Is Google leaving billions of dollars on the table?

Eric Schmidt tells Mad Money host Jim Cramer that he wouldn't allow ads on the home page, even though it could generate billions of dollars. Is the home page that sacred?

During a CNBC interview Wednesday with Mad Money's amped-up Jim Cramer, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked about placing ads on the home page of the leading search engine. He said Google wouldn't allow ads on the home page, even though it could bring in "some number of billions of dollars."

Let's say that some number of billions is $2 billion annually, which would be close to a 10 percent bump in revenue for violating the home page with ads.

"People wouldn't like it. We prioritize the end user over the advertiser," Schmidt responded. The simple, unadorned home page has been a hallmark of the search service since its humble beginnings a decade ago.

But would the "end users" really abandon Google if the home page had advertising? How about contextual, targeted advertising for users who opt-in to such a program, similar to Amazon's recommendations, or themed ads such as for the current Olympics. Check out the examples I created below. Are ads on the home page offensive or against the Google credo of "Do no evil"? Shareholders probably wouldn't mind a few more billion in highly profitable revenue.

 

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