Google Competitor Analysis

Submitted by Craig Strzelecki on 26 April, 2006 - 09:17

A future competitor analysis for Google

In a recent article from Business Week they did a competitor analysis for Google (GOOG). This is the the case as it stands at the moment: "Advertisers such as eBay (EBAY) and Amazon (AMZN) need Google to drive traffic to their sites, and Google depends on their business for a significant chunk of its sales." But all is set to change in future as companies evolve and change the way they do business. Here is a quick rundown of the competitive forces that Google needs to combat in future:

The Future Google Competitors

1. eBay

EBay has been developing their own internal search technology, code-named Magellan. This new internal search technology is intended to provide more relevant search results for eBay, making it easier for consumers to find particular items without browsing through menus. The person who developed eBay's new search technology, Louis Monier, left for Google last year.

2. Amazon

Not much to report here, although Amazon tried to launch A9.com - their own search engine - but it hasn't really taken off. As with eBay, Google has been paoching their employees taking on Udi Manber, the former CEO of Amazon's A9 search site.

3. Print Media: Newspapers

Given that about 35% of newspaper revenue is from classifieds - the newspaper industry is concerned. Google and other players like Craigslist.com are taking away revenue from the newspapers.

4. Book Publishers

This has got to do with the Google Print for Libraries project, now called Google Books. The project included plans to scan millions of books from five of the world's largest libraries and make them searchable on Google's Web site -- including copyrighted texts. Google continues to scan library books even when their tails are on the line against the Authors Guild with a class action as wel as from a class suit from several publishers. These lawsuits won't go to trial for several more months.

5. Telecomunications providers

Two issues here: Proposed laws on metered access to the telco's network (the internet backbone) for Google and the release of free Wi-Fi in San Francisco. One of Google's plans is to make wireless broadband available at little or no cost in other metropolitan areas as well. The proposed laws are aimed as ensuring "Net neutrality." "Google wants to ensure it retains unfettered -- and unmetered -- access to the networks that form the Internet's backbone." AT&T Chief Executive Ed Whitacre has hinted publicly he'd like the freedom to charge tolls to Web companies that provide services via AT&T's network.

6. Adult entertainment industry

One issue here: Copyright over what Google is using in their SERPs. The case was that one website had its content taken down from Google Images as it was an infringement of copyright.

7. Search Upstarts

A lot of venture capital ($263 million) is being pumped into search companies.

8. US Government

The issue was to do with the government requesting search information data and Google refused on the basis that "reams of data could compromise company trade secrets and breach the privacy of Google users".

9. Human-rights groups

Issue: Google China censorship.

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