Finally, I said I was lucky, lucky enough to have started my own Web company, TheStreet.com, eight years before Google came public and I could see that the only way that you could survive, if not thrive, as a publisher on the Web was to fork over a lot of money to Google in order to get in the queue for keywords that individuals might hit up about the stock market. If you didn't, you couldn't get the traffic you needed to support your own ads, ads which were already getting sophisticated enough that you could see where banners were a thing of the past and video ads were a thing of the future.
All of these reasons, I dispassionately explained, combined to make me realize that Google would triple rather quickly, but that I didn't want to say it was going to triple because that would hurt my credibility as no one would believe me, so I was staying conservative with the double.
Needless to say, it had tripled in slightly more than a year's time. I was way, way too conservative.
Now, I have certainly screwed up on many stocks in my time, and you can see those mentioned endlessly on Twitter. But back then began, at least for me, a love affair with a stock that I have been right on pretty much the whole way. And I have always approached it the same way I did in that first interview about Google's prospects.In fact, because of the acquisition of YouTube and the subsequent creation of the iPhone, it's been tough for me to keep my price targets far enough ahead of the stock's move itself. Both of those game-changers, plus the widespread adoption of faster and faster Internet speeds has allowed Google to take that 10% of the $600 billion ad market that I forecasted 10 years ago. Now, after calls like today's Home Depot wonder, where the company is shifting up to 36% of its ad budget online, I know that this percentage will only grow, although it will have to be shared with the likes of Facebook (FB) and perhaps Twitter (TWTR) . And I know that Google's only begun to monetize YouTube and so many other weapons in its arsenal, while at the same time laying to waste pretty much every one of its competitors as it dominates search. It's even now come up with a way for advertisers to reach targets that eviscerates the margins of pretty much every other publisher on the Web. That's why, even up here, I remain steadfast in support of Google and why it remains the largest position that I own in my charitable trust. Even after this run, the stock is still cheap vs. the estimates out a few years and I think those estimates are too low vs. what Google can do with its business. But in the end, what makes me most bullish on Google is what was so off-putting to many 10 years ago: the people who work there. Google, run by the best and the brightest, has also attracted the best and the brightest and, with the possible exception of Facebook, can pick the smartest graduates of any school it wants to. It is the NFL of brains and every young person I know believes that. As long as that's the case, and I think it will be for many years to come, the contest will be to keep the price targets current and not have them be overrun by the stock of this amazing company that came public 10 years ago today. Read More: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Loves in 2014
Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 3:08 p.m. EDT on Real Money on Aug. 19.
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