Drinking the Google Kool Aid?
Sure, I like Google a LOT .... but Gooogle Golly Gee ....
I'm getting tired of people explaining how Google will take over the internet and then the world of commerce. This is the nonsense we heard back in 1999....except they were saying AMAZON was going to take over the world.
What's Amazon? Oh... right.... it's a book selling site.
True, Google's innovations are far more profound, their people are brilliant, and they have approached things in incredibly innovative ways. But there is a challenge for Google that is rarely discussed even though it's the most significant thing about the company:
Almost ALL of THEIR MONEY comes from ADVERTISING!
Google-y eyed analysis seems to miss the fact that Google is not making money because they are profoundly innovative in search and internet, they are making money because they came online at the right time with the best search to date. They combined this with the brilliancy of contextual advertising invented more by Bill Gross of Overture than Google. Read "The Search" by John Battelle for this interesting story as well as a great history of search with a strong emphasis on Google.
With Yahoo now equal in search quality and MSN and AskJeeves equal within months or a year at most, the division of advertising revenues will challenge Google, making it hard to grow faster than the rate offline advertising money pours online.
Sure they are GREAT, but the key questions relate to how they adapt to the ever changing marketplace as much as the ever changing search landscape.