Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, made a surprise appearance at Web 2.0 a few weeks ago.
The part of internet lore that I had forgotten (or quite possibly never knew) was how little economic value there was search advertising at the start. No one was willing to pay anything for those text ads next to search results. Sergey compared it to remnants in today’s market.
Today, search advertising is a $10 billion market and accounts for roughly half of all internet advertising.
It is easy now to say that ads next to a list of things people were already are looking for would be a gold mine. When Google started, the market was saying ‘no’.