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Alphabet Inc.  (GOOG)
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    Sector  Technology    Industry Internet Services & Social Media
 


 

Alphabet Inc.

Business Description


Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Our innovations in web search and advertising have made our web site a top Internet destination and our brand one of the most recognized in the world. We maintain the largest, most comprehensive index of web sites and other content, and we make this information freely available to anyone with an Internet connection. Our automated search technology helps people obtain nearly instant access to relevant information from our vast online index.

We generate revenue primarily by delivering relevant, cost-effective online advertising. Businesses use our AdWords program to promote their products and services with targeted advertising. In addition, the thousands of third-party web sites that comprise the Google Network use our AdSense program to deliver relevant ads that generate revenue and enhance the user experience.

Our Mission

Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. We believe that the most effective, and ultimately the most profitable, way to accomplish our mission is to put the needs of our users first. We have found that offering a high-quality user experience leads to increased traffic and strong word-of-mouth promotion. Our dedication to putting users first is reflected in three key commitments we have made to our users:

We will do our best to provide the most relevant and useful search results possible, independent of financial incentives. Our search results will be objective and we will not accept payment for inclusion or ranking in them.

We will do our best to provide the most relevant and useful advertising. Advertisements should not be an annoying interruption. If any element on a search result page is influenced by payment to us, we will make it clear to our users.

We will never stop working to improve our user experience, our search technology and other important areas of information organization.

We believe that our user focus is the foundation of our success to date. We also believe that this focus is critical for the creation of long-term value. We do not intend to compromise our user focus for short-term economic gain.

How We Provide Value to Users, Advertisers, and Content Owners and Producers

Our Users

We serve our users by developing products that enable people to more quickly and easily find, create and organize information. We place a premium on products that matter to many people and have the potential to improve their lives, especially in areas in which our expertise enables us to excel.

Search is one such area. People use search frequently and the results are often of great importance to them. For example, people search for information on medical conditions, purchase decisions, technical questions, long-lost friends and other topics about which they care a great deal. Delivering quality search results requires significant computing power, advanced software and complex processes—areas in which we have expertise and a high level of focus.

Communication is another such area. People increasingly rely on the Internet to communicate with each other. Gmail, our email service (available in a limited test), offers extensive free storage for each user, along with email search capabilities and relevant advertising. Delivering an improved user experience in Gmail has similar computing and software requirements as our search service.

Our Advertisers

As more people spend additional time and money online, advertisers are increasingly turning to the Internet to market their products and services to consumers and business users. For these advertisers, we offer Google AdWords, an auction-based advertising program that enables them to deliver relevant ads targeted to search queries or web content. Our AdWords program provides advertisers with a cost-effective way to deliver ads to customers across Google sites and through the Google Network. The advertisers using AdWords range from small businesses targeting local customers to many of the world’s largest global enterprises. AdWords is accessible to advertisers in 41 different interface languages.

The AdWords program offers advertisers the following benefits:

Strong Return on Investment. Many advertising dollars are spent delivering messages in an untargeted fashion, and payment for these advertisements is not tied to performance. With Google AdWords, businesses can achieve greater cost-effectiveness with their marketing budgets for two reasons—AdWords shows ads only to people seeking information related to what the advertisers are selling, and advertisers choose how much they pay when a user clicks on their ad (though they are subject to a minimum price per click). Because we offer a simple ad format, advertisers can avoid incurring significant design, copywriting or other production costs associated with creating ads. As a result, even small advertisers find AdWords cost-effective for connecting with potential customers. In addition, advertisers can easily create many different ads, increasing the likelihood that an ad is exactly suited to a user’s search. Users can find advertisements for exactly what they are seeking, and advertisers can find users who want exactly what they are offering. When the interests of users and advertisers align, both are well-served.

Effective Branding. We now also offer Site Targeting, a service that allows advertisers to target specific web sites that have signed up to participate in AdSense—our network of content sites—with text, image, and Flash ads, so that they can more effectively reach customers. In addition to targeting sites by content, advertisers targeting U.S.-based users can choose placements on sites based on their user demographic attributes. To protect user privacy, we use only third-party opt-in panel data to map the demographics of sites in our networks. Site Targeting is an auction-based system where bidding is based on a maximum cost per impression, and Site-Targeted ads compete with keyword-targeted ads in the same auction.

Access to the Google Search and Content Network. We serve AdWords ads on Google properties, our syndicated search partners’ web sites, and the thousands of third-party web sites that make up the Google Content Network. We are thus able to offer extensive search and content inventory on which advertisers can advertise. Apart from keyword-based Search Targeting and Site Targeting, we also offer advertisers an effective contextual advertising option—Content Targeting—that displays their ads on relevant content pages across our network of partner sites and products. As a result, AdWords advertisers can target users on Google properties and on search and content sites across the web. This gives advertisers increased exposure to people who are likely to be interested in their offerings. The Google Network significantly enhances our ability to attract interested advertisers.

Broader Range of Media. Our experiments with targeted ads in new media also open up new inventory options to AdWords advertisers. With the acquisition of dMarc in February 2006, Google plans to unite our network of advertisers with dMarc’s innovative radio ad distribution product. In addition, we have begun testing ad placements in mobile search in Japan. In each of these cases, our goal is to provide targeted advertisements with measurable performance. We are also currently testing ad placements in select magazines and newspapers and, among other things, experimenting with ways of streamlining the process of placing print ads.

Precise Campaign Control. Google AdWords gives advertisers hands-on control over most elements of their ad campaigns. Advertisers can specify the relevant search or content topics for each of their ads. Advertisers can also manage expenditures by setting a maximum daily budget and determining how much they are willing to pay whenever a user clicks on an ad (or views an ad, in the case of Site Targeting). Our online tracking tools and reports give advertisers timely updates on how well their campaigns are performing and enable them to make changes or refinements quickly. Advertisers also can target their campaigns by city, country, regional area or language.

Effective Campaign Tools. Google has developed several new tools to help advertisers more easily manage their campaigns. For example, the AdWords API allows large-scale AdWords advertisers to communicate directly with our ad servers to modify keywords, bids and ads themselves. We also recently launched the beta version of AdWords Editor, enabling easy and rapid modification of ad campaigns through a client application rather than through the conventional AdWords web interface.

Global Support. We provide customer service to our advertiser base through our global support organization as well as through 32 field sales offices in 19 countries. AdWords is available on a self-service basis with email and real-time chat support. At certain spending levels and through certain signup channels, phone support is also available. Advertisers with more extensive needs and advertising budgets can request strategic support services, which include an account team of experienced professionals to help them set up, manage and optimize their campaigns.

Web Sites, Content Owners and Producers

Google indexes a huge amount of information to provide relevant results to our users. Our users do searches and are directed to relevant web sites. Google provides a significant amount of traffic to web sites with which we have no business relationship. We syndicate our search services to properties across the web, including some of the most popular portal destinations. These services, including web, news, image, and local search, fit easily into an existing user experience and enable our partners to enrich their offerings with services that users demand. Many web sites are able to generate revenue from search traffic that we direct to them, but others have difficulty doing so. We created Google AdSense to address this opportunity. We are enthusiastic about helping sites monetize their content, thereby facilitating the creation of better content to search. If there is better content on the web, people are likely to do more searches, and we expect that will be good for our business and for users. Our Google AdSense program enables the web sites—large and small—that make up the Google Network to deliver AdWords ads that are relevant to the search results or content on their pages. We share most of the revenue generated from ads shown by a member of the Google Network with that member—creating an additional revenue stream for them. The key benefits we offer to content owners and web sites in the Google Network include:

Access to Advertisers. Many small web site companies and content producers do not have the time or resources to develop effective programs for generating revenue from online advertising. Even larger sites, with dedicated sales teams, may find it difficult to generate revenue from pages with specialized content. We believe that Google AdSense enables Google Network members to generate revenue from their sites effectively and efficiently. Google AdSense promotes effective revenue generation by providing Google Network members immediate access to Google’s base of advertisers and their broad collection of ads. Our technology automatically starts delivering ads on a web site as soon as the site joins the Google Network. Because the ads are related to what the web site’s visitors are looking for on the site, AdSense provides web sites with a way to both monetize and enhance their sites. The automated nature of our advertising programs promotes efficient revenue generation. Our online registration systems enable web sites to easily join the Google Network, our ad serving technology allows automated delivery of ads for posting on the member’s site, and the program requires virtually no maintenance once the member site is up and running. The Google Network member determines the placement of the ads on its web site, and controls and directs the nature of ad content.

Improved User Satisfaction. Google has a vested interest in understanding and catering to user needs. In their quest for revenue, many Internet companies have cluttered their web sites with intrusive or untargeted advertising that may distract or confuse users and may undermine users’ ability to find the information they want. Some web sites have adopted practices we consider to be abusive, including pop-up ads or ads that take over web pages. We believe these tactics can cause dissatisfaction with Internet advertising and reduce use of the Internet overall. Our AdSense program extends our commitment to improving the overall web experience for users by enabling web sites to display AdWords ads in a fashion that we believe people find useful rather than disruptive. As part of our commitment to user satisfaction, Google also offers web analytics for free, through Google Analytics. Using Google Analytics, website owners can deepen their understanding of how their users find, navigate and click on advertisements on their web sites, and use that understanding to improve their web sites. If AdWords ads point to useful, relevant websites, users are more likely to click on their ads, which is beneficial to both our advertisers and us.

Better Storage, Management, Access, and Visibility. Google has developed new storage, management, and access technologies to allow content owners and producers to distribute and, if they wish, monetize more types of online and offline content. We believe that only a small fraction of the world’s information and content is easily and effectively stored and searchable, and that bringing non-traditional, online or offline content into Google’s index will encourage the preservation and continued creation of this content. Google Scholar, Google Book Search, and Google Video enable more print and video content to be made easily accessible (and monetizable) online, while Google Base allows owners and creators to put online even non-traditional forms of structured information. In addition, Google SiteMaps, currently in beta, provides a free, easy way for webmasters to submit information about their sites—such as URLs and site navigation—to Google to make their content more visible and easily found through organic Google web search results.

Syndicated Search. We provide our search technology to partners of all sizes, allowing Google search service to be offered through these partners’ properties. For commercial partners, we provide an extensive range of customization options. We also provide free standard Web Search and Site Search to other partners through Google Free.

Competition

We face formidable competition in every aspect of our business, and particularly from other companies that seek to connect people with information on the web and provide them with relevant advertising. Currently, we consider our primary competitors to be Microsoft and Yahoo.

We also face competition from other web search providers, including companies that are not yet known to us. We compete with Internet advertising companies, particularly in the areas of pay-for-performance and keyword-targeted Internet advertising. We may compete with companies that sell products and services online because these companies, like us, are trying to attract users to their web sites to search for information about products and services. In addition to Internet companies, we face competition from companies that offer traditional media advertising opportunities.

We compete to attract and retain relationships with users, advertisers and web sites. The bases on which we compete differ among the groups.

Users. We compete to attract and retain users of our search and communication products and services. Most of the products and services we offer to users are free, so we do not compete on price. Instead, we compete in this area on the basis of the relevance and usefulness of our search results and the features, availability and ease of use of our products and services.

Advertisers. We compete to attract and retain advertisers. We compete in this area principally on the basis of the return on investment realized by advertisers using our AdWords program. We also compete based on the quality of customer service, features and ease of use of AdWords.

Web sites. We compete to attract and retain web sites as members of our Google Network based on the size and quality of our advertiser base, our ability to help our Google Network members generate revenues from advertising on their web sites and the terms of agreements with our Google Network members.

We believe that we compete favorably on the factors described above. However, our industry is evolving rapidly and is becoming increasingly competitive. Larger, more established companies than us are increasingly focusing on search businesses that directly compete with us.

   

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