Many people think of Google as a search engine company. But how much did you pay the last time you did a search on Google? How can Google be one of the richest and biggest tech companies in the world, if they give away their main service?
The answer lies in information. Google deals in information, not search. When you do a Google search, sometimes you’re looking for information, but sometimes you’re looking to buy something. If Google knows you want to buy a product, then it can sell that information to people who have the product you’re looking for. So when you search for ‘basketball’, Google can charge a few pennies to a particular sports store, and display their ad first. Even though Google makes only a few pennies on each transaction, if you times that by millions of people every day buying online, you’ll understand Google’s business model.