Humor, not news
But one thing that struck me is that I just found out today that the way AdSense works is we don't actually know how much of a cut we're getting. We just take their ads and run them on our site and they send us a check at the end of the month, and we trust them to give us a fair amount of whatever they were paid, though there's no actual way to determine what a fair amount might be. I asked Eric Schmidt about it and he was like, Well, it's kind of complicated and there are all sorts of variables in the algorithm that determine what a particular ad might be worth at any particular instant in time and it can depend on the search itself and then other variables like the context of the ad and the region where the ad was shown and how far along we are in that fiscal quarter and how close we are to making our numbers.
I was like, That can't really be the way you do it. You mean you just pay whatever you want to pay, and we're supposed to just accept that? Eric says, Hey, that's how it works with everyone else. I started to ask a few more questions about how the algorithm works but Sergey jumped up and said look, it's just really complicated and even if we explain it to you it's going to take half a day and there's no point anyway because the algorithm is constantly being tuned and adjusted so whatever we show you will be totally obsolete by the time we finish explaining it to you. Oh, and besides that, you're the one who called up and begged us to save you.
Fake Jerry, 17 June 2008, Funny thing about our deal with Google
Old SEL post: Google At $950 Per Share: Extreme Transparency