We complained last week that Google gets too much credit: it hasn’t brought to market a gigantic innovation since search, mail and map (acquisition), despite massive R&D investments, amazing engineers and a much-ballyhooed creative environment. You could even argue that Google hasn’t fundamentally improved its own search experience over how it was, say, four years ago (though I’m not sure how I’d improve it).
Maybe we expect too much from the world’s greatest Internet company.
But I shouldn’t complain: in a board meeting yesterday I noticed that two-thirds of the traffic we generate through marketing spending comes from Google, which gets only one-third of our online marketing budget. Irritatingly, this includes having to outbid competitors buying ads for Redfin searches.
The bottom line is that Google is four times more efficient at generating traffic than the other sites we use; which means that Google ads could get four times more expensive and we’d still buy them. And we’re not alone: the only gripe I’ve ever heard from other advertisers about Google advertising is that they can’t buy enough of it.
So I guess Google will probably keep making Wall Street happy. But what about me? Would it be too much to ask those guys to use our $1,000 a week to ship something earth-shattering soon?