Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Amazon Loves Google! And So Does Every Advertiser.

Here’s one of the reasons Amazon does so well each holiday season: It spends a ton on online ads. Here’s Kantar Media’s estimate of Google’s top search advertisers for Q4 2010, which places Amazon in first place–note that the retailer’s spend is nearly double that of second-place AT&T.

One other thing worth noting in this chart: Google’s top advertisers don’t spend that much at all, relative to the company’s entire business.

By Kantar’s estimate, Google’s top 10 advertisers spent $243 million on paid search in the U.S. during the last three months of 2010. Google’s overall U.S. revenue for that period: $4 billion.

You’ll see the power that kind of widely distributed customer base can generate on Thursday, when Google reports its Q1 earnings. Wall Street expects big things, with good reason.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work