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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 18:48 GMT 19:48 UK
Google hails 'rational' tech sector
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google
Google creators Page and Brin
The dot.com sector is now more "rational" and a better place to do business than during the boom years, according to the founders of the Google search engine site.

In an interview with the BBC's Business Today programme, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said he thought many firms were harmed by the tech bubble at the end of the 1990s.

Google more than survived the collapse of the dot.com boom, becoming the world's most popular site for searching the web.

It recently celebrated its fifth birthday and has expanded beyond just searches to encompass comparison shopping, news and web logs.

Tech boom 'hurt business'

Google grew out of computer research by its founders Stanford University PhD students Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

When the company first started it was handling little more than 10,000 queries a day - now it handles more than 200 million.

Rather than having flashy pop-ups we decided (we needed) adverts that were useful to the person at that specific time
Sergey Brin
While Google was going from strength to strength, the hype surrounding the dot.com sector went into reverse as share price values tumbled and firms collapsed.

But Sergey Brin does not miss the old 'boom' days.

"I think it feels much better... we've returned to more rational times" he told the BBC.

"I think companies make more rational business decisions which makes it possible for us to have a rational business.

"Salaries are reasonable (and) office space costs are reasonable.

"The boom actually probably hurt a lot of businesses, and I think there are a lot of businesses that failed that otherwise would have done better if they'd not had so much money flowing into them," he said.

Targeted ads

Mr Brin said Google's advertising strategy has proved to be a key part of its success.

"From the outset of the company we believed in having targeted advertising.

"Rather than having flashy pop-ups we decided (we needed) adverts that were useful to the person at that specific time.

"So if you search for cellphones, you may get a number of cellphone adverts on the right hand side (of the screen).

"People like to have information that's useful to them even if it's an advertisement as long as you label it as such, and it turns out that model of advertising has worked very well.

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