Saturday, March 16, 2019

google business

google business

This is why a self-regulated Google is better for business and for the consumer - Business Insider

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 12:46 PM PDT

It's been suggested plenty of times, but Elizabeth Warren officially fired the first shot in what looks to be a sure path toward anti-trust proceedings against America's largest tech companies, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. I'm sure there were plenty of cheers for Warren's position, but a self-regulated Google is better for business and consumers.

Consumers have benefitted greatly from Google's many innovations in mapping, communications, and discovery. But Google has work to do to convince businesses and consumers that its innovations will be used within the guardrails of anti-trust without government intervention. Here are four ways I believe Google can self-regulate their business that will ultimately provide a better benefit to businesses and consumers alike than if the government stepped in.

Create hard walls to limit data sharing

Google's big advantage is the ability to amass data from such a wide range of products - Google Search, Google Maps, Android, Nest, Google Home, and many more. But as privacy concerns grow stronger, Google should eliminate data sharing between these businesses. This self-imposed hard wall would renew trust among consumers and allow Google to own all its entities.

A government breakup of Google would open the doors for more competition in the space, but at what cost to innovation? Google has built amazing technology in Google Assistant, Google Translate, and many more, which are valuable advancements to the tech industry and our society. The innovation isn't slowing down, either, as Google has announced one innovation after another. None of this would be possible without revenue from its highly profitable search business.

Make all products available in all channels

Google largely does a good job of this. Many Google apps are available on Apple, for example. But Google would do well to set a permanent policy of "no retaliation" when blocked by competitors. YouTube is better when it can be enjoyed by consumers on all devices, including Alexa, even if Amazon is blocking Google in other areas.

Enable Google ad product availability across all platforms

A marketer who wants to buy ads on Business Insider can do so through several software platforms. YouTube, however, can only be bought through Google's DV360. Google's entertainment division, if separate, would want to sell its ads on as many platforms as possible. The entertainment division doesn't need to be separate for businesses to benefit, though. By making Google's inventory, ad exchange, and ad units available in any tool, Google remains open to competition, which is good for advertisers wanting to buy ads on YouTube.

Improve advertising pricing transparency

The algorithm that determines the cost of an ad spot is complex, but even some visibility into winning and losing bid ranges would provide marketers with great data to make their campaigns even more relevant for consumers. Similarly, the drum of "transparency" has been incessant from the world's largest marketers. With its size, Google could provide full transparency for marketers into the pricing of its buy-side and sell-side technologies and be the first to show marketers how efficient it can be to buy through a single system.

Google has created significant advancements to our society and can continue to do so. Government regulation meant to deflate the monopoly could have the unintended consequence of derailing future innovations, meaning everyone loses. Instead, Google can beat them to the punch with thoughtful self-regulations that may limit short-term gains but preserve its interconnected companies and resources for the long term.

EU Expected to Hit Google with Another Massive Antitrust Fine - Fortune

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 05:17 AM PDT

If you thought the European Commission was done hitting Google with massive fines, think again.

Having already whacked the U.S. company with a $2.7 billion fine in 2017 (for disadvantaging comparison-shopping rivals in its search results) and a $5 billion fine last year (for disadvantaging software rivals in the Android ecosystem,) the Commission will reportedly issue another financial penalty next week.

The fine's imminent nature was reported Friday by the Financial Times, citing three unnamed sources. The Commission and Google both declined to provide comment on the report.

It is all about Google's restrictions on the "AdSense for Search" boxes that third-party websites use to make it easier for users to search their sites. Searches conducted through the boxes bring up Google ads and, with Google having such a dominant position in the European online search advertising market, the Commission warned the company in 2016 that it believed the company was illegally abusing its position.

The Commission at the time complained about three things: that Google was forcing the third-party websites not to source search ads from competitors; that it required them to reserve the most prominent spots in its search results pages for Google ads; and that Google required them to seek its approval every time they wanted to change the display of competing search ads.

Google has since 2016 phased out such contractual terms in order to address the Commission's concerns, though that would not change the fact that—per the Commission's allegations—it was breaking EU antitrust law for a decade.

The company is still appealing its previous fines. As for the level of fine that can be expected this time around, the maximum would be around $13 billion. However, the FT reports it's likely to be substantially lower than that. It also claims that the Commission is mulling potential probes in other areas of Google's business, such as the way it behaves in the travel and local-business arenas.

If successful, the Adsense for Search fine could prove to be the swansong of Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who was responsible for all Google's EU antitrust fines in the last few years.

Jean-Claude Juncker's reign as head of the Commission ends later this year and, while Vestager may be keen to stay in her post, that's not up to her—Denmark would need to re-nominate her as its representative in the Commission, the new Commission president would have to want to keep her in the competition directorate, and the new European Parliament would need to approve her for the position.

Google lends a hand to Goodwill Industries of Michiana - South Bend Tribune

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 03:05 AM PDT

SOUTH BEND — There are no arcade games, free lunches, massage therapists or other cool perks at Goodwill Industries of Michiana, otherwise staples of Google's northern California mega campus.

But for the past month, a couple of Google employees from Silicon Valley have been braving some pretty awful weather — even by our standards — to help Goodwill improve its overall efficiency so it can do an even better job providing job-training services throughout the region.

It's no small task for Google data analyst Audris Teh and software engineer John Han. After all, Goodwill of Michiana operates more than 20 retail locations throughout a region that stretches from southeastern Chicago to Elkhart and from Niles down to Rochester.

The money the stores generate is used to support job-training services at the core of Goodwill's mission. In 2018, the non-profit agency reported it helped more than 14,000 people through job assistance and even the adult high schools it operates.

Teh and Han are part of a team of Google volunteers spending a month at 10 Goodwill locations across the country with the purpose of improving the efficiency and ultimately the job-training capabilities of the organization.

"They're trying to make the data we collect more consistent and useful," said Carrie Lee, a grant writer for Goodwill of Michiana.

If the efficiency of store operations is improved, Goodwill could theoretically have more money available for services. If its job data is more uniform, the organization might notice a particular location stands out because of its superior job-performance outcomes.

And what that location is doing could then be analyzed and modeled by other Goodwill locations across the country, said Lee.

"We're basically trying to improve our efficiency and provide better measurements of our impact in the communities we serve," she explained.

Before coming to South Bend, Teh and Han, who are both University of Michigan graduates, spent a month working with Goodwill in Tacoma, Wash., and will move to Kalamazoo for a month when their work wraps up here today.

Both said they have enjoyed the opportunity to apply their skills to a new field.

"It's been fun to do something different," Han said.

Teh said it's been especially gratifying working for a non-profit that aims to improve the lives of individuals through job training and other services.

Beyond its work helping Goodwill make its job-training data more useful, Google also has helped the organization with its digital training tools, which are used to teach people the skills that are increasingly necessary to succeed in today's economy.

Lee said Goodwill is hoping to have some of the results of Google's analysis later this year. At that time, the local organization would hope to start applying what it learned to its operations throughout the region.

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