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I’ve been tough on Google this year, and with good reason. Part of what I do is write about how technology impacts the financial fortunes of companies and Google has been losing market share to the lousy economy and to other web portal developers in recent months.

Look at online advertising – some estimates that paid “clicks” – where Web 2.0 providers make their bread and butter – have been off by anywhere from 5% to 15% so far in 2008. And reports from users of Google AdWords – despite a big splash in 2006 and 2007 when paid search was getting a lot of good press – had users shrugging their shoulders and going “eh”.

So, today, my hat is off to Google, as its first-quarter financial numbers came in higher than the experts anticipated. That bodes well for both Google and entire online ad industry.

As Colin Gillis, an analyst with Canaccord Adams. "The boys delivered."
Boy, did they ever. Google reported that first-quarter net income rose to $1.31 billion, or $4.12 per diluted share, from $1 billion, or $3.18 per share, in the year-earlier quarter. Quarterly profits came in at $4.84 a share, well on top of the average Wall Street forecast of $4.53.

No doubt that things have slowed down a bit for Google. For Q1, gross revenue rose 42 percent to $5.19 billion. Compare that to the same period in 2007, when Google's revenue grew at a 63 percent clip. But on Wall Street, it’s all about beating the expectations game and Google did just that. Analysts had figured on revenues growing at a 40 percent rate, up to $5.13 billion.

But it’s in the online ad market where Google shocked the Street. Traffic acquisition costs -- the cut of advertising revenue Google pays out to affiliated sites that run its ads – clocked in at 29 percent of ad revenue in the first quarter this year, compared to 31 percent in 2007. In this economy, that’s pretty impressive.

Investors jumped in – perhaps “dived in” is a more apt phrase – into Google shares after the numbers rolled in today. Share prices were up 12 percent, to $501 per share.
With ebay and IBM also coming in with decent quarterly numbers, the outlook for the tech sector is the highest it’s been all year.

And it’s about time.

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Last Post by Tomoney
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I ill present just one of my articles that I prepared after finding the www.omfica.org.

If we are able to cage the lions, why should we allow them to be on the loose?

The significance of the Web in various aspects of our life is unquestionnable. Less well known is the impact of Web search engines on what information we find and consume. Given that 75% of Web users rely on search engines as the primary means to pass through the Web (Bruemmer, 2001), the significance of search engines in an information society should not be underestimated. The sheer size of the Web makes it impossible for a single search engine to cover all Web pages that exist. Different search engines cover different parts of the Web. As websites that are covered by search engines are much more visible and accessible to Web users, the selective coverage of the Web by search engines has great social and political implications.
Given this political and social significance of search engines, it is important to explore the following questions:
1. Can search engines provide an equal representation of websites?
2. Would it be possible that the concept of “equality” be measured in relation to the websites.
By “equal” representation, we mean that the same proportion of websites from different sources is covered, so as to ensure that websites from different sources have an equal chance of being presented to Web users. And in case of “biased” representation the imply may be that this unequality is the result of commercial intentions. This claim seems to be grounded, since the search engine market is dominated by a few olygopolies who take the biggest share of the market. Until such “market failures” exist the unequal representation will continue to persist.
To conclude with, first things must come first and basic democratic principles must preceede any substantive achievement maid on the way of Search Engine development. That is any by-product (search-results) presupposes the machinery, the method that produces them. And Web population users are not required to love or hate the “machine” – they should aim to control it.
Hopefully, there are several companies (as www.omfica.org ) considers that the interests of Internet users must come first and explored an alternative way to answer positively those questions put above.

References:
Bruemmer, P. (2001). Search engine marketing: Luxury or necessity? Retrieved March 1, 2007 from http://www.searchengineguide.com/wi/2001/1120_wi1.html

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