Google’s Future (digitalmediabuzz)

The story below was posted on DigitalMediaBuzz.com in Oct. 2009. Story is posted here for archiving purposes only since original was lost when the site went down.

Google remains in a class of its own.

Sitting atop the search engine world (and forcing a merger of its two biggest competitors to keep up), the company’s stranglehold in online advertising remains intact.

With Google AdSense and AdWords, consumers and businesses are connected through key search words that plants text advertising in various locations of your browsing experience – on top of e-mails, on the sides of search results and on your favorite blogs.

These innovations years ago propelled Google to where it is now financially, but there’s always room for growth – especially in the ever-changing online world that Google resides.

Through the rest of this year and into 2010, new products, meaning a more complete reach to consumers, at Google are poised to launch the company into an even better position.

For starters, Google’sChromeOS is expected to be released and could start seeing itself shipped with new netbooks. The operating system will work in direct competition to Microsoft and its new Windows 7 for control of the netbook platform.

The system, which will work in conjunction with all other Google’s services, would allow for increased eyes across all of its network. And that is the bread and butter for Google. The OS will be open source, and free, so it must drive users to the internet.

“The rough argument is we do things that are strategic because they get people to ultimately use the Internet in a clever and new way,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in a conference call. “We know that if they use the Internet more, they search more, watch more on YouTube, and we then know that our advertising [will reach them].”

The same can be said for Google’s cell phone OS, Android.

Until recently, Android has just been seen as the T-Mobile’s G1 phone, or as some called it the “Google Phone” to direct competition at Apple’s iPhone. But now, Google’s Android system can be found on an ever-growinglist of phones, including three slated for release this month by mobile powerhouse Verizon Wireless.

What the Android platform is doing, as another open source project, is putting Google directly into the hands of mobile consumers. By cutting out the middle man (the iPhone or BlackBerry), the OS can come bundled with specific Google search capabilities, which again, puts the targeted ads at the forefront.

More phone support means a greater market share, which in turn means more eyes on all the services and their ads. All that equals money in the bank for Google.

“We do not require each and every project to be completely profitable or not profitable – we look at them in a strategic context: are they making the Web a better place?,” Schmidt said. “By making the web a better place, by getting more and more people online, we have lot of data that says this results in very, very strong revenue growth from us because of targeted ads that we offer.”

But each new venture returns to the core of Google’s empire – the search world.

Without the search engine experience, and brand recognition it carries, Google’s other products would not have a backbone on which to rely. With that in mind, “googling” must remain everyone’s first thought when they need answers online.

The latest move to remain on top was the partnership announced last week with Twitter that will allow tweets tobeshowed in search results for both BingandGoogle. The move is the first major step toward real-time, social search.

Melt Du Plooy, a search marketing manager at VirtuosaDigitaleMarketingAgency, hopes that these actions will bring companies more to the social word and not just Google itself.

“For me, the future of search will neither be search, nor social. The future of search will be ‘social search’ – integrated real-time search, [hopefully] relevant, updated results, as it happens,” he said. “How Bing and Google will control what is included in the search results will be interesting to see.

“Hopefully businesses and corporates will be forced to operate in the social spaces more to not only control the converstions, but also add to it, or respond.”

Google won’t mind that one bit. If social search brings more eyes to the Internet, then that’s just one more successful service.