Google to stick with search

September 26, 2006

Tim Armstrong (VP of Ad Sales) at Google was speaking at an IAB conference today and has announced what most had suspected. That Google would be keeping its focus on what it knows and does really well and that’s search and being the starting point in users journeys online.

This makes perfect sense, Google have the best search platform (for the moment, still waiting for a new contender to take the fight to them) and dominate that market. To branch out into content and producing that content themselves would seem unnecessary.

Tim said Google viewed itself “as an operator of the Web” rather than a company that would produce original text, films or images.

Indeed, why would they want to create content themselves when what they have the potential to do is organise everyone elses content so that users can find and use it more easily. There is so much opportunity for Google right now if they were to follow the example of others and start using their own API’s to create mashups of the services they already provide.

One well discussed possibility is that Google may make a move into becoming some kind of travel search/aggregator and they certainly have the tools to do so already. A combination of Base, Maps, some links into GDS’s (global distribution systems used to sell flights and hotels), Checkout, Images, News and Groups used for travel reviews would see the all singing all dancing bookable travel site. So this is more the way I see them going, maybe not in travel but they have services begging to be combined in clever new ways, and each new service or development gives Google more opportunity to create ad revenue (and increase their loyal user base)…

Online ad revenue was also mentioned at the IAB event. Representatives from both Yahoo and AOL declared that there is no slowdown and all is rosy in the online advertising world. One wonders whether that is bravado in an attempt to get the subject off the table for the moment…

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