We use search for just about everything, Google has famously become a noun, a verb and who knows..is about to become an adjective too. Whilst it’s awesome to find out things like (after watching Clinton last night) which amendment would we have to repeal in order to re-elect him (the 22nd) it makes its money from shopping searches. Those shopping searches have traditionally come from desktop users using Google to price compare for both online and offline purchases. However there is an interesting argument emerging that says that Google might end up duking it out with an unexpected rival…not Yahoo! or Bing or even Duck Duck Go….but Amazon. The little book seller who could has become the unexpected gorilla in the room in online sales and may end up as an inadvertent search gorilla too. With the continued growth of mobile devices and the increasing trend for users to cut out the middle man and go straight to Amazon to compare and shop there is at least some danger that Google will be left holding the proverbial 22nd amendment query baby while the shopping search goes straight to Amazon.
Obviously this isn’t going to hurt the mighty Google badly anytime real soon. Amazon revenues are in the same ballpark as Google but their margins are much thinner. However Google’s juicy margins are driven by shopping searches and the average price per click Google is achieving has been in pretty steady decline for a year. As I reported in an earlier post the move to mobile is driving this trend more than any other single factor. To add insult to injury mobile users are increasingly bypassing Google entirely and comparison shopping on shopping apps like Amazon….it will be interesting to see how this plays out.