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The cost of providing the Google box

Digital Continuity Blog - 28 October 2010 - 11:56pm

After a discussion about the cost of digital preservation the other day I thought I would try to do a quick and dirty estimate of the cost of providing the “simple”  Google search box:   

(source: http://investor.google.com/pdf/2010Q3_google_earnings_slides.pdf)      

Google took in US$ 7,286,000,000 in revenues in the 3rd Quarter of this year. Of that 65% was Costs and Expenses including (in millions US$):   

Cost of Revenues $2,552   —-This is the amount it cost to provide the services that gained the revenues (I think)

Percent of revenues  35%

Research & Development $994  —Cost for ongoing R & D

Percent of revenues  14%

Sales & Marketing $661 — Many people think we need more of this, we can’t really not count it as a cost

Percent of revenues  9%

General & Administrative $532 — Unclear what this means but seems reasonable

Percent of revenues 7%

Total Costs & Expenses $4,739   (4.739 Billion US$  !!!)

Percent of revenues  65%

        $4,833  Billion in revenues came from its Google search service/advertising. That is 66% of its revenues. Assuming it spends 66% of its money to get those revenues then  we can multiple the total costs by 66% and we should get a vague notion of how much it spends on its search:  


4739 Billion x 66% = 3,190 Billion US$         

So next time someone asks for a Google like solution, ask them for 3.2 Billion US dollars per quarter         

(admittedly this analysis has gaping holes but its kinda fun to think about—  We probably don’t need to index all of the internet’s information for any particular solution, and this probably includes the cost of the advertising infrastructure that gathers the revenues for Google,  but I suspect the start-up cost to get something close to Google’s power would still be astronomical).  

Categories: Planet DigiPres

Preserving digital calendars

Digital Continuity Blog - 17 June 2010 - 1:25am

How do you preserve an outlook calendar? It would be quite a resource for future researchers.

Categories: Planet DigiPres

Memory Forever

Digital Continuity Blog - 18 March 2010 - 1:22am

Gizmodo are running a great series of posts on digitial continuity issues:



Categories: Planet DigiPres

In the beginning

Digital Continuity Blog - 15 September 2009 - 10:14pm

Hi and welcome to anyone who has stumbled upon this blog!

My name is Euan Cochrane and I’m a digital preservation professional based in Wellington, New Zealand. I intend on using this blog to talk about issues related to digital continuity generally, including issues and news around digital preservation, metadata and related technologies such as XML and RDF.

It may take me a little while to get this started so please bear with me. I don’t want to officially launch the blog until I have prepared it more fully and am ready to regularly post.

I look forward to starting a dialogue with you all.


Categories: Planet DigiPres