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Google: A tale of two graphs

Google in the nerd echochamber
In Silicon Valley, Google-as-the-giant talk is deafening. As others have noted, startups used to get the question “What are you going to do when Microsoft does this?” and today, it’s “What are you going to do about Google?” I’m generally pretty amazed by the perceived power of Google. As far as I can tell, they are doing extraordinarily well catering to the alpha geek set, and since that’s all of San Francisco, it seems like GMail, Google Maps, and the like are dominating the rest of the market.

So first, a map of Google’s true, dominating power in search:

Google versus Yahoo revenues
Google vs. Yahoo Revenue ($)

But as Matt Pace from Compete noted, they aren’t doing so well after spending $60MM in the checkout program. I’d encourage you to read the whole article.

Google Checkout versus PayPal

It’s definitely quite interesting. And although this data is a year old, it’s interesting how little headway Google made across a bunch of new products, even as they killed Yahoo in search:

In fact, one could argue that ultimately, Google has been extremely productive in 3 specific areas:

  • First, dominating in search
  • Then, dominating in advertising
  • And finally, dominating in PR and “geek cred”

A phantom competitor for Orkut
The last point is critically important – how often do you talk about Orkut or some other minor Google service? In the example of Google’s pathetic attempt at social networking, you should also contrast it to another company’s mastery in the same area. Here’s some fun stats:

  • 100MM unique users per month
  • 2.5 billion photos uploaded total, with 6 million per day
  • 30 markets and 16 languages
  • On top of that, all these stats were for last year

What company is this? Click here to find out :)

Stay rational about high-buzz companies and their actual capabilities
To conclude, the point is that I’ve found myself often disagreeing with the emphasis people place on Google’s competitive chops, and that there seems to be a “brand cult” around them the same as Apple and so on. Now that’s all OK and good, until all of SF falls under the spell, and folks become non-rational about companies due to their relation with Google. Just my 2 cents.

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