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Why Google Remains on Top...For Now

GoogleHere's a great article summarizing Marissa Mayer's recent keynote at the Searchonomics 2007 conference.  Marissa is a VP at Google and has been featured in cover stories in a variety of magazines.

Two things came to mind as I read this summary.  First, this is why Google remains the leader in search and threatens so many other industries.  They're always out there thinking about new products and services, aggressively building upon the empire that currently exists.  Sure, lots of other companies say they're doing all this, but can they prove it with a list that's impressive as the 8 items she presented in her keynote?  Btw, keep in mind that this is just a small portion of the innovations that are undoubtedly happening behind the scenes at Google; this is just the stuff they were willing to share with the public at this time!

The other thing that came to mind while reading this is, "gee, I wonder how long Google can continue to pull this off?"  I don't own any Google stock and have no plans to buy it.  (I figure I've already missed out on the huge run-up it's had from below 200 in 2005 to north of 500 today and it would be just my luck to buy it at the top!)  But it's not the irrational stock market that has me concerned; it's really the ease of customers switching from Google to just about anything else that makes me wonder.

I use Google as my primary search tool and have no plans to change...until something better comes along, which is how I wound up using Google in the first place.  That's why it's so important for Google to get their tentacles into so many other business.

Online advertising?  You can see I use their AdSense service right here on my blog.  It was easy to implement and it's paid for my Typepad hosting fees as well as a new lawn mower, but I'd switch to something else in a heartbeat if I thought it was a better solution.

As you look at all of Google's various sites and services, doesn't it seem ridiculously easy to abandon them for the proverbial "better mousetrap"?  Google is building up a nice brand name, although it probably still means nothing more than "search" in the minds of most people.  Nevertheless, this whole operation seems like a giant house of cards that could easily collapse because it's so easy to switch from Google to another vendor.


David Welton

The lack of serious competitors (although it seems that's finally starting to change) in the advertising space is what really boggles my mind. A lot of information products have very high "switching costs" (think of an organization trying to get away from MS Office, for instance) and end up locked in to certain choices. Advertising doesn't really suffer for that, and while being able to scale up is important, it's not like Google are the only ones able to do that.

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