Google's search and advertising arrangements give Google both profits and power—if its algorithms demote your site, your visitors and your revenue will shrivel. As a result, an army of consultants has arisen who promise to push a website up the search rankings, or nudge anything negative off the all-important first page of results. The circle of search-optimization companies began to form around the enterprise and soon a satellite Google economy emerged.
Former Google go-fer Ginger Franke got the idea for her business, Franke Lifestyle Management (FLM), after Sergey hurt his back in a trapeze accident. She ordered a new mattress for him and went to his apartment to meet the delivery truck. She saw comic books on the shelves and a tattered futon and other personal details that helped her realize how little time entrepreneurs like Brin had to take care of their personal lives.
She got her on-the-job training for her business at Google. "In Franke's first years at Google, the company had as few as 50 employees and the pace was frenetic," wrote the New York Times, "so she quickly became a jack-of-all-trades, doing everything from filling bowls in the office with M&M's to planning company sales conferences that seemed to triple or quadruple in size each year."
"These guys couldn't tell me how to do my job because they were too busy being entrepreneurs," said Franke, who previously worked at Netscape. "If I was going to survive, I would have to feel ...