Table Speech

“What is Google intending to accomplish?”

August 8, 2007

Mr. Norio Murakami,
Google Japan Inc.

 Google is a young company which celebrates its ninth year of founding this year. Yahoo was founded in 1995 making Google 3 years its junior. Yahoo’s approach, in reference to books, is creating an index. When you open the top page in Yahoo, all sorts of information are placed side by side by item such as weather, train routes, stock prices, news and auctions. You click on the item that you want to access and this will lead you to more detailed content.

 The structure that our young founders conceived is a method using the index in a book as a tool. The top page of Google is a text box without any inscriptions. If the words of an item that you want to search are entered in the box and you execute a search, a list of pages that are likely to contain the information will be displayed at once.

 Yahoo’s indexed based service is a business model referred to as a portal. A portal is very convenient, and is a wonderful tool. However, Yahoo’s portal is intended for you to be able to accomplish all your tasks through using Yahoo portal. In other words, it can be said that the objective of the Internet business called a portal is to maximize the duration of your visit.

 Google’s business model lies in the objective of finding items as quickly as possible. As a result, the objective is to have the duration of the visit approach as close to zero as possible. In that sense, the two are widely divergent.

 The mission statement of Google is “Sort whatever information exists in the world and enable all the people in the world to access them”. “Sorting” is to create an index and “enable access to information” is to “search from the index, access the information, and enable the use of such information”.
This service is free. Financially, the company is supported by advertising revenues and this is the basic style of the Google business model.

 Currently, the size of the Google index is the largest in the world. However, we are not in the position of dominating the information. Google is only a party linking information to the users. The job is to show where the information that the user seeks is located.

 Google believes that technology is its most important core competence. We have the world’s largest capacity computer system. There are an increasing number of people who want to realize the ideas that they possess through the use of Google computers, and they are joining us. As a result, new services are created. In a virtuous cycle, through positive feedback, the technology is further refined and this technology cycle is one of the strengths of Google.

 Google, in line with its declaration that it will sort whatever information, began a search for the books that archive the knowledge of humankind. It is a program where, by inserting certain words or phrases, enables a search of all books that contain the word or phrase. Already we have collected several tens of thousands of Japanese books in California. All of the pages have been scanned and digitized. The cost to the publishers is pro bono. If the publisher sends the books to Google, we will perform all of the needed tasks. With respect to vintage books, we have been able to obtain the cooperation of 25 libraries, primarily of university libraries in the United States and Europe, and are proceeding with the tasks. Keio University Library entered into the program in the 26th place. Included in this are ancient writings bound in Japanese style from the 17th Century.

 At the very bottom of the service screen, several lines of advertisements appear. All of the ads on Google are advertisements that are somehow related to the content of the page being viewed. The idea is that a person who is viewing the page should be interested in such advertisements. Sponsors have given high marks in assessing the effectiveness of these advertisements.

 The method of collecting and distributing advertisements by Google has been introduced as a successful example of a business model exploiting the long tail phenomenon where large sales are achieved as a result of a small sales volume-wide variety mix of products.