2008年1月31日 星期四

Google Earnings Fall Short of Expectations the fourth quarter 07

Google Earnings Fall Short of Expectations

Published: January 31, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO — Google said Thursday that its profits jumped 17 percent in the fourth quarter as sales grew at a healthy 51 percent, propelled by continued strength in the company’s core search advertising business. The results fell short of analysts’ expectations, raising concerns that the Internet search giant will not be immune from the economic slowdown.

The company said net income for the quarter was $1.2 billion, or $3.79 a share, compared with $1.03 billion, or $3.29 a share a year ago. Profit, excluding items like stock-based compensation, was $4.43 a share.

Google’s revenue in the last three months of the year rose to $4.83 billion from $3.21 billion a year ago. Excluding commissions paid to advertising partners, a measure closely watched by Wall Street analysts, Google’s revenue jumped to $3.39 billion, from $2.23 billion a year earlier.

On average, Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected Google’s profit, not counting the cost of items like stock options, to be $4.45 a share, on revenue, excluding commissions paid to partners, of $3.45 billion.

Google’s shares were down 8 percent after hours. In regular trading, they closed at $564.30, up $16.03, or nearly 3 percent.

Even while falling short of analysts’ estimates, the results show that Google, as expected, continues to outpace rivals. Earlier this week, Yahoo reported sales growth of just 8 percent, as profits dropped 23 percent. Meanwhile, Microsoft said last week that its online services unit, which competes directly with Google, saw fourth-quarter sales jump by 38 percent, aided by the company’s $6 billion acquisition of advertising specialist aQuantive.

Analysts were watching Google’s report for any signs that the economic slowdown is hurting the company’s advertising business. Yet some believe that Google, which is largely dependent on text ads it places alongside search results, is likely to be more immune to an advertising recession than rivals like Yahoo and Microsoft, who earn a greater share of their revenues from display advertisements.

“I don’t think Google’s ad model is insulated from a recession, but it is probably less vulnerable to cutbacks than other online ad models and definitely than traditional advertising,” said Scott Kessler, an analyst with Standard & Poor’s.

Still anxiety about the economy and other factors have sent Google shares down by about 20 percent this year. The decline followed a quick run up in Google shares, which reached a high of $747.24 in early November.

One issue weighing on investors is whether Google has won an auction for wireless spectrum, which is being conducted by the Federal Communications Commission. Google had promised to bid at least $4.6 billion — the reserve price set by the agency — for a portion of the spectrum known as the C Block.

The F.C.C. said that there had been no further bids for the C Block since the $4.7 billion bid Thursday morning. Because of the way auction rules are written, it is unlikely that others will bid higher. The F.C.C. will not announce who placed the winning bid until bidding for other portions of the spectrum is completed, a process that could take weeks. Many analysts believe Google had no intention to bid to win and expect Verizon Wireless, or perhaps another cellphone operator, to have placed the high bid.

But the uncertainty has been a drag on Google’s shares. Some investors fret that if the company won the spectrum, it might have to spend even more to build out a network wireless network. Google ended the third quarter with more than $13 billion in cash and marketable securities.

Google wins again

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's top three executives had pledged to work together for 20 years in a pact they made shortly before the company's initial public offering in August 2004, Fortune magazine has reported.

Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, together with Chief Executive Eric Schmidt say in a joint interview for Fortune's February 4th issue that the three had agreed to work together for two decades starting one month before the 2004 IPO.

"We agreed the month before we went public that we should work together for 20 years," said Schmidt, who added that he will be 69 years old by that time. Page would be 51 and Brin 50.

The interview can be found at tinyurl.com/2oo5vt/. A Google spokesman could not immediately be reached to comment.

Schmidt is Google's chairman. Page is president of products and Brin is president of technology. Each is a billionaire.

With a market capitalization now around $170 billion, the world's most valuable Internet company is scheduled to report results for the final quarter of 2007 on Thursday.

Wall Street expects Google to report 2007 revenue around $16.6 billion, an increase of 57 percent over the prior year.

(Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Paul Bolding)

Google wins again

Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt on keeping the culture alive at Fortune's No. 1 Best Company to Work For - and how they all promised to stay at Google for 20 years.

By Adam Lashinsky, senior writer

(Fortune Magazine) -- Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and CEO Eric Schmidt take Google's reputation seriously. When informed that Google would be named the best company to work for, for the second year running, they agreed to sit for a rare three-way interview with Fortune's Adam Lashinsky. Here are snippets of the hourlong chat.

How do you maintain Google's culture as the company gets bigger and bigger?

Page: I think as we get bigger, the way we're going to try to maintain our culture is to make sure we have the right-sized groups. I just visited our new office in the Seattle area. It really felt like Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) felt when we were a couple hundred people. There is sort of a natural size for human organizations, and I think to the extent we're able to create groups that are those sizes, we can retain a lot of that culture.

Brin: I actually don't think keeping the culture is a goal. I think improving the culture is. We shouldn't be, like, looking back to our golden years and saying, "Oh, I wish it was the same."

So as you grow, how do you Google-ize the companies you acquire?

Page: We don't. For example, YouTube has remained largely a division. They're in San Bruno [north of the main campus in Mountain View, Calif.] and have their own culture, which is different and cool.

Your perks are famous, but they're not permanent. You recently killed the $5,000 hybrid-car subsidy, for example, and replaced it with a three-tiered incentive that promotes fuel efficiency. Why?

Brin: The goal behind the original policy was that we wanted to encourage cleaner technologies. But by encourage, I don't mean we wanted to subsidize them forever.

By any measure, Google treats employees incredibly well. Is it possible to treat them too well?

Page: My grandfather worked in the auto plants in Flint, Mich. He was an assembly-line worker. During the sit-down strikes he used to carry this long iron pipe with a big chunk of lead on the end when he walked to work.

Schmidt: For what reason?

Page: To protect himself from the company. I still have the hammer. That's two generations ago, and we've come a long way. I don't think any of our employees have to carry such weapons to work. At least I hope they don't. But that's a big change in two generations. It's common sense: Happy people are more productive.

Will you all work at Google for the rest of your careers?

Schmidt: We agreed to work together for how long, gentlemen?

Brin: Twenty years.

Really? When did you make that agreement?

Schmidt: Two years, seven months, and four days ago. But who's counting? Actually, we agreed the month before we went public that we would work together for 20 years. I will be 69, and according to Google I'm going to live to 84, so I should be fine.

Is it possible for a successful company like Google to adequately prepare for the moment when it could suffer a major hiccup? Post your thoughts on the Go West blog. To top of page

2008年1月27日 星期日

DoCoMo與Google 全部服務協作

DoCoMo與谷歌合作 “不同點在於將與谷歌全部服務協作”
DATE 2008/01/28

 【日經BP社報導】 宣佈進行合作的NTT DoCoMo與美國谷歌在2008年1月24日舉行的新聞發佈會上表示,雙方的合作是給移動網際網路帶來革新的重要環節(圖1)。“擁有4800萬用戶的 DoCoMo與擁有全球最大檢索引擎的谷歌合作,目的是提供更具創新性的服務,促進‘網際網路的移動化’”(NTT DoCoMo常務執行董事、產品與服務本部長辻村清行)。“日本是移動網際網路的發源地,而NTT DoCoMo則是移動網際網路之父。從移動網際網路的革新這一點來看,合作具有重大意義”(谷歌全球銷售及業務拓展高級副總裁奧米德·科德斯塔尼)。

此次雙方的合作內容包括:(1)強化DoCoMo的網際網路服務“i模式”中的檢索服務;(2)實施檢索聯動型廣告;(3)使谷歌提供的各種應用及服務支 援i模式;(4)探討基於谷歌開發的手機軟體平臺“Android”的手機的商用化;(5)探討i模式的新型移動行銷服務(圖2)。


  計劃于08年春季強化檢索服務。通過變更,使其能夠除顯示i模式正式網站的檢索結果外,還能夠匯總顯示普通手機網站以及電腦網站的檢索結果 (圖3)。還將在檢索結果畫面中顯示與檢索詞聯動的廣告。同時,將在i模式門戶網站“iMenu”的首頁中新設檢索窗口。“此前訪問普通網站,只能通過與 網站合作的15家公司的檢索引擎以及直接輸入URL等方式來訪問。此次將大幅改變訪問路徑。可以從i模式的門戶網站直接將鏈結貼到普通網站及電腦網站上” (NTT DoCoMo執行董事、多媒體服務部長夏野剛)。“通過在首頁畫面中設置檢索窗口,可以增加檢索次數以及點擊數量。爭取通過檢索聯動型廣告獲得的銷售額儘 快達到100億日元以上”(NTT DoCoMo辻村)。

谷歌于2006年宣佈與KDDI合作,在強化KDDI網際網路服務的檢索功能以及導入電子郵件服務“Gmail”技術等方面谷歌提供了協作。NTT DoCoMo夏野表示“DoCoMo與谷歌的其他合作夥伴的不同點在於將加強與谷歌所有服務的協作。不局限于檢索引擎和地圖功能”。NTT DoCoMo已經在上市的兩款機型(“N905i”和“F905i”)中,預裝了可以使用谷歌地圖顯示服務“谷歌地圖”的i-appli“移動谷歌地 圖”。還計劃在新一代機型中全部配備谷歌地圖用應用軟體。


  關於今後將進行合作的業務,夏野表示將加強與Gmail、照片共用服務“Picasa”、視訊共用服務“YouTube”、日程管理服務“谷 歌日曆”等服務的合作(圖4)。至於是通過Web瀏覽器來使用,還是通過事先安裝在終端上的應用軟體來使用,夏野表示將在考慮功能和便利性之後根據不同的 服務來選擇。

關於採用Android的手機,“NTT DoCoMo將對推出基於Android的手機進行具體研究”(夏野)。除考慮推出便於使用谷歌各種服務的最佳終端外,還希望使基於Android的終端 能夠使用i模式及服務。“之前曾見過Android的試製機,雖說硬體配置擋位顯得低了些,但令人讚嘆的是運行速度很快。雖然我們一直對自己的軟體平臺足 夠強大很自信,不過有些方面還需要向Android學習。開發Android終端一定會推動我們的軟體水準的提高”(夏野)。(記者:竹居 智久)


Times Company in Group Investing in Blog Publisher


Times Company in Group Investing in Blog Publisher

Published: January 23, 2008

Automattic, the commercial arm of the popular WordPress publishing platform for blogs, has received $29.5 million in financing from four companies, including a small portion from The New York Times Company.

WordPress is open-source software used by bloggers to publish posts. Its chief competitors are Blogger (owned by Google) and TypePad (owned by the software company Six Apart).

Automattic received $1.1 million in financing about two years ago. Polaris Venture Partners, True Ventures and Radar Partners were joined by the Times Company in the second round of financing.

Toni Schneider, the chief executive of Automattic, said the additional funds would provide the profitable company with a buffer as it invests in other services, including an antispam filter and an online-identity product.

The companies did not disclose the size of each firm’s investment, although the Times Company’s stake is the smallest.

The Times Company had previously maintained a business relationship with Automattic. The About.com guide site, which was purchased by the Times Company in 2005, is published using the WordPress platform. The New York Times has also produced more than 50 blogs using the platform.

Martin A. Nisenholtz, the senior vice president for digital operations of the Times Company, said the company hoped to improve the publishing technology at the foundation of WordPress and harness the platform’s ability to aggregate blog posts.

“As we’ve adopted blogging and started to treat it as a mainstream publishing platform, there are all sorts of things we might do going forward to improve our approach,” he said.

Citing a potential application of the technology, Mr. Schneider said blog posts from across the Internet could be featured alongside stories on The Times’s Web site.

2008年1月22日 星期二

Company Mission and Research Blog

Company Overview

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Research Blog

2008年1月21日 星期一


An anonymous reader writes "Google has revealed a new project aimed at the scientific community. Called Palimpsest, the site research.google.com will play host to 'terabytes of open-source scientific datasets'. It was originally previewed for scientists last August . 'Building on the company's acquisition of the data visualization technology, Trendalyzer, from the oft-lauded, TED presenting Gapminder team, Google will also be offering algorithms for the examination and probing of the information. The new site will have YouTube-style annotating and commenting features.'"


2008年1月17日 星期四

Google Offers a Map for Its Philanthropy

Google Offers a Map for Its Philanthropy

Published: January 18, 2008

Google announced Thursday that it had come up with a plan that begins to fulfill the pledge it made to investors when it went public nearly four years ago to reserve 1 percent of its profit and equity to “make the world a better place.”

The philanthropy the company has set up — Google.org, or DotOrg as Googlers call it — will spend up to $175 million in its first round of grants and investments over the next three years, Google officials said. While it is like other companies’ foundations in making grants, it will also be untraditional in making for-profit investments, encouraging Google employees to participate directly and lobbying public officials for changes in policies, company officials said.

DotOrg officials said they had decided to spend the money on five initiatives: disease and disaster prevention; improving the flow of information to hold governments accountable in community services; helping small and medium-size enterprises; developing renewable energy sources that are cheaper than coal; and investing in the commercialization of plug-in vehicles.

Google may be one of America’s 10 richest corporations as measured by market value, but its budget for philanthropy is minuscule compared with the $70 billion of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Still, Google’s founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, expressed a hope back in 2004 that “someday this institution may eclipse Google itself in terms of overall world impact.” What it lacks in size, though, Google.org may make up in cachet.


Larry Brilliant, a medical doctor who took on the role of director of Google.org 18 months ago, said he could not even begin to count how many spending proposals he had seen. “There are 6.5 billion people in the world,” Dr. Brilliant said in a recent interview, “and in the last 18 months I’ve met 6.4 billion, all of whom want, if not some of our money, then some of the Google pixie dust.”

Dr. Brilliant, who moved to an ashram in northern India in the 1970s and went on to play a major role in eradicating smallpox in the country, likened his moral quandary in figuring out how to spend Google.org’s money to that faced by a saint wandering the streets of Benares.


“There are 500 steps between the road and the Ganges,” he said. “On every step are beggars, lepers, people who have no arms or legs, people literally starving. The saint has a couple of rupees; how does a good and honorable person make a resource allocation decision? Do you weigh a hand that’s missing more than a leg? Someone who’s starving versus a sick child? In a much less dramatic way, that’s what the last 18 months have been for us.”

━━ n. (the ~) ガンジス川 ((インド北部,バングラデシュを流れ,Bengal湾に注ぐ)).

DotOrg has focused on what it can do “uniquely,” said Sheryl Sandberg, vice president for global online sales and operations at Google, who, like all employees, is permitted to spend 20 percent of her time at the foundation or in other charitable ventures. “If you do things other people could do, you’re not adding value.”

In contrast to DotOrg’s close tie to DotCom, employees of Microsoft have made Bill Gates wealthy but have no official influence in how the Gates Foundation money is spent.

The only urgency imposed on the foundation is how soon it can live up to the expectations. “Building a new ecosystem is not an overnight phenomenon,” Dr. Brilliant said. “Here at Google if you have a project, you press Send. We won’t work that quickly.”

But for all the enthusiasm for the new organization, there are critics. “It’s wonderful that this company is devoting massive resources to fixing big world problems, but they are taking an engineer’s perspective to them,” said Siva Vaidhyanathan, a cultural historian and media scholar at the University of Virginia. “Machines and software are not always the answer. Global problems arise from how humans have undervalued each other and miscommunicated with each other.”

He pointed to Google.org’s decision not to take a step like financing scholarships for girls in India who have not had access to education. “That’s what is so naïve about Google.org’s approach,” he said. “If you can educate a thousand girls in one state in India, you’ve already made a bigger difference than 99 percent of the human beings on earth because every one of those of girls can make a difference.”

The process of determining what to finance was not easy, said Jacquelline Fuller, the head of advocacy at Google.org. Beginning in the spring of 2007, “the 20 team members had 20 ideas.” Team members, she said, “debated, cried and held hands as we tried to determine what kind of difference we could make.” It took them almost a year to winnow down the list.Although it was just announcing its initiatives on Thursday, Google.org has already begun to give away some of its money.

That is the case with grants for the first of its initiatives — what the philanthropy calls “predict and prevent.” This effort focuses on strengthening early warning systems in countries around the world to detect a disease before it becomes pandemic, or a drought before it becomes a famine.

To attain that, DotOrg has made a grant of $5 million to a nonprofit group that Dr. Brilliant helped to set up, though it is independent from DotOrg. Called Instedd, for Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters, the group seeks to improve data and communication networks. An additional $2.5 million has been awarded to the Global Health and Security Initiative to respond to biological threats in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and China’s Yunnan Province.

“In recent years,” Dr. Brilliant said, “39 new communicable diseases with a potential to become pandemic have jumped species,” including SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome; monkey pox and bird flu.

“What if we could have been there when the H.I.V. moved from animal to chimp to human and could have averted that risk?” he asked. “To prevent or abort or slow a pandemic saves tens of millions of lives.”

The second initiative, called “the missing middle,” refers to the missing middle class in Africa and South Asia and the missing middle level of financing between microcredits and hedge funds.

Microcredit funds currently provide families with three or four or five days of livelihood, Dr. Brilliant said. “But what can you do when your kid is sick and you can’t work?” he said. “No country has ever emerged from poverty because of microcredit. Jobs make that possible. China did it with manufacturing, India did it with outsourced call centers.”

To that end, DotOrg has awarded $3 million to TechnoServe to find worthy entrepreneurs and help them build credit records and get access to larger markets.

The third initiative, “information for all,” is aimed at helping developing countries provide better government services by making information available on their efforts to improve health care, roads and electrification. “India has promised health care, work, and transparency throughout,” Dr. Brilliant said. “Yet it’s hard to do something like this on the scale that India is trying to do, to let people know what their entitlement is.”

DotOrg has awarded $2 million to support the Annual Status of Education report in India to assess the quality of education; $765,000 to create a Budget Information Service to improve district-level planning, and $660,000 to build communities of researchers and policy makers to deliver information.

DotOrg decided to finance literacy information because, said Lant Pritchett, a DotOrg adviser who teaches economic development at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, “We’re looking for things where Google could have a transformative impact. Ideas, flexibility, entrepreneurship are better than just cash on the table.”

Google.org’s fourth initiative supports the development of renewable energy sources that are cleaner and cheaper than coal. DotOrg has invested $10 million in eSolar, a company in Pasadena, Calif., that specializes in solar thermal power.

The philanthropy is also working to accelerate the commercialization of plug-in vehicles. Google, whose own computers and customers use plenty of energy, “does not want to be part of the problem; we want to be part of the solution,” Dr. Brilliant said.

“We’re not trying to bring returns to Google,” Dr. Brilliant said. “Profits are vital to businesses that will support the missions.”

Mark Dowie, author of the book “American Foundations,” said DotOrg is part of “a new mode of philanthropy that is very similar to venture capitalism, holding those they fund responsible in ways never seen before.” The danger, he said, “is that a lot of philanthropic work is not quantifiable. How do you qualify arts grant making, for example.”

Still, he added, “what would be worse is for Google not to give away its money, but to hoard it.”

2008年1月4日 星期五

Wikipedia Founder Brings Search Project

Wikipedia Founder Brings Search Project

NEW YORK (AP) — The founder of Wikipedia says taking the online encyclopedia's collaborative approach into the field of search won't dethrone Google Inc. or another major search engine — at least not soon.

After months of talk and a few weeks of invitation-only testing, Wikia Search is to open to the general public next week.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says his goal is to let volunteers improve search technology collectively, the way Wikipedia lets anyone add or change entries, regardless of expertise.

"That reduces the sort of bottleneck of two or three firms really controlling the flow of search traffic," said Wales, chairman of Wikia Inc., the for-profit venture behind the search project.

Engineers at Google and other search companies continually tweak their complex software algorithms to improve results and fight spammers — those who try to artificially boost the rankings of their own sites. Search companies have not disclosed many details to avoid tipping off competitors and spammers.

Wales' approach would open that process. Initially, participants will help make such decisions as whether a site on "Paris Hilton" refers to the celebrity or a French hotel.

Danny Sullivan, editor in chief of the industry Web site Search Engine Land, has his doubts. Finding all the Web sites to index and staying ahead of spammers are huge undertakings, Sullivan said.

"I think he doesn't really understand the scale of what Google has to handle in terms of the queries from around the world and the amount of traffic that flows to it and the attempts that are made to try to manipulate it," Sullivan said.

Wales said the project would launch with about 50 million to 100 million Web pages indexed, a fraction of the billions available with major search engines.

Even as Wales tries to challenge search, Google has announced a project that could challenge Wikipedia. Google's version, called knol, will differ from Wikipedia by identifying who wrote each article and giving authors a chance to share in Google's advertising revenue.