different people assign different value on the cost factor in the equation. Some put $0, and others put billions… The decision reflects the decision maker’s valuation of what many people valued very low. Can this action be converted into asserts of the company? Sure!

Hmmm… I mean “yes”, in places where people value freedom of speech, human rights, privacy, and integrate, not in other places.

Conclusion

Even if it were a pure business decision, I see value that makes perfect business sense. I am trying to take the chance to talk more about this in the series later, about the Chinese modern moral standards and the long history of ambiguity of the standard.

Google Beijing Office Picutre

These photos were taken back in March 5, 2007, and I didn’t had a chance to post them. Recently I setup a photo album, and published some photos I took before. These are some photos I took near the Google Beijing office.

Google Beijing office near Tsinghua. The good thing about Google Beijing office:

  • It has mountain in the background – just like the name of its headquarter: MountView.
  • It has its own standalone building.
  • It is very near Tsinghua University.

You can see the maintains of Beijing in the far background of this picture.

87 Entries Included in Google Blog Search

Google released Blog Search. Chedong used inurl to see how many entries are included in Google search. I tried and found Google indexed 87 blog entries out of my 1000+ entries. It takes some time to index all – if Google really index those older entries.

P.S. I created my sitemap file at http://home.wangjianshuo.com/sitemap.xml to include all links.

Although I was surprised that I still can find time to work on these technical details, I still insist to have certain level of involvement into the new things on the Internet by MYSELF, instead of reading articles about “cool” new things.

Google Desktop

Wang Hao told me about the Google Desktop and recommend it to me before our trip to Yang Cheng Lake (my previous trip). I tried it today. After I installed it and played with it for five minutes, I said: Microsoft is in big trouble……

Google

Google is by no doubt my most favorite company beside Microsoft. I like almost everything it gives away: The search, the Toolbar, the AdSense Program, and the Philosophy that lies behind the company (I still remember the first is, “Focus on the user and all else will follow.”). It affects many of my designs of software.

Why Google Desktop is Good

I like Google Desktop because these reasons:

1. It is small. I thought the Google’s crawling and indexing machine should be as big as a house but they managed to put it into a 400 KB. How can it be possible! It is just like the early ages of Microsoft – to create small DOS compared to other big name OS and easily load into any Personal Computer. Now there are too many legacy applications that a service pack has to be hundreds of megabytes.

2. It is fast. “Fast is better than slow” is another philosophy of Google. Before I find the search button of Outlook, the search result of all the documents on my computer has appeared. It is amazing.

3. Integration with web based Google search. I found the Desktop result in traditional Google Search as a new tab and as part of the search result. It is amazing. They really have some great ideas to make the life of people easier. When a company becomes big, the processes, the systematic thinking and the frameworks seem more important than a great idea.

Google is growing and I guess it will continue to grow with the new ideas and the philosophy unchanged.

Microsoft

I see the problems of becoming the top company and becoming a big company. The company is bigger and bigger. The expectation from the Wall Street is higher and higher, and the market to defense is increasing while the market to enter is sinking when most markets related to software has become a battle field….

However, the best thing in Microsoft is, it still keeps the basic ideas of creating software to helping people. People are working so hard to find enable people to work with more productivity. I see it in emails, in chat, in working with many people inside.

Microsoft is still a great company – look at how fast people embrace blogging, social software and new things in server area (with new servers coming out every year). I still love this company although I don’t want it to grow bigger and become an IBM one day. But it seems it will as long as its stock is still trading at NASDAQ…

Google: IPO First, then Dance

It seems Google guys are too busy with the IPO and AdSense, AdWords and new features, and have no time to dance.

I noticed the last Google dance as in June 07, 2004 for my site. I know it from the obvious PageRank difference between the two adjustant entries. The difference is still there. This means, Google didn’t dance since June 07, 2004. 108 passed and there is no change in anything in PageRank.

Cemper also noticed this. Are Google guys too busy with IPO?

Last Google Dance

Have you heard of Google Dance? It is the monthly re-index of all web pages and recaculate PageRank for each individual web page. Since Google indexes more than 4 billion webpages with more than 10,000 computers, it takes so long to do the full re-index. This is interesting. You may learn more about Google Dance at the following links:

Enough about theory, I just find something interesting on my own website. I can declare that the last Google Dance (for this site) happens on June 6, 2004. Just take a look at this two page:

This page has PageRank of PR2.

screen-mowing.lawn-google.pr.png

This page, which is posted one day after has PageRank of PR0.

screen-successful-google.pr.png

You get the PR number from the PageRank indicator (right top of the screen) on Google Tool bar – the small green bar.

All pages before Mowing Lawn have PR2, PR3 or PR4, and all pages after Successful Presentation Skill Training have PR0.

That means, the 30+ pages will get the PR they deserve (at least PR2 I think) at the next Google Dance. When will it be? I am waiting…

P.S. This post is some kind of technial. I am afriad I have to disagree with what Fons that blog has to have focus. The only focus should be personal identy. Let me explain it in the next blog post.

Search 13123456789 in Google

Who are the people in Google who are working on Google Chinese Feature? They are great. Some new features (Chinese site) were introduced in Google.

Update This page becomes the first result for 13123456789 in Google June 29, 2004

As I expected, this entry jumps to the first entry to Google’s search on the phone number. With daily page view of about 10,000 and 50,000 visitors from 109 countries, this site has been very successful with Google Ranking. Just take some time to browse to the homepage of Wangjianshuo’s Blog – the Top 10 Blogs in China. End of update

Try to search my mobile phone number 13916146826 in Google (Chinese).

screen-google.mobile-13916146826.jpg

Screen capture in courtesy of Google

It will tell you that mobile comes from Shanghai and uses China Mobile network.

First Image Ad from Google Adsense

Wow. I checked my site randomly (as I didn’t go back through every page as I did before) and found the first Image Ad from Google Adsense.

Here is a screen copy.

screen-google.adsense.color.ad-moblogging.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Image Ad in courtesy of Google.

I was surprised because it is rare. A lot of webmesters are talking about Image Ad and couldn’t see it after signup for many days.

Hey! Don’t click on the image just to test it, unless you are really interested. I don’t want to waste the advertiser’s money. :-D

OK. I have removed the link back so you may not be able to easily click on the ad.

PageRank – Higher Position in Google Result

Charles asked: “How did you get your website to be on top of the list when I searched google?” He is not the first to ask me about it.

The secret is the quality of the article and proper title, URL and link structure.

The king the rules the order is Google’s Page Rank system (PageRank). My site http://home.wangjianshuo.com home page enjoys PR6 now. It receached PR5 after one year of operation and reached PR6 in about two years.

The secret of higher PageRank is explained in Google’s PageRank FAQ:

In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.”

So to make it easy, just use plain text, write frequently, interlink with each page and develop high quality articles so others are willing to link to you. That is the secret behind the higher position in Google search.

Resources:

Google Adsense on Sites in China

Three months ago, I turned on Google Adsense. It went well during the experiment. It IS an experiment to try new technology or services. Here is a report of with some details to help to get started with Google Adsense. It may be especially helpful for webmasters in China since not many people are familiar with the check and the process to claim the money. Due to the Adsense Terms and Conditions, I cannot disclose details of my earning, click-through rate related to my site performance. Don’t ask me for that. I won’t tell.

At Least it Covers my Site Infrustructure Expense

The money I got is not a big number. The number itself is not exciting at all. However, the fact that a hobby can run on a cost-recovery model is really exciting. At least the small income covered my expenses on this website:

  • Domain names. I don’t know why www.net.cn could made so good offer for wangjianshuo.com at 60 RMB (7.22 USD) per year. I paid for 5 years before. The offer is not available now. I always register new domain names at godaddy.com at 7.95 USD / year. Pretty good deal.
  • Hosting Fee. The hosting fee for my site is 380 RMB (45.8 USD) per year with PHP, PERL, ASP support and without database. It is 100M disk space at companyCN.com. I experienced server down from time to time. Anyway, I just don’t want to change my hosting since it requires a lot of changes in all the scripts configuration files. As you may know, before that, I hosted the site at my home

Actually that is all the money I spent on this website PARTICULALY. I didn’t count the camera I used, the laptop I used, and most importantly, the time and effort I put into the site.

Language Accepted

Google now accepts sites from all around the world, but they only accept English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish sites. Chinese is not support and according to Google’s Adsense Program Policy, “Ads must not be displayed on any page with content primarily in an unsupported language.” For sites like mine – created, hosted in China but in English – it is accepted.

Blog sites

Google generally doesn’t accept personal pages.

In general, we do not accept personal pages or chat sites into the AdSense program. However, if a site contains targeted, text-based content and/or provides a product or service, we may consider it for participation. (source)

My first application was rejected due to my nature of a blog. I applied the second time later since Google said they welcome site owners to try again if the application is rejected since their program policy may change. My site was accepted at my second try. I guess they may discover that my site is not only talking about my own life, it also talks about a general topic…

Don’t Cheat

Don’t ever think about cheating in Google Adsense Program. Google is a great company. They combined high tech with labor intensive work. I guess they have a large customer service team behind since their responses to my inquiries were fast and to-the-point. They are monitoring the huge traffic of the Adsense program with the help of Google’s patten matching technology. Keep your mouse out of your own Ad. Discussion at WebmasterWorld.com’s Adsense forum revealed lots of webmasters got warning email from Google after they clicked their own Ad by mistake. High quality of the program and the return on investment is the success factor of AdSense and AdWords.

The Check

According to my Google Adsense Payment History Report, my check for November, 2003 was sent out on December 17, 2003. When I got the check, it was already January 8, 2004. According to the Google’s check, the actual time the check was printed was December 19, 2003.

The Money

Check means paper before it is claimed. It seems many banks in China can help to send the check back to U.S to claim the money. I used China Merchant Bank. I paid 20 RMB (3 USD) as the handling fee and told them my credit card number. They said the money will get to my credit in 3 weeks. Yesterday I checked the card and the money has arrived. So expect two months delay of the payment (one month for Google to send the check and one month for the bank to claim you money).

Conclusion

Google’s Adsense Program may change the Internet. With the website hosting and domain names covered, more people would be happy to build websites and play with it. Personal publishing will boom. Google’s program is unique from other advertisement network since its Ads are generally relative to the content. Both the site owners and the advertisers will love it.

Resources

Googlism

What does Googlism think about Shanghai?

shanghai is hot

shanghai is the largest city and one of the most popular tourist

shanghai is waiting for freecloud

shanghai is now

shanghai is a combination

shanghai is one of the biggest cities in

shanghai is not about economics only

shanghai is a “work in progress”?

It seems some of the statements are true. I marked them in bold.

Thanks to Google Weblog for pointing me to this interesting web site. You can type in anything you are interested, and the site will give you the answer based on Google search result. Let me give you another example, I asked Who is Jian Shuo, four answers are returned:

jian shuo is always happy when he is with fanfan

jian shuo is prompted as project manager

jian shuo is now dead

jian shuo is one of the ten regular attendants

The first two are very correct, while the third is completely wrong. :-( and the last one, basically, I don’t know what it is talking about.

Why now try your self on Googlism? Type in the city you are living in, or the company you are working for to see what Google says about it. The results are almost always interesting and sometimes surprising, but don’t care the result too much – it is only a humor generator.

 

Good luck. Why not share the interesting result you have found with us by utilizing the comment function with this blog entry?

Also on today…

Party with Shanghai Expat

I had a wonderful party yesterday with Michael from shanghaiexpat.com, Graham, Shanshan, and K at KABB of Xin Tian Di. It is very interesting to meet people from different culture background – from Seattle, New Zealand, Hong Kong and other part of the world. We gather together to talk about the culture shock. They are all very nice people. I am expecting to meet them again.

Christina’s blog

I also talked with Christina (Chinese/English site) on MSN Messenger. She is very careful and sensitive about her life. This makes her blog full of interesting thoughts and thorough observation. I will recommend you to take a look.