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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Will Google Transform Into A Portal?

I was reading an article today from MediaPost about Google's forray into revenue sharing and competing with Amazon by offering book excerpts next to search results pages. It reminded me of my tour of Yahoo's campus back in August. As I walked on their manicured lawns and in and out of their amazing facility I was struck with the thought that Yahoo is way bigger than Google and they've been in the game for quite some time. Google's just the new kid on the block and they have a long way to go. I even pondered the possibility and probability of Google venturing into the Portal market and being all things to all people.

Most people don't realize that only 30% of Yahoo's revenues are derived from search. An amazing additional 30% of their revenues are from Japan alone and another 30% from their other services like Yahoo Autos, SBC Internet Access, web site hosting and other areas. So when you compare that to the fact that almost 100% of Google's revenues are from search, it's pretty amazing. It makes it pretty clear that Google's move into free email will be followed by several other steps Yahoo took over 7 years ago. It's a different time and a different internet space but the standard marketing moves are the same.

Here's the complete article I was referred to earlier in the post.

As the search giant continues to extend its empire, it unveiled a new technology today at the Frankfurt Book Fair to help publishers sell books online. The move appears to be an advance into Amazonian territory.

The Google print function will be worked into Google search queries so that Web surfers will see book excerpts next to search results pages. Book excerpts will incorporate a link offering surfers the chance to buy books from online booksellers. Google doesn't plan to charge online retailers that list their site next to search results. However, it will implement a revenue-sharing deal with them.

Ironically, Amazon's A9.com is an ad-free service that is partly based on Google's search technology. The move into the online book space, like the Gmail service, appears to be the latest in a series designed to diversify Google's product and service portfolio. Does Google want to be Yahoo!? There are signs that it's moving in that direction, or trying to.

Online auctioneer eBay has also moved into broader e-commerce, directory, and multimedia activities. Acquiring an interest in Craigslist represents the latest sign of eBay's expanded universe. Notably, it's also done some interesting sponsorships and cross-media deals of late with CBS and other Viacom properties. Yahoo! has partnered with NBC's hit show "The Apprentice" to present interactive content supporting the property.

No online property can afford to be a one-trick pony any more. Not even the big guys - not Yahoo!, eBay, or Google.

By Jason Dowdell at 03:29 PM | Comments (0)

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