Google has given the world so much to be grateful, as far as productivity, creativity, and entertainment software is concerned. The internet as we know it is shaped by Google; as the biggest search engine service.
To some extent, we get access to these software tools by Google for free, but at a price. Yes, you’re able to run an online search for free, send/receive emails on Gmail for free, upload/watch videos on YouTube for free, use the Google Maps for free. At the same time, they come at a price.
While you use these freemium services from Google, the company harvests information about you to feed into its Big Data where it uses complex algorithm to serve you targeted advertisements. In a nutshell, the snoop on your online activities and based on your history, they bombard you with very relevant ads. These ads are so relevant to you, that you are highly likely to click on the given ad-banner.
In the early days of Google, it ran into a lot of lawsuits and sharp criticism for its act of scanning users’ emails. The company sailed under well executed and well-targeted ads to become the biggest and most profitable search engine it is today. No doubt that ads are the lifeblood for Google.
So it is a big deal when Google Senior VP of Cloud, Diane Greene announces that the company is going stop scanning your email to serve you targeted ads. That is like cutting off the lifeblood supply. Green made this announcement on Friday in a blog post, where she also announced that G Suite now has over three million paying users.
But the decision to stop scanning users’ emails came from its cloud unit, not its advertising team. The cloud unit has its eyes set on enrolling more paying corporate customers to its G Suite package; a set of office software that rivals Microsoft Office suite.
That will mean Google will be monetizing from paying Gmail users, and thus, no need to scan your emails to serve you targeted ads. Users using the free Gmail package will still continue seeing ads pop up as promoted messages in their inbox. For paying Gmail users, in place of ads, they will be getting personal information Google pulls of their YouTube and search history.
The move by Google to stop scanning users’ emails for targeted ads underscores the progress the company has made in cloud computing. That it is confident, it will draw enough paying customers, that there will be no more need to serve them targeted ads.
Ever since Green arrived at Google in late 2015, the company has invested a lot of money in its cloud business and business software tools. So much so that it is taking industry heavyweights like Microsoft and Amazon.