Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Power of Google

Google, Google, Google!

Published: August 25, 2005

Everywhere you turn these days, online and off, Google is there. David Hallerman, an eMarketer Senior Analyst, talks about where the company is going.

One thing no one has to search for is Google. Open a newspaper or business magazine, turn on your television or computer, and changes are within a few minutes you'll see something concerning the search giant. And it still is, first and foremost, even before all the things it is about to morph into, the search giant

In July's monthly qSearch analysis of activity across competitive search engines, released by comScore Media Metrix, Google maintained its market share lead in the US search market with 36.5% of all the searches submitted, followed by Yahoo! at 30.5% and MSN at 15.5%.

As reported in the Internet Retailer, the total volume of online searches conducted in the US reached more than 4.8 billion, up 22% from July 2004. The top six search engines, led by Google, continued to dominate the field, accounting for 99.4% of all searches, up from 98.5% in the year earlier.

Google is also in the news because of the introduction of its new Google Desktop Two, which branches out beyond pure search to manage e-mail, instant messages, news headlines and music, a move that will increase competition with portals and, eventually, Microsoft. In fact, Google is attempting to provide — and control — more of the users' complete experience, in much the same way as Yahoo!, Microsoft and AOL currently do.

Even more intriguing was Google's surprise announcement that it plans to take advantage of a tripling in its stock price since the IPO of a year ago to sell $4 billion in shares. The move is yet another sign that Google intends to accelerate its expansion beyond the search, mapping and e-mail functions that have drawn users and vaulted it to the number one position in Internet advertising.

A key to Google's future, says eMarketer's David Hallerman, will be moving beyond paid search. "The power of paid search is enormous — it's the most popular, most common, and most used form of online advertising," says Mr. Hallerman, a senior analyst at eMarketer. "But they need to get a share of brand advertising, as more traditional advertisers move online."

International growth will be another key, says Mr. Hallerman. International revenue growth has outpaced domestic gains, reaching nearly 150% in the second quarter, compared to a "mere" 75% pace in the US.

Need in-depth information about the search market? Read eMarketer's report, Search Engine Marketing: Search Users and Usage.