Since I had so much fun with my first “If I were the CEO” post, I thought I’d try my hand at it again…this time with Google. The difference is I’m guessing that the Google founders won’t come comment on this post (whereas the MyBlogLog ones did). This one is a little shorter than my last one, but I thought I’d put it out there anyway.

  1. Add the ability for users to “rate” search results that they receive as unhelpful or helpful (or even a 5-star rating?) – One new site I know of doing this is TallStreet (I’m sure there are others). Google would bring social recommendation into the limelight almost overnight when/if they adopt this into their search results. I believe rating search results has the ability to vastly increase the relevance of their results — though I’m guessing this would open the system up to abuse by bots in a massive way.
  2. Create new brands – yeah, yeah — when a company dominates the internet, marketing is not usually a huge concern. That said, I believe it will be extremely difficult for Google to be known for anything other than search with the Google brand. Use Google as the search brand (we know EVERYONE thinks “search” when Google is mentioned), but I would argue their online office suite (Google Docs and Spreadsheets & a Power point clone on the way) should take on its own brand name to gain traction. Zoho seems to be the leader in this space thus far. I’ll be honest, I haven’t really played around with either platform yet. Yahoo! is known for — trying to be everything to everyone. Google will risk being categorized as such unless they build new brands for vastly different product groups. So, who disagrees with me on this point (i’m guessing many will)?
  3. Expand Google Checkout’s Reach – All I will say is that PayPal is in trouble in the long run. Google has the cash to essentially buy customers (free to merchants until the end of 2007) for the next year. The vast majority of people already have a google account (by having a gmail address), removing one barrier — registration — that is usually hard for a new service to overcome. Lower fees and superior software engineers are going to be difficult for PayPal to compete with — good luck :)!
  4. Develop a COMPLETE Self-Service Advertising Platform – businesses should be able to buy television, radio, print, and online advertising all in one spot. As a small business, I think part of the difficulty in advertising is that there is no central hub. For instance — how the hell would I go about buying a commercial on a local television station? I wouldn’t know where to begin. What about a local magazine? No clue. I’m guessing the answer is to contact each publication/station individually — but that’s time consuming. Small business owners most likely don’t have time to devote someone full time to marketing, which makes navigating the advertising options difficult. Google is the ONLY company that has a legitimate shot at successfully building an all-in-one platform & get media publications, television stations, newspapers, billboard agencies, etc ALL on board (in my opinion at least). Will it happen?? I can’t even fathom how much revenue such a system would pull in.
    Update: Google has added to their advertising reach with their purchase of Adscape for $23 million. Adscape is in the video game advertising space.

All in all, Google stands to dominate the internet for at least the next 5 years. No one has the cash they do. Or the vast collection of amazing software engineers. Or the powerful brand name that gets mentioned everywhere. Or, maybe more importantly, data on 55% of searches performed on the internet. Google knows how people think & what they want based on how everyday people search better than anyone else.

If I feel inspired on the topic, I’ll do a “round 2” on Google — but I won’t promise anything. Any ideas as to another company I should write about? Let me know.