Oct 10, 2003

google and friendster

What would Google want with Friendster? Through the “Google as advertising platform” lens, beyond the obvious pageview mill, what I see is an opportunity to more finely target advertising on Google and its advertiser sites based on the results of the ads that have been delivered to the friendsters in your network. “These ads have outperformed with Lance’s friends, so I’m going to serve Lance these ads.” Through the “Google as less evil” lense, the same network could be applied to personalized search results – “you searched for “Dora the Explorer,” here are results that people in your extended network have found useful.” (See also a 1997 bit about how text analysis could be used to present more relevant advertising, in the user’s own idiom…what if Google’s advertisers let Google rewrite their micro ad copy on the fly? Speaking of which, why isn’t Google inserting ads into their email news alerts?)