So, I thought it might be fun to try to illustrate exactly how much money Google makes.
Let’s Write It Out
This may sound obvious, but I think writing the number out is an important first step. The financial industry has a way of using shorthand to hide gigantic numbers. They can say things like “We only made $1B in profits last year!” with a straight face, as if they’re implying “C’mon, guys, it’s just a 1 (the smallest non-zero integer there is) followed by a ‘B’ (only the 2nd letter in the alphabet). It’s hardly anything!”
So, let’s write it out in all its glory, just to keep from fooling ourselves:
The color scheme has no significance – I just thought it was pretty. You can’t prove I didn’t.
$29B = 29 Taj Mahals
One of the most famous homes ever built, the Taj Mahal has ample living space at 500,000 square feet and 16 bathrooms. According to the internet, building your own Taj Mahal today would run you just over $1B US Dollars. Google could build 29 every year:
$29B = 17,000 Bugatti Veyrons
The most expensive production car of 2011, according to Forbes, is the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, coming in at a sticker price of just $1.7M. Google could drive 17,058 of these bad boys off of the lot, but let’s call it an even 17,000, after your trade-in and destination fees. This is a Bugatti Veyron (yeah, it’s pretty sweet):
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is listed as 106.7 inches long. Parked end to end, 17,000 Bugattis would be roughly 150,000 feet or just shy of 29 miles of luxury car:
As of Q1 2010, Google employed 20,621 people full time, so each and every Google employee could be driving a Bugatti 9 months of the year, with just enough left over for gas.
$29B = 3.6B Justin Bieber Albums
If a Bugatti isn’t your style, maybe you’d like the latest Justin Bieber album, “Never Say Never” – it retails for $7.99 on iTunes. The cover looks something like this (the lightning bolts are magical Bieber aura):
If you were Google, you could buy a copy of the album for just 3,600,000,000 (3.6B) of your closest friends. I guess the other half of the Earth is out of luck…
$29B = A Lot of Money
In summation, I leave you with one of my favorite (PG-13). So, what does any of this mean for SEO? I’m no anti-Google conspiracy theorist, but I do believe that money talks, and $29,000,000,000 is a lot of conversations. Google is going to protect its interests, and we have to stop being surprised when they do.