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I wrote several weeks ago about the similarities between Google and Microsoft from a power and market share perspective, and this terrific business week article digs deeper into Google and the immense power they have over the Internet and the way that people ultimately find information. Reading it reminds me once again how amazing Google’s growth has been. A couple of highlights, all from this article:

  • 400 million people per day search at Google
  • Google generated $10.6 billion last year, virtually all from little text ads that are inserted alongside search results
  • Google’s $144 billion market value tops that of Time Warner, Viacom, CBS, ad agency giant Publicis Groupe, and the New York Times Co. combined

This quote really drives home my point a few weeks ago:

If this talk of corporate dominance sounds vaguely familiar, it should. As firmly as IBM ruled mainframe computing and Microsoft the personal computer age, so Google has the potential to rule the Internet. To some people, Google’s position today, while clearly far from identical to Microsoft’s in its heyday, nonetheless shares some striking parallels. “Google feels a lot like Microsoft in the mid-Nineties,” says Silicon Valley startup adviser Dave McClure. “Right at the height of its power, getting a little arrogant, and challenged for the first time by some powerful people.”

Google is an amazing company, but I would be thrilled to see some healthy competition. If Yahoo, MSN, Ask, etc. were able to gain market share, improve their systems and better compete with Google, it would benefit advertisers and users alike. Sadly, I don’t anticipate this happening unless Google severely trips up, and their track record to date makes that look unlikely.


One thought on “The Power of Google
  1. Mike Block says:

    Too true. Although Google has been all smiles to date, the old addage remains true, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Google’s power, in this case, is as close to absolute as power has gotten since Microsoft and although Google has made a positive impact on the world to date, I’d rather not roll the dice if it can be avoided through some real competition.

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