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Google AdWords and Cloud Computing

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Thursday, 26 March 2009 22:31

Cloud Computing: browser, Internet and data-center:

The Internet has been modelling our landscape for 20 years now. If one would like to understand the Internet, it is important to understand its backbone, more precisely the computers and the computing power behind it.

Wikipedia definition: "a computer is a machine that manipulates data according to instructions". Computers emerged around the mid-20th Century. When they arrived in the corporate's world, there was often only one central computer for all the employees. This was called the Mainframe. All the applications (programs) were running on it.

Later during the 80's, the personal computer soared allowing employees to run most of their programs on their personal machines while critical operations could still be run at the mainframe or server level. Moore's law, the doubling of transistors on an integrated circuit every two years, explains how it has been possible to concentrate all this computing power on a small hardware in just a few years of time.

Now, we assist to a kind of return to the mainframe architecture : browsers, Internet and data-centers. Browsers are the access point. Data-centers are the computing power. And Internet is the network between the first two. This model is called the Cloud Computing.

Google AdWords and Cloud Computing :

Google AdWords is a perfect example of cloud computing. You log into your Google AdWords account through your favourite web-browser (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer) which is connected to Internet. No application is running on your own computer and you do not have to install any software.

AdWords is actually running on Google' servers located in some data-center around the world. Then, you will create your advertising campaigns, define your settings, enter the keywords that are relevant to your business, edit creatives (i.e. Text Ads) that will be triggered when these selected keywords are searched and set your bids. Everything you have done will be saved on Google computers (ie. servers). Even if your computer is stolen or if you want to access your AdWords account from another computer once back home, you can do it. You just need an internet connection and a web-browser. Actually we can say that all the information is stored in the cloud.

On the other hand, when someone is doing a search on Google, Google computers will look every single time for all the AdWords advertisers which want to be shown on that query. Once a set of ads (one per advertisers*, i.e. one per domain) are pre-selected, Google will still need to rank them. Google servers will then compute (with complex algorithms) the ranking value for all these ads and say Advertiser A gets slot 1, Adversiter D gets slot 2, and so forth.

Finally, if someone clicks on your ad you will be charged. No charge to be shown (impression). No charge to register. No licence. You only pay for the visit (clicks) to your website that you got through this sponsored link !

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