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BNR Branding Solutions is based in Huntersville, N.C., and is a full-service web development and digital marketing company.

Saturday, 24 April 2010 15:03

Rumors of Google’s demise were greatly exaggerated

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This may be a general human obsession, but the tech world seems to be enamored with the next giant killer. Not a week goes by without a news report or blog post touting the next iPhone, Warcraft, Google, or Microsoft killer. In case you hadn’t noticed, iPhone, Warcraft, Google, and Microsoft are still alive and kicking – and might even have made a buck or two even in the middle of the worst American economy in over 70 years.

Back in May 2009 there was a giant killer story with a twist. This time it wasn’t David v. Goliath, it was more like USA v. Russia or Ali v. Foreman. Microsoft had decided to make a serious effort to cut in to Google’s dominance in online advertising. Apparently the thought of Google taking the lion’s share of the multi-billion dollar market without a serious threat was enough to make them invest in their Bing search product. Bing debuted with a lot of fanfare and TV commercials backing the launch. There was finally another big kid on the block that was going to muscle in on Google’s turf.

Or so the reports said. Here we are a year later and where does the battle stand? To Microsoft’s credit, they have a pretty decent product that has been accepted as a player in the search game. They even managed to increase their market share nearly 50% - from 8% to 11.7%. The increase did come at a pretty steep price though; they also managed to lose several hundred million dollars in the process. Sure, the losses will subside over time since they did need to make a pretty serious investment in R&D just to get a product capable of competing with Google, but Bing it turns out is not the Google Killer as advertised.

Actually, Bing has turned out to be more of a Yahoo killer. The big increase in Microsoft’s market share didn’t even put a dent in Google’s business. Google actually has a slight increase in market share and pretty sizable increase in revenue (23%) and operating profit (32%). It would appear that the rock didn’t just fail to take out the giant, it completely missed the giant.

So what does this mean to you and your business? Well, there are a few things we can infer form this information. The most obvious is that Google is still the biggest game in town when it comes to online advertising. No one else is even close at this time. If your plan is to get your business in front of the largest audience, Google is still the one. We can also safely assume that online advertising is on the rise. Google’s number one source of revenue is online advertising. None of their other revenue producing departments could account for a 23% increase in total revenue. We know the Nexus One wasn’t responsible for the increase. This means either the average price per click has gone up (more competition for keywords) or more clicks are being purchased (more new keywords being bought). In either case it tells us that your competition has either jumped on to the game or has started spending more on their campaigns.

Are you being left behind? Increasingly successful businesses are looking online with their marketing plans. Be it through pay per click or social media or search engine optimization, your future marketing efforts should include an online component before you find yourself in a position where you have to slay the giant in your industry. Establish your presence early and be the giant. The view is always better from the top of the heap.


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Brent Friar is the owner and chief web developer for BNR Branding Solutions. His development experience dates back to 1994 when he was a founding partner of Internextion Web Development in Orange County, CA.

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