“Why don’t we put five ads on the top of the search-results page?”
Back then, Google ran no more than two ads. Knapp knew that some users might be alienated by the higher number of ads. But he wondered whether the generated revenue would offset the reduced usage.
He and a product manager went to Marissa Mayer, then Google’s user-experience chief, and dropped this question: Was it possible that Google was running too few ads?
Because Google puts such a premium on data, Mayer and other execs were intrigued. If there were a “definitive” answer for how many ads could run at the top of a search page, Google should find out what it was.
So Mayer gave the green light for an experiment. For every 10,000 searches, one request would return a page with three or more ads at the top. This went on for several months until a clear answer to the question emerged.
The answer: Users shunned pages plastered with five ads, but they did tolerate more than two ads.
Google now runs up to three ads at the top of its pages.
“No idea is a bad idea until the data prove so,” Knapp says, repeating what may be the company’s second-most-popular mantra after “Don’t be evil.”
Deciding questions by data is to Google what global supply-chainis to Walmart. What’s telling about this experiment is that it shows the willingness of Google’s top executives, including CEO Larry Page, to reverse themselves if the numbers don’t bear out.
Lesson: Let data work as an effective check against defending the status quo. It works for Google.
—Adapted from “7 Ways Larry Page Is Defining Google’s Future,” Farhad Manjoo, Fast Company.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/14709/googles-golden-rule-dont-be-data-blind "