After a surprisingly weak annual report, some analysts are beginning to wonder what Google's future as a search engine is, and whether it will soon join the leagues of AltaVista and Yahoo.
Last week, Google presented a surprisingly weak quarterly report, making one analyst scratch his head and perhaps consider if Google's dominance over search engines is about to fade.
Eric Jackson, founder of investment company Ironfire Captial, expressed his concerns that Google, and indeed Facebook as well, may soon face the same fate as Yahoo and Alta Vista: "In five to eight years they are going to disappear in the way that Yahoo has disappeared," he said in an interview on CNBC, "Yahoo is still making money, it’s still profitable, still has 13,000 employees working for it, but it’s 10% of the value that it was at the height of 2000. For all intents and purposes, it’s disappeared.”
Jackson is reasoning that people's media habits are changing. We are spending more and more time on our mobile phones and less time in front of our computers, googling things at a desk. This has resulted in a lower price per click for online ads, which in turn, means lower profits for Google. Facebook has already seen the impact of this; it's stock market value has halved since it's introduction, and the same thing may now be happening to Google.
Google, however, is so much more today, than a search engine provider. Assuming that Google is simply going to disappear because people's media usage is changing, seems like a rash assumption at best. In fact, companies such as Google and Facebook are facing an unprecedented opportunity for expanding into the mobile market, and that's exactly what they seem to be doing.