M$ vs Google - Winner Takes all?

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Thread Title:
What’s Next for Google
Thread Description:

Interesting piece threadlinked above over at Tech Review by the former owner of Front Page, Charles Ferguson. Front Page being the dreadful, code choking joke of the web-dev world.

Charles sold FP to M$ and made a bomb rather than see his company die. He likens that to the decisions now facing Google:

Google now faces choices as fundamental as those Netscape faced in 1995. Google, whose headquarters in Mountain View, CA—familiarly called the Googleplex—is only five kilometers from Netscape’s former home, needn’t perish as Netscape did, but it could. Despite everything Google has—the swelling revenues, the cash from its initial public offering, the 300 million users, the brand recognition, the superbly elegant engineering—its position is in fact quite fragile. Google’s site is still the best Web search service, and Gmail, its new Web-based e-mail service, Google Desktop, its desktop search tool, and Google Deskbar, its toolbar, are very cool. But that’s all they are. As yet, nothing prevents the world from switching (painlessly, instantly) to Microsoft search services and software, particularly if they are integrated with the Microsoft products that people already use.

Thoughts on M$ vs Google anyone?

Comments

Adsense baby - it's all about the adsense

1/3 from their recent filing was from Adsense - I'm talking cash, revenue, etc.

That's (annualized) more than a billion...people that underestimate google & say that "MSN will own it all" are fools.

From what most marketers say (via clickz, jupiter media, etc al) it seems that there is not only money for publishers in adsense, and money for Google, but also money for *advertisers*.

Seems that even if Google lost all their direct traffic tomorrow, they'd still be generating a ton of cash. People still buy into 3rd teir PPC providers, though most folks *know* that they are probably tossing their money in the trash...it's the quest for ever more distribution, scale, etc that drives them.

Take all that Google has that MSN can take away (search start page, etc) and Google will still generate in excess of a billion in revenue annually. Given their size (3K ish employees?) there not doing bad at all.

This, also ignores things like Keyhole that Google just bought, and the satellite data, maps, etc, that they have. MS doens't have assets like that (yet) but they could...it seems that until the pace of innovation @ the googleplex slows...folks saying MS will own it, are dreaming.

>Thoughts on M$ vs Google any

>Thoughts on M$ vs Google anyone?

I come from the pre-Mosiac era of the web and I can't shake the feeling that this is a re-run I'm watching. Everything feels about the same, there was a big, bubbly IPO and plenty of cat-calls from the (seemingly) entrenched Netscape and its user base ....then Gates tasted blood in the water and within months people were saying "OK, MS has a product, but it's not as good." Then, a few months later, the cat-calls started to slack off, though usually accompanied by some "it'll NEVER beat NS" muttering. A few months later IE had 35% of the market, then 55%, then...

Even the timetable of current events feels like deja vu.

Let me put it this way, if I had GOOG stock I'd hedge my bets and sell a chunk of it right now.

And as for Adsense...

Does anyone think that the Adsense ads will ultimately suffer the same declining CTR that banner ads did?

Adsense is Google's money pie. If people stop clicking, the money stops. It will be interesting to watch CTR's on Adsense ads over the next 18 months.

>stop clicking G's real st

>stop clicking

G's real strength is in the large, widely-dispersed publisher base. But we're a fickle bunch and will simply run to the money. (Which is exactly what I told Dan Boberg and his Overture/Y group in Vegas --so I know they know, hhh. As if they needed me to tell them.) Right now, IMO, G faces more of a threat from Y in the keeping-the-publishers-in-the-stable situation, because Y has both brand and the ad network, but I think that MS could easily buy their way into the ad distribution network and simply displace adsense.

Added

And G isn't going to keep the eyeballs on their serps and serve adwords there. This from Danny's keynote at SES-Chicago:

"Next year, the search market will no longer be dominated by Google's technology, Sullivan said. Both Yahoo (Quote, Chart) and MSN (Quote, Chart) launched their own search technology this year, and those moves greatly reduced Google's (Quote, Chart) share of all searches, Sullivan said.

In January 2004, Google had a 79 percent share of U.S. searches; at year's end, Google's share had fallen to 44 percent; Yahoo controlled 32 percent, MSN had 15 percent, and Ask Jeeves accounted for 6 percent of searches."

http://www.internetnews.com/xSP/article.php/3447731

blood

Yeah, im not sure i buy that Jeremy. I think BG could even run at a loss to kill Google off and I know i'd run M$ ads if they paid better than adsense and the CTR was favorable.

In the is there room for a 4th player in search thread we talked about the maturing of Search and the outcome of "the big three" that happens in all major sectors: Yahoo, Google and now, MSN. I think MSN could make it the big ONE if they really tried, and leave Yahoo and Google out to pick up scraps from geeks and purists...

David Coursey offers a slight

David Coursey offers a slightly more google-positive prognostication but still calls for a close race. He makes some interesting points about company size and the attraction of new/gifted talent. Personally, I think the vulnerability of G's revenue stream is their Achille's heel and that's where I'd attack --but, hey, what do I know?

"If I had to guess right now, I'd expect that a year from now, Google still will be on top, but that Microsoft will be closing in."

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1731539,00.asp

>>>M$ ads if they paid better than adsense / Sure, BUT

How many companies already own lock, stock & barrel the IP (intellectual property) regarding Adsense, etc al?

It seems more than a few - IBM a few years ago was granted many search related patents as well. While patents may not be the best thing to prevent other players from owning the search advertising market, I suspect that this will have a large impact over the upcoming battle.

And yes, I'd bet lunch that given "adsense" from each of the big three, every publisher with any earnings would switch instantly to the one that paid best - or try them all, and then switch to the one that worked best, paid best, etc, etc.

Despite IE still being the largest web browser by far...10 million people have downloaded mozilla. Sure, it's not much, but it's a start in less than two months. Imagine if it catches on - I'd bet a disproportionate amount of commerce online is also fueled by a smaller subset of the online populace..."sneezers" from Seth Godin, right?

So to reach these folks, as long as they're still buying, an advertiser will pay $. And as long as MS isn't quite as good as Google, it'll never be #1 with that crowd...the larger group of joe sixpacks, perhaps.

On another note, Larry & Sergey might agree with you guys - aren't they each going to make a billion through stock sales in the next year? Just in time before MS can catch them, perhaps...

More

Here's an interesting comment by Jupiter boss Alan Meckler on M$ as seen at SES Chicago

Quote:
I came away from SES with many thoughts. One in particular was the presence of MSN at the show for the first time. And what a presence it was! First MSN had the biggest booth and the tallest booth. If the size of the display is an indicator of MSN's intentions, then the industry is in for a real fight for search supremacy. MSN had a large team. They even had a nicely printed brochure soliciting attendees to come to work at MSN search.

Clearly Microsoft means business when it comes to search.

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