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Google, Globalisation and the Nation-State - Case Study Example

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This essay “Google, Globalisation and the Nation-State” aims to discuss the growth of Google and its implications for the study of global political economy, with a particular focus on the relationship between the company and the nation-state. It begins with a review of Google’s origins…
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Google, Globalisation and the Nation-State
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Download file to see previous pages The origin of the word ‘Google’, as explained by the company’s two founders, is linked to the word ‘googol’, which means the number ‘1’ followed by 100 ‘0s’ to form a googolplex. (Sergey Brin, 1998, 2) Symbolically, the word ‘Google’ suggests an infinite world of digital information. Google, as a search engine company, was set up by two Stanford University graduates, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, in California in September 1998 with only three employees including the two founders. By October 2005, the number of ‘Googlers’ had reached 4,989. Estimates vary about the scale of the Google search system, but one source suggests that the company currently ranks some 8.2 billion web pages (Mathieson, 2005, 40). Google claims that it employs a supercomputer network of 100 machines to evaluate more than a million variables in milliseconds to pick which to display each time there is a search query (Saul Hansell, 2006). More specifically, Google works in three steps: (1) upon receiving the search query from the user’s machine Google’s web server sends the query to its index servers; (2) the query then travels to Google’s doc servers, which retrieve the stored documents and generate the search results; (3) the search results are returned from Google’s doc servers to the user in a fraction of a second (Google, website). Google search begins with a simple and user-friendly homepage centered on a blank box for inputting search terms. It does not allow pop-up advertisement banners to appear on its website mainly because most users find them annoying.  However, this does not mean that Google could survive without advertising. In fact, virtually all of Google’s revenues come from its ‘AdWords’ programme, which provides advertising space for advertisers worldwide. Google’s AdWords programme matches the keywords of each search that a user entered into the search engine with the relevant products or services of the fee-paying advertisers. At the same time as when the search results are displayed, the matching advertisements, which are also text-based, are displayed on the right-hand side of the computer screen. It is expected that a person searching for information containing keywords related to the Google-selected advertisements, s/he might also click on one or more of the advertising links.  ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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