Google and Its Positioning of Search as an Important Technical Area

January 11, 2016

Google in 1999 when I met Larry Page at a search conference was all about search. Flash forward to 2016. Search, if the information in “2016 Google Tracker” is on the money, is almost a sideline at Google in 2016. Yet in terms of revenue, search related functions generate the bulk of Alphabet Google’s cash.

What’s this suggest?

The write up does the “I want a mouse pad” thing: Focusing on the smiley face approach to the Alphabet Google thing:

The company (and this series of articles) just seems to get bigger and bigger as time goes by.

Whether you know what Calico or DeepMind do is secondary to the “bigger and bigger” assertion.

Flip that around. Search is getting smaller and smaller. Yet the revenue dependence on search remains a constant. Steve Ballmer observed that Google was a one trick pony.

That is no longer true. Google is a one trick pony in terms of revenue. But Google’s interests are quite diverse. Some of the projects are interesting; for example, funding companies to bring much needed innovation to Google. Others are more bizarre like “solving death.”

The question I have is, “What will Alphabet Google do to generate new revenue?”

Science projects and beating an ageing horse may not be sustainable methods. We spend on ideas because we can is interesting, maybe entertaining. Amazon appears to be structuring a business based on multiple revenue streams and pursuing some far out projects. Google may have more in common with HP Enterprise, IBM and Microsoft than I once thought. Take away the advertising business which owes much to Yahoo’s Overture/GoTo model, and what is Alphabet Google.

Could one answer be a Yahoo-type outfit?

Stephen E Arnold, January 11, 2016


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