Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Has Google search peaked?

The launch of Google+ has been reported as another attempt to grab a share of the social market and create another platform for its AdWords business. Whether or not it is successful is for another debate, I'm more interested in the reason for its launch.

With Facebook growing to 750m accounts and a newly announced partnership with Skype, any attempt to launch a competitor is a bold, bold move. I wonder whether it's because they don't see their long-term future in search?

Does Google see the web, and search with it, moving away from search engines? In fact, is it already moving this way? If they were standalone search engines, YouTube would be the second biggest in the world, with Facebook in third and also Amazon and eBay featuring in the top ten. Admittedly this highlights how Bing, Yahoo et al have failed to make a dent into Google’s dominance, however it also illustrates how people are visiting a circle of trusted sites and using them as their search engines.

So does this mean the web is getting smaller? We’re using YouTube to search for videos, Amazon for products and its Kindle for books, eBay for auctions, Facebook to search for people and even brands.  Has Google been marginalised as a website that provides answers to broad questions? And what does this mean for start up websites? How do they break into this group of trusted websites? Is niche, specific ecommerce or truly innovative unique websites the way forward?