Reality Check: Perceptions of Google

Published in News, Rants and Ephemera on Sunday, July 2nd, 2006

There sure is a lot of noise about Google and the successes and failures of their side projects like Google Finance, Talk, local search etc etc. I may be missing something, but it seems to me that Google is excelling at the one thing that matters.

Techmeme has the links.

This reminds me of people who were saying that Google was trying to become a portal.

I think this latest trend of articles - and the portal thing - are cases of over analysis. Look at the home page. Read the news.

Google is doing what it does best and gaining market share. This is where people should be worried. Where is the competition?

I'm starting to understand why 37signals posted Google Flares?

State of the market

Something worth noting, is that Google entered and dominated search because the market was weak and ripe for innovation. Just like Maps, which has been very successful, and even Gmail, which forced both Yahoo! and Microsoft to advance their online mail offerings. Gmail and Google Maps together pushed Ajax to where it is today.

In the end, Google has a certain luxury:

Marissa Mayer, vice-president for search products and user experience, estimates that up to 60% to 80% of Google's products may eventually crash and burn. But the idea, she says, is to encourage risk-taking and let surviving products truly thrive. "We anticipate that we're going to throw out a lot of products," says Mayer. "But [people] will remember the ones that really matter and the ones that have a lot of user potential."

They are innovating in different spaces and going with what sticks. Man, sounds like a great place to be, and as long as the bottom line stays stacked from search traffic and ad revenue, they can keep playing this game. So all this noise from the 'sphere is just residue left in the wake of how they are doing business.

Comments and Feedback

Wow this is a great source of information about web development!

I feel the perceptions of Google are where they've been since they went public - primarily an Ad agency with a predominent market share in Ads. That's where they dominate, that's where they make money - 85-95% of it to be exact.

"Google Flares" perhaps so, but hardly a tactic to throw off competitors like Microsoft. Shares are climbing for Yahoo and MSN over last year and the year before...

"But the idea, she says, is to encourage risk-taking and let surviving products truly thrive"

Honestly, I would rather put the money where it matters, on the ones that will survive, like Google Base and Gbuy.

These are the ones already proven to work, and easy to put numbers behind. Google Video, Desktop, Catalogs, etc. will fall by the wayside and just exist.

I'm all for Google's risk taking... They have enough money to put behind the products that truly thrive, and their risk taking is exciting to watch. I am always wondering "what will they come up with next???"

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