Alphabet: How Do You Spell Fear?

May 16, 2019

One answer might be “More advertising”. Another possibility is “Amazon advertising.”

This is speculation, of course, but my thoughts were sparked by “New Native Discovery Ad Campaigns from Google Monetize Discover Feed for First Time.” My thinking was nudged forward when I read “Google to Push New Ads on Its Apps to Snare Shoppers.”

It sure looks like the Alphabet Google is amping up its distribution of ads.


The revenue miss was a bit of a yellow warning signal. The push back on Google’s Mr. Pichai-privacy pivot posing was another. Looming fines in Europe is a factor. Plus the general grousing from employees who feel that as elite, their lives are not filled with joy, purpose, and meaning because the real Google elite want these people to just behave and do what the “team” wants. Rah, rah, F-E-A-R.

Years ago, when I was working on The Google Legacy, I have a conversation with a Googler whom I shall name “David B.” The person revealed that Google’s senior management knew that their game would be exposed. Secrecy was, therefore, of primary importance. I encapsulated this remark in my illustration of Sergey Brin as a magician. Google has been a master of misdirection. Look search is free. Now people understand that search is not free, and it is very, very expensive. Maybe that’s why updates are not comprehensive, why some sites are trying to figure out where their backfiles went in the Google index, and why a search results page is often not relevant to the query. Don’t you love those required terms which are not in a displayed search result hit. That’s precision redefined to burn through ad inventory, is it not?

Looks like the tricks are now better understood. The fear is that the audience may be getting tired of the same old show.

The new circus is coming. It doesn’t feature elephants or the skeletons of a dinosaur. It’s the Bezos brigade, and its mascot is the roaring bulldozer. A giant, loud, powerful machine preparing to rework the failed Cincinnati airport and the way intelligence vendors deliver their services along with other rough edges of business workflow.

Back to ads. I must not overlook Google’s ads. Google wants to do a better job with products. Froogle is coming back, just after a bit or R&R, rehab, and plastic surgery.l

Once people searched Google for products. Now two thirds of the product searches find their way to — wait for it — Amazon. The Bezos bulldozer may make another pass over Google territory.

That raises a philosophical question worthy of church fathers in the 11th century CE.

How many ads can fit on the display of a mobile phone?

One answer may be, “Not enough.

What does advertising spell?


Stephen E Arnold, May 15, 2019


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta