Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some Strange Things About Search

This is not an investment idea per se but does bear on the topic.  I've gotten curious about how one would check how often a particular search term is used by folks using Google and Yahoo.  It seems that the quick way of finding this out is to use Google Trends and Yahoo Buzz. Both of these services also list the "top" searches for a given day.  There is something puzzling about the results, however:  there is almost no overlap between the most popular searches reported by Google and Yahoo.  Now, I understand that the companies may calculate search numbers differently but no overlap whatsoever seems to me very odd.  I'm going to look into this further and set up a separate blog to track and explain this.

To Sell Google or Not to Sell Google, That is the Question

I bought Google at $537 per share (after in an earlier life buying it at $247 and selling at $320 -- there is perhaps another lesson there).  As some of you may have noticed, Google has spiked dramatically to over $600 per share after reporting earnings.  I do believe that it's worth much more than $600 ultimately but it's tough not to sell it after the recent upswing because I think the world generally is in for more negative economic news which will once again depress Google.  I'll think on this some more but why do I think Google is worth much more?  A host of reasons but compare it to Microsoft, which is arguably a proxy for similar growth.  Google began life trading at less than $100 per share.  It now trades for 6x that.  I dare say that Microsoft is now trading at far more than 6x its initial offering price.  Yes, I know, there are differences but rough measures in these instances are useful, I think.  Also, new computers using Google Chrome are selling quite well.  One more step toward the browser as operating system, the "dumb box" computer accessing a smart cloud, and Google eclipse of Microsoft.