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Google, The Internet is Our Competition
Brett_Tabke




msg:4093461
 6:47 pm on Mar 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

A fascinating look into the mind of Google. Who do they think is their compeitors?

[royal.pingdom.com...]

We face formidable competition in every aspect of our business, particularly from companies that seek to connect people with information on the web and provide them with relevant advertising. We face competition from:
  • Traditional search engines, such as Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corporation’s Bing.
  • Vertical search engines and e-commerce sites, such as WebMD (for health queries), Kayak (travel queries), Monster.com (job queries), and Amazon.com and eBay (commerce). We compete with these sites because they, like us, are trying to attract users to their web sites to search for product or service information, and some users will navigate directly to those sites rather than go through Google.
  • Social networks, such as Facebook, Yelp, or Twitter. Some users are relying more on social networks for product or service referrals, rather than seeking information through traditional search engines.
    Other forms of advertising. We compete against traditional forms of advertising—such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, and yellow pages—for ad dollars.
  • Mobile applications. As the mobile application ecosystem develops further, users are increasingly accessing e-commerce and other sites through those companies’ stand-alone mobile applications, instead of through search engines.
  • Providers of online products and services. We also provide a number of online products and services, including Gmail, YouTube, and Google Docs, that compete directly with new and established companies that offer communication, information, and entertainment services integrated into their products or media properties.

 

StoutFiles




msg:4093481
 7:17 pm on Mar 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

particularly from companies that seek to connect people with information on the web


At least they're admitting everyone is their competition.

JS_Harris




msg:4094692
 3:06 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I tried to read the article Brett but the link returns a 404 at the moment.

If those excerpts are from a Google employee I'd say they seem mighty confused and I think I know why.

Goals

If Google's primary goal is to earn money then yes, every other website on the internet IS their competition.

If Google's primary goal is to be the best at what they do they have very few competitors. Youtube and Gmail are extremely successful on the video sharing and email fronts. Their search product holds a dominating position over the nearest comparable search engine. They compete in every category they choose to conduct business in.

And therein lays the crux - Has Google gotten blind as to what the goal is? If the goal is to earn the most money possible then failure is guaranteed since others can duplicate Google services and undermine advertising prices. If Google was a private company instead of being listed on Wall St the future would still look extremely bright.

Those cash goggles however... they make it seem like the cash is doing circles around the drain at every glance. If Google had every person on the planet using their services 50x a day Wall st would yawn and downgrade Google for not getting them to use it 51x a day the following year. That article snippet irks me.

Alexei




msg:4094712
 3:16 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here's the correct link: [royal.pingdom.com...]

wildbest




msg:4094713
 3:16 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

We face formidable competition in every aspect of our business

If you're in every aspect of every business you should expect competition in every aspect of your business! I don't understand why do they find this strange?

Swanny007




msg:4094747
 3:53 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

GOOG is turning into Wal-Mart. Focused on profit and squashing every little guy in it's path, even if they have to take a loss in some areas. Then they muscle suppliers, etc.

weeks




msg:4094767
 4:12 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google should get some credit for success of the internet, that is to say it's rapid growth and influence. Google made the web work for a lot of people.

Google's success was everyone's success. Their ad model was built on the classic win-win. Publishers got a good share of the traffic they provided. Ad buyers only paid for when someone clicked. At the time, this was a major, major innovation. It was seen as a big risk.

And, it worked. People could afford to risk advertising on the web. And, like many here, new publishers found an easy (and you cannot discount the importance of easy) source of ad income from the web.

How you view Google is how you view the web. Many here see the internet not evolving much from what it is. They view Google's growth, influence and reach as a threat. Others, however, believe that we are still in the early days of the potential of this technology. I am in this camp. So is Google.

I cannot predict the future, but video is going to be more and more of a factor. The web is going to replace TV. Etc.

It's an odd example, but it makes the point of where I think things are heading: The NFL will soon have its own network. You want to watch the Super Bowl? You may have to pay the NFL directly. And the NFL will decide whose ads are shown and where. The TV networks or even Google will not get a dime.

Remember "Content is king?" It's finally going to become true. Google's classic influence is going to become less powerful. It's at its apex right now.

blend27




msg:4094783
 4:26 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

from the article: --- and some users will navigate directly to those sites rather than go through Google. --

Why in the world would I go through GORG knowing that ....(privacy is involved) .. there is a Website and I know its URL?....

Who you calling a USER?

physics




msg:4094808
 5:05 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebMD (for health queries), Kayak (travel queries), Monster.com (job queries), and Amazon.com and eBay (commerce). We compete with these sites

WebMD? It jumps out at me that there's a huge difference between what I think of when I think WebMD in that WebMD actually generates (or at least syndicates) quality content instead of just scraping it all. This is probably why most people go to WebMD.com or search Google in hopes of seeing a relevant link to an article on WebMD.com. I would think Google should think of WebMD as a source of content and thus a valued 'partner' - especially since a Google site: search yielded 2.3 million results for webmd.com.
Thinking of everyone like your competition ... that's Microsoft talk.

peer_esv




msg:4094827
 5:35 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Maybe they are just trying to avoid any antitrust inquiries by repeating over and over again that they are experiencing fierce competition.

hutcheson




msg:4094870
 6:19 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google, like Intel (or IBM or Walmart) will engage in cooperative and competitive activity at the same time with the same people.

Walmart stocks their own brand of canned peas on the same shelf as the Jolly Green Giant. IBM sells Unix-based systems, as well as contributing OS code to Linux (and selling Linux-based systems). Intel sells processors to board makers, and complete boards to system makers ... besides selling complete systems. Google indexes information about everything from, say, the Perl language to U.S. income tax law from all sorts of places (including various former employers of mine), as well as hosting entire books on the subject (in full view!) through arrangements with publishers like O'Reilly and J.K.Lasser ... while simultaneously selling hardcopy, in partnership with Amazon et al.

While O'Reilly and JKL happily ship books to Barnes and Noble -- all the while competing with Barnes and Noble by selling directly to me.

That's not astonishing. It's so normal, _anyone_ who's ever worked in any kind of even medium-sized business can give examples from personal experience.

The constant risk to the company is that, if it does a worse job on its own than its partner/competitor does, customers will start going first to the partner. USELESS MIDDLEMEN CAN ALWAYS BE ELIMINATED, EASILY. Which is good. An economy that doesn't have that feature might as well be communist--it's just as hard on the victims, and all participants are victims except the commissars.

The difference between this normal behavior and criminal antitrust behavior (AKA Microsoft now, and, for that matter, AKA IBM last millenium) is that a criminal monopoly stops giving people choice--Walmart stops stocking JGG, and starts posting thugs or lawyers at the door of other grocery stores to make sure none of Walmart's customers are buying competing brands. Or Barnes and Noble gains control of some book that's required reading in sophomore English courses -- and won't sell it to anyone who's ever shopped at Amazon. Or, when a systems maker starts pre-installing Firefox, Microsoft raises the cost of a Windows license to that systems maker, forcing them out of the PC market. (OK, only the last has actually happened, so far as I know.)

graeme_p




msg:4094882
 6:31 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Why in the world would I go through GORG knowing that ....(privacy is involved) .. there is a Website and I know its URL?


A lot of people do, because they do not know better.

kapow




msg:4094931
 7:59 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

GOOG is turning into Wal-Mart
Its much worse than that! Google want to BE the internet. The Gorg is now the cookoo in the web - spending billions on pushing everything else out.

Google got where it is with quality results, now however it wants to: replace websites, replace shopping, replace seo, replace.... You name it, if you make a living on the web Google is or will be your competitor.

...and some users will navigate directly to those sites rather than go through Google
"We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious!"
ken_b




msg:4094992
 9:51 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Its much worse than that! Google want to BE the internet.

Shades of AOL past and, for some, the present! Some people won't know the difference between G and the internet, and the difference probably won't be that much of a big deal for them when they do figure it out.

All this fretting about what G wants to be makes me think educating folks about how to use the web effectively (read that "to the benefit of webmasters everywhere"), needs to get in high gear. And it doesn't necessarily need to start with the general surfing public.

OnlineConnect




msg:4095044
 11:43 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think as Google rose up with there radically different approach as 'weeks' says "there success was everyone’s success". Today we are in a much more corporate internet and many of the smaller operations find themselves squeezed out of markets they established. Couple that with a major recession and you have to say "Google and you think you have problems try sitting this side of the fence".

Everyone online faces massively increased competition in every area of the internet as the early pioneers came through the dot com bust to realize that early promise so everyone else rushed in and swamped the market.

How ether I would be hard pushed to say to think of two companies that have weathered the storm better than Amazon and Google.

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4095047
 11:53 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

IMO they have always had the end goal of supplying the information first hand. I'm sure if Google could autogenerate the content you're querying for, they would.

tangor




msg:4095057
 12:04 am on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Once the gatekeeper realizes they control, they morph into "this is our stuff so pay for it" even it it is not their stuff.

Don't tell lies, but wouldn't each and everyone of us actually like to gain income from every access to every page/image on our sites? Google wants to do that, eventually, and if we aren't watching carefully they will get there.

Meanwhile, I just got a new sporty tinfoil hat. Joking a bit, but not by much.

loner




msg:4095084
 12:58 am on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

They sound like paranoia is setting in. Get ready for another round of executions.

-

albo




msg:4095139
 3:54 am on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is it time we begin to give the Gorg the indifference they have come so richly to deserve, and turn our valuable attentions elsewhere?

incrediBILL




msg:4095242
 9:20 am on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I can tell you who's on the front chopping block, directories and aggregators as Google and Bing get better at what they do, they will absorb these business models in the end run.

Yelp is just a big directory with reviews, once you tackle the biggest of them all the little ones are doomed, including the phone book yellow pages itself, to a footnote in history.

The only way these sites will survive is to constantly keep reinventing themselves with new features, functions and services that are compelling enough to drive traffic vs. being assimilated into the collective.

kapow




msg:4095276
 10:20 am on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is it time we begin to give the Gorg the indifference they have come so richly to deserve, and turn our valuable attentions elsewhere?
That would be kidding our selves, we don't really have that power. The world follows the Gorg and we follow the world.

I can tell you who's on the front chopping block, directories and aggregators...
Then regular websites. I run a company that makes small business websites. We're already seeing Google mashup sites for top key words. Prediction: 2010 will be the first time one of our clients says "We don't need a website, instead we're going to configure our Google setup." When that happens I will take up stained glass window making.
idolw




msg:4095346
 12:43 pm on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Kayak mentioned second in the list of four. Is travel next?

frontpage




msg:4095492
 4:12 pm on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Social networks, such as Facebook, Yelp, or Twitter. Some users are relying more on social networks for product or service referrals, rather than seeking information through traditional search engines.


That's pretty funny.

Just a week or two ago, many claimed this was not true. Seeing how Google admits it, it must be gospel now.

J_RaD




msg:4095496
 4:18 pm on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I wonder how all those sites listed feel not that google painted a target on them saying we are coming for you.

loudspeaker




msg:4095937
 1:17 am on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebMD? It jumps out at me that there's a huge difference between what I think of when I think WebMD in that WebMD actually generates (or at least syndicates) quality content instead of just scraping it all.

You are absolutely correct. However, why would Google care about quality content? It cares and has always cared only about showing ads. As far as Google is concerned, WebMD is getting in the way of Google controlling the entire health-related ad inventory. So, they are competition, to be dealt with by any means necessary.

(And other sites "competing" with Google are already getting a taste of what it means to pick a fight with a guy controlling 80% of your traffic.)

P.S. JS_Harris wrote
If those excerpts are from a Google employee I'd say they seem mighty confused and I think I know why.
As far as I can tell, these are quotes from their SEC filings. This is what they officially tell investors.
J_RaD




msg:4096659
 9:49 pm on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)


And other sites "competing" with Google are already getting a taste of what it means to pick a fight with a guy controlling 80% of your traffic


They didn't pick a fight, they started their sites and do what they do. goog is the one jumping up saying YOU ARE NOW MY ENEMY.

claus




msg:4096691
 10:49 pm on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Any empire, same story: They end up waging too many wars, trying to own everything - only then they discover that they have too few ressources for all they're trying to do. So, the empire falls.

Added: Often, in the process they also betray their friends. So the fall may be quicker than the rise, eventually.

ronin




msg:4097210
 2:16 am on Mar 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Its much worse than that! Google want to BE the internet.


Shades of AOL past and, for some, the present! Some people won't know the difference between G and the internet


There's a generation growing up now, a subset of which, I'd wager, won't know the difference between Facebook and the internet.

And those people won't have heard of Google either.

I suspect weeks is correct in commenting that Google is right now (give or take 1-2 years) approaching the apex of its many-tentacled reach across the world wide web.

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