Something interesting happened during Google's quarterly performance report on Thursday and it had nothing to do with cost-per-click, traffic acquisition…
Something interesting happened during Google’s quarterly performance report on Thursday and it had nothing to do with cost-per-click, traffic acquisition cost, or any of the other flexible metrics that Wall Street people love to geek over.
In fact, what happened to the investor call was not intended for investors at all. The intended audience was the man in the White House, and Google did not try to be very subtle about it.
When Google CEO Sundar Pichai reached the conclusion of his prepared comments, he noted that Google’s parent company Alfabet invests “closer to home”. In the third quarter, he pointed out: “More than 80% of the alphabet’s total cap ex were in the United States.”
“These investments in data centers, machines and offices make it possible for us not only to provide good services to our users, they have a strong positive impact on communities around them, support thousands of jobs and countless local businesses. 9000 new employees in the United States and we continue to grow faster outside of the Bay Area than within it. “
It’s not the kind of detail that Google, one of the least transparent companies in terms of its business, goes into its reports. But these are not common times, and Google, like many of its Big Tech comrades, does anything to pack in the American flag and show what a good citizen it is.
Perhaps it is because US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said he wants to investigate internet companies to presumably put conservative speech. Or, maybe, the Trumps 2020 campaign manager has called Google a threat to the Republic. Or maybe, because Trump himself accused Google of rigging the search results against him (it did not). Google is also defensive because of its decision not to run arms-related contracts with the United States Department of Defense, a policy like the second trumpet bag as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has pounced on, as if improving his own image with the president.
Let’s be clear, the fact that Google invests 80% of its investment in the US is obviously a good thing. Google spent $ 5.3 billion in cap ex in the third quarter, so it’s real money and a lot of it.
But the chance is that money was always meant to be spent in the United States. One of the most important features of Google’s investments is data centers, giant infrastructure projects that take many years of planning.
The only thing that changed is the sudden need for Google to promise its patriotic bona fides. For a company that is as powerful as Google, the unusual flagging is an amazing experience of, and probably fear of, the White House.
Yes, right now, Google sings to the master about some very honorable achievements. But there are lots of dangerous “Make America Great Again” principles, as Google has been a vowel opponent, from the travel ban targeting people from Muslim majority countries to transgender rights.
Many vulnerable people depend on powerful devices, even profit-driven companies, to fight their causes.
Now that Google has become used to bending knee and kowtowing, what will it say or do next time it needs curry service with Trump?