In Google's last fiscal quarter of 2012, ads placed on partner sites — AdSense — generated $3.44 billion in revenue, which accounted for 27 percent of the company's total.
AdSense is the product that places those text ads all over the Internet. (You can tell which ones are Google's by the small "by Google" attribution.) Google's technology scans the page for keywords and then displays relevant ads.
And that's in part thanks to Google's acquisition of a company called Applied Semantics back in 2003.
"Applied Semantics – in both team and technology – helped accelerate the AdSense product, one which today delivers billions of dollars in revenue to Google," YouTube Director of Product Management Hunter Walk writes on LinkedIn.
Since Applied Semantics had a small executive team, former marketing director Eva Ho tells Walk, Ho was involved in preparing the decks and other necessary material for the acquisition.
Ho says there were a few other companies looking to acquire Applied Semantics, but once Google came into the picture, everything happened pretty quickly.
"I remember coming in to work one day and Sergey was in our kitchen, hanging out by himself," Ho tells Walk. "I walked over and we struck up a conversation. I remembered how nice and humble he was – and thinking to myself how cool it would be to work for/with him. It all went so quickly that I didn't have much time to process any of it. Before I knew it, we were at the Google campus being announced at the Friday All Hands. It was certainly exciting times and Google made us feel so welcomed and included."
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