The strategy of Google in knowing you better

Elye
Elye
Jul 20 · 7 min read

You know Google. Google knows you too

Many people think Google’s main products are its Search Engine, Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome Browser, Android Operating System, Google Home and of late its Artificial Intelligence Services etc.

Let’s look at the definition of a Product

A product is the item offered for sale. A product can be a service or an item. It can be physical or in virtual or cyber form. Every product is made at a cost and each is sold at a price.

According to Investopedia, the bulk of Google’s $110.8 billion revenue in 2017 came from its proprietary advertising service, Google AdWords. And advertisers only pay when someone act towards the ads like clicks to the website or calls to the business.

To make Google AdWords successful, Google needs to know you better each day. In other words, Google’s main product is the knowledge of you. That’s the reason it is very important for Google to learn how to know you better each day.

Google’s main product is the knowledge of you

The first encounter you love

It was in the mid 90s, the boom of Internet, the search engine provided by the popular site like Yahoo! and Altavista often result in not as useful top ranking search result. Besides the launching page is full of ads, making it feels intrusive.

Google was founded in 1998 and it provides a search engine that shows more relevant search result, using PageRank algorithm. Not only it has a more superior search engine, but also the launching page is a white page with minimal distraction. The main easily thing seen on the page other than the big Google image, is a text box to enter the search word. So, it all started with “Ad-less” search page

Everyone who sees it loves it. In no time, “google” became a verb.

It all started with “Ad-less” search page

Like to know you as a person

The search is good. Many are engaged. Google’s hit rate surge. It has the needed mass. It could easily trend up in understanding what the general public is interested in.

However the general mass data pattern is not what Google is after. Google is more interested in you as a person. In order to achieve that, Google needs you to “sign-in” before using its “product”.

Who would “sign-in” to do a search?

Not many would want to give away ones identity without a substantial lure.

Here’s the deal. 1GB of free disk space for a free email account given, just to know you. Gmail is the name. Compared to 2MB space on some existing free email at that time, this is 500x more!

To make it more appealing, not any Tom, Dick and Harry could sign up. Only the invited could sign up. An irresistible prestigious offer.

1GB of free disk space for a free email account given, just to know you.

Will always be with you

In 2008, Google releases Android, an operating system for Mobile Phone. Naturally many in the business world inferred that “Google is going to complete with Apple‘s iPhone”.

There’s one distinct different between the two company on this though. Apple is selling iPhone, so it needs an operating system, iOS to support the device. Google is releasing Android, but it is not selling any phone at that time. Instead OEM it out to various smartphone manufactural. It is not earning much from it if any.

So why did Google spend so much buying Android, investing massive engineering resources, and yet giving it away almost free?

The logic now is clear. It is for the sake of being with you always, an iOS comparable Operating System is developed. Coupled with the Google Maps it has, Google knows wherever you are. You are never alone anymore.

It is for the sake of being with you always, an iOS comparable Operating System is developed.

A picture is worth a thousand words

What can describe our past best, other than what could be written? Our photos and videos! We cherish them and would like to have them forever. Thanks to the digital boom, that they could now be stored digitally.

Google has been kind enough to help provide us some cloud storage to store them. It is called Google Photo. And if you own a PixelPhone, you’ll have UNLIMITED storage for FREE!

Other than storing it, Google has also invested on Image Classification algorithm, using Convolutional Neural Network. This cutting edge algorithm is applied to all media (photo and video) you stored on Google Photo, so that it could help organize your media for easier search.

An advanced technology is made, to help you, inevitably also learns better about you. Your past, your memory, your likes, your relation…

An advanced technology is made, to help you, inevitably also learns better about you

You are what you say

Ok Google”… and the Android System will listen up for your command. It brings you so much convenient without even moving your fingers. In general one speaks more than type.

However, some uses their phone only when is outside the house. At home, such convenient is lost. So Google Home was invented to ensure the continuity of such convenient is there even at home. To make it even more affordable, Google Home Mini is introduced, with price less than $50.

Unlike your phone or computer, this machine is made to listen. It breaks the barrier of one have to switch on, getting closer to it, and think twice before speaking to it. It is intentionally made convenient yet affordable, so that you could share yourselves easily.

The technology behind the listening capability is now group under a technology call Google Assistant. This technology was enhanced on so that you don’t need to keep saying “Ok Google” to start the listening capability. It is called Continuous Conversation.

In other words, it’s no longer just you commanding Google; instead you could have your conversation with Google. It can ask for clarification if in doubt. It can understand you better and not second guessing.

It is intentionally made convenient yet affordable, so that you could share yourselves easily.

and…

As per the title, “Know how Google knows you and…”.

Google will keep investing on learning about you. With the Google Assistant, if allowed, it could know you better by knowing what you hear. Perhaps, Google Glass could help to learn about you through what you see? Knowing you better is Google’s lifeline in sustaining its business. There’ll never be ending ways of learning about you as the company innovates on.

Nevertheless, indisputably, Google has brought so much technology advancement, convenient and lifestyle improvement to humanity, it is fair that we share more of us to it. This would enables Google to provide us relevant advertising that meets our needs specifically. It knows you better, it serves you better. It’s a reasonable deal.

It knows you better, it serves you better.

The actual “and…”

We have been served well by Google. Life is so much convenient with it. We don’t mind it knows us better.

And … we started delegate what we do to it. We no longer need to think and worry as much. Take for example. when going from one place to the other, we just use Google Maps, and it will direct us the best possible path, taking in consideration route, jam, turning points, tolls etc.

As of last year, Gmail Smart Compose is introduced. You type one word, and the entire sentence is proposed. It has no grammatical error. It’s a perfect sentence. It might not be originally what you’ll write, but it could sounds better than what you’ll write if without it. So you pick its proposal.

It looks like a better you, but it is not you anymore!

Another explored advancement, called Google Duplex was also introduced last year. It performs automatic event booking for you by making phone calls on behalf of you. You entrusted it to make the decision of date, time and perhaps place for the booking.

It decides for you, and you no longer decides!

It became a better you, because it knows you better. The real you is no longer commanding it, but following its recommendation. Ads are no longer needed, as it have help you pick one up.

It became a better you, because it knows you better.


Do the right thing

In 2015, Alphabet was formed. It change Google’s motto from Don’t be evil to Do the right thing. The motto was set, because Google knows where it is going, and fully understood it will be accountable to its users entrusted shared data.

Google has served us with its technology, and in return we shared our information with it. With the given information, Google strive to serve us better. It’s a fair business transaction.

However, no organization is perfect, and no technology is ideal. We should always be on our toe to ensure we are served with what we really need and not influenced unknowingly.

I trust Google to hold on to its motto.

To me as long as its intent is right, strive for the betterment of its users genuinely, and making humanity moving forward, I will be supportive of it.

No organization is perfect, and no technology is ideal.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +492K people. Follow to join our community.

Elye

Written by

Elye

Learning and Sharing Android and iOS Development

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +492K people. Follow to join our community.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade