Saturday, June 18, 2011

Google’s “Dubious” Competitive Advantage

Before I dig deep, let’s take a look at this:

The company that has created marvels in the online arena since its inception seems to be plagued with uncertainty. Evidently, I am talking about Google Inc. Ever since Google unleashed its search algorithm, the manner in which it sought stardom saw no worthy adversary. With time and with the emergence of new technologies, different companies have tried to outclass Google within the search engine business. Yet, all have failed! In December 2007, Google had a massive market share of 62.4% in the search engine business. Just over two years down the road, in January 2010, this market share saw alterations only for the better, which ascended up to 65.2%. No parallel as the numbers suggest and adequately so! These figures obviously manifest that the search algorithm is Google’s competitive advantage. It allows it to stay ahead of competition and more importantly, draw revenues and profits by cautiously embedding an excellent advertising strategy. Yahoo has exerted immense efforts to somehow draw contention by whipping off some of Google’s market share. However, these efforts have not been overwhelming. Similarly, Microsoft made a massive entry with “Bing”. It looked promising but ever since Google upgraded its search engine with Caffeine, Bing has not proven to be a formidable opponent either.

Many would agree that Google is the first option in search due to the lack of complexity in terms of usage . It‘s simple interface made it so attractive and appealing for consumers that it became renowned extremely quickly within the mainstream. Slowly and seemingly apparently, Google is attempting to implant “simple” characteristics in its services. It can be understood that the surge of social networks have been fundamental in structuring this transition which Google exercises so abruptly. However, the question that arises here is where Google Inc. itself sees its source of competitive advantage in present day era, SEARCH or SIMPLICITY? Or both? The clip above suggests Google has opted for simplicity. It allows simplicity to the users to such an extent that all they have to do is to ‘drag and drop’ and results become visible, not harder than that! However, numbers call the shots and suggest otherwise. It is the SEARCH that overrules everything else. I believe this generates sensations that Google is somewhat tumbling down the rabbit hole and is getting strayed from what has made it become the premier leader in the search engine business.