(This is the kind of bright ideas I wish I had a blog for.)

Google, Inc caught everyone by surprise with GMail. Announcing it on April's Fools didn't help for sure, but once the smoke cleared and everyone realised GMail was a reality, it was still a baffling move. 1000 MB of storage? Webmail from the we're-all-about-search Company?

We all remember why Google is so successful and Yahoo! stagnates, why google is a verb and yahoo isn't. They're the search company. Yahoo! got greedy, tried to turn into a multifaceted web portal service, and by trying to do too many things at once they ended up sucking at all of them. Meanwhile, Google did one thing, but they did it right. Google is about search, people! When they created Google Images, Google Groups, Google News, Froogle all of those were about the search of information, not email! And the Google Toolbar? That was a search tool, not some punch-the-monkey-send-email thingamajig! It's Google's Second Commandment :

It's best to do one thing really, really well. Google does search. Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat.

Here you go! Search is their business, their moneymaker-- hang on a second, what's their moneymaker again? Have you ever paid for a Google search? Maybe if you bought Google-in-a-yellow-box. But I know I never paid for a Google search. You know how they make money :

Google is a business. The revenue the company generates is derived from offering its search technology to companies like America Online and the WashingtonPost.com and from advertising sales based on keyword targeting.
- That's the Sixth Commandment

People who claim that Google have strayed from the Way have forgotten what Google's business is. Google's business isn't search. It's what they do, and it's what they do best, sure. But when it comes to business, Google do one thing, and they do it "really, really well" : their business is targeted advertising. The best search engine in the world is just a much-more refined version of the proverbial horse to provide that service.

Don't be fooled, Google are still doing the same thing they've been doing all along. And if their track record is any indication, they're going to be the best at it.

Note : By saying the obvious-yet-often-overlooked truth that Google is a business that provides targeted advertising, I'm not trying to paint them as an "evil" corporation, partly because I don't believe in such a notion -- a corporation is successful or it is not, but also because I really don't think they are "evil" in the sense that say Microsoft or Wal-Mart are. On the contrary, Google are a very smart company. They know that the best way to make a successful corporation is to please the user, and they provide a terrific service. However, Google aren't a philanthropic organization. They're a corporation.