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Without question, Google is the leading search engine on the internet. Advertisers flock to the company. Businesses (and other websites) clamor to move up in Google’s rankings. Yet not everyone is satisfied that Google’s results are the best they can be. University of California Visiting Scholar Vivek Wadhwa says a lot of spam makes its way into the rankings. He sees this as a problem with the exponential growth of information available on the world-wide web. For its part, Google is tweaking its algorithms and cracking down on companies that use gimmicks to improve their ratings.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Let’s begin this mini case study by stepping back to Chapter 3 and the general environment. Most current college students do not remember a time when Google was not the dominant internet search engine. Google is the leading search engine because of its superior algorithms. The present article calls that into question. Is Google’s position guaranteed because of these algorithms? What forces might dislodge the giant?
  2. What is the value creation performed by Google? Describe it in detail from your own perspective. Why would some other company spend its advertising money with Google?
  3. Place Google at the center of the value chain shown in Figure 18.1 of your text. Work your way forward and describe how the last two steps take place. Now work backward and describe the first two steps. Where does Google’s crackdown on “cheaters” fit in the model?

SOURCE: A. Efrati, “Google Revamps to Fight Cheaters,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704150604576166390281747136.html)

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