Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Google's Still Got It--Business Week Review of GOOGLE

Ben Elgin's compared Google search to the others for several weeks and concludes that "Google's Still Got it". The others are adding features and best Google in a small number of searches. Overall, one can find information through Googlethat is difficult to find with the others.

The above explains the 37% market share and the huge growth in profits. If one searches via Google, one is likely to click on advertised sites presented by Google.

AOL earns 300 million a year off of Google searches. AOL has tough choices to make in the near future. MSFT must be willing to pay big to swing AOL to MSFT search. More and more news sources are going to be available through Google. The number of blogs is growing by 70,000 per day!

I believe in the theory that the wide tail distribution is a win for Google. Again, the theory is that although the mass media gets the most viewings, the total of all the viewings is larger for the millions and millions of small news and blog sites. People are interested in many special areas that simply cannot be covered by the mass media.

I believe it is good for America to have free wide distribution of information. For example, Americans should be interested in going to see their local high school or college football game rather than watching a pro team from a far off city on TV. The mass media has sold us the pro team. The free distribution of info will allow us to follow our local teams in much detail. (By the way, the women's soccer team at UNC is undefeated 11-0 so far this year and I am glad to be able to follow this team via the enternet.)

The areas where AOL search is better than Google search is where AOL adds information from its private cache of magazine feeds. Again, AOL has an important decision to make; should it open the magazine feeds up to Google to maximize advertising revenue or should it hold onto the information with the hopes of increasing its search market share? I believe the answer is clear and a little bit complicated.

AOL needs to open its vast content to be searched but it must also post a subscription option for even more detailed information on the subject. In other words, a Google search for Barry Bonds should include a recent picture posted in one of the AOL magazines. However, AOL should expect a small subscription fee to have access to all pages of the magazine. It might work in a similar way to Google Print. One can search the book on Google Print but one cannot read the whole book.

The world is changing. Systems will continue to evolve. However, I don't see anyone knocking EBAY off the hill as the top auction site and I don't see anyone taking the search lead away from Google.

In each case, there is much more to being number one in any business than what is visible to the naked eye. Yahoo and Google will be going head to head for a long time. AOL and MSFT need to be careful or they will go down in history as also rans.