5.13. GOOGLE DIDN'T ADVERTISE ITSELF—AT FIRST
"Google has built the most loyal audience on the web. And that growth has come not through TV ad campaigns but through word of mouth from one satisfied user to another." This is from Google's Corporate Information page, and the comment is true. At least Google never advertised itself in the traditional way, and its aversion to self-advertising may be dissolving.
Larry and Sergey sent out an e-mail in the spring of 1998, while Google was still in the development phase, to a list called Google Friends. "Google has now been up for over a month with the current database and we would like to hear back from you," they wrote. "How do you like the search results? What do you think of the new logo and formatting? Do the new features work for you? Comments, criticism, bugs, ideas... welcome. Cheers, Larry and Sergey."
The word-of-e-mail seemed to work. People responded. Larry and Sergey sent out another e-mail in the summer: "Expect to see a lot of changes in Google in the next few months. We plan to have a much bigger index than our current 24 million pages soon. Thanks to all the people who have sent us logos and suggestions. Keep them coming. Have fun and keep Googling."
Google also hired a market expert to come up with a plan for promoting itself. The plan would cost about half the money Google had on hand. Company leaders decided to pass. "Marketing would have killed the company," said Susan Wojcicki, "because we were going to spend ...