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January 15, 2006

Observer Watch.

More in our ever popular series of journalistic blunders errors inadequacies. Henry Porter, in an article about the rise of the internet:

Market share has driven the stock price and accounts for the huge increase in Google's share price which last week reached 470.65, a growth of 370 per cent in the 18 months since it went to the market.

The first time I saw Google was in September 2001 when, working in a US office, I noticed that all my young colleagues had made Google their home page. Four years on, it has about 55 per cent market share of global search engines. But remember this: the company's stock market value is about $76bn on just $6bn sales, whereas a company such as TimeWarner is valued at less but has sales of $42bn.

Err, Henry, did you actually use one of those search engines to check your figures? Yahoo says that at around $470 per share the market capitalization is, err, $137 billion.

January 15, 2006 in Telegraph Watch. | Permalink


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I think someone might have converted it into sterling and he's got confused?

Posted by: Matthew | Jan 15, 2006 10:47:19 AM

very likely indeed; 137/76 = 1.80.

Posted by: dsquared | Jan 15, 2006 8:20:19 PM

The very first paragraph is bollocks: 'At that time [1992], there were probably no more than 50 servers in the world.' In 1992 there were roughly ONE MILLION Internet hosts world-wide. Perhaps he means 'Internet-connected machines running some form of HTTP daemon', making the usual mistake of confounding the Internet with the WWW. Even so, he's off by orders of magnitude. As soon as any sysadmin in 1992 with an Internet-connected machine got hold of a copy of httpd, he installed it. I know I did (actually NCSA httpd, but still).

Posted by: David Gillies | Jan 16, 2006 10:44:22 PM