5 Ways Google Earns Money Off You

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

Smart Money 

The $10.6 billion first quarter revenue Google posted Thursday reflect the value of the data collected from consumers, experts say. “Whatever you post online, expect it to be used by companies to sell advertising,” says Rick Dakin, CEO of IT security business Coalfire. All the tidbits Google gleans from users of YouTube, Gmail, Google+ and other services boost the accuracy of the company’s targeted ads, and therefore, its revenue, says Michael Fertik, CEO and founder ofReputation.com, one of many new services designed to help consumers keep their web use anonymous. Advertising prices for “adword” or sponsored links are determined by an auction with 1 cent as the minimum bid, according to a Google spokesman.

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