Google has spent the last few years increasing the amount of inventory where they could place their text ads. First there were search results on their site and partner sites. Then they added Email Alerts and Froogle and Gmail and now the revamped Google Groups. There is a ton of inventory and it’s growing. The text ads are nearly ubiquitous. What’s next? Banner ads.
When Google first launched, people thought the beauty of the company was that they simplified their offerings down to one clean thing that they did better than anyone. It turns out, the only simple thing about Google is their user interface. The truth is that Google wants to be nearly everything that web startups promised in 1999 – all rolled into one company. They are search. They are mail. They are an ad network. They are community. They are shopping. They are storage.
When the bust came along, a lot of companies gave up on key web business models. Google didn’t.