Analysts: Google spreading itself too thin

Google's biggest enemy may be itself

As Google enters its second decade of existence with no apparent rivals for the search-king throne, industry observers warn that the company's biggest enemy may be itself.

Ruling the search engine market year in and year out is no easy feat, and Google is continually improving its search technology to better index Web sites, analyze queries and deliver relevant results.


As Google turns 10, enterprise success in question | At 10-year mark, Google's glossy facade shows cracks | At 10, Google reiterates commitment to CIOs

However, instead of focusing exclusively on this search market, where Google generates most of its revenue via advertising, the company plays in multiple other markets.

As such, it has to devote effort and resources to maintaining a host of non-search services that could potentially distract the company and affect the quality of its core search engines.

And while Google dominates the search market, there is no shortage of competitors constantly trying to create a better mousetrap and capture Google's search users.

Some like Hakia and Microsoft's Powerset are betting on their semantic search engines, which don't use conventional keyword technology like Google's, and instead attempt to understand the meaning of Web pages.

Others like Mahalo and Wikia Search maintain that they will provide a better search engine by involving people in the process of building their indexes and ranking their results. Google has avoided that approach in favor of relying on automated processes.

Meanwhile, Yahoo, perennially the distant second in the search market, recently launched Search Monkey, a project to let external developers create applications to enhance its Web search results and make them more appealing and useful than Google's.

Still other search engines like Ixquick and Clusty hope to attract users by offering them more privacy than Google and not keeping records of things like their IP addresses and query terms.

And there are specialists in specific search segments, like Blinkx, which focuses on video search, an area of increased interest as online video's popularity rises globally. Others are going after what's called the "deep Web," documents that are difficult for conventional Web crawlers to find and index.

In all cases, the strategy is the same: identify a perceived Google shortcoming and try to improve on it. While Google retains a broad dominance in search, it's a market with very little lock-in favoring incumbents. It's very easy for people to switch search engines: there is no software to install or uninstall, no stored data to move from one place to another.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?