Tough Times at Google High?

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It’s not that often that a cloud crosses the sunlit commercial uplands where the Googlers play….but last week was a little stormy.  The big story last week was the cataclysmic pounding which Netflix took when they missed their numbers and HBO announced a non-cable option.  The other sad story was Google. After reporting slower than anticipated revenue growth the markets took them behind the woodshed where their stock ended up at a mere $511.17.  I have covered the reasons for their predicament at length in this blog over the past few months and years….but let’s do the Cliff Notes version.

1   Desktop search has been rapidly overtaken by search on mobile devices. Mobile devices have much less space for ads and lots of the big advertisers still haven’t quite come to terms with mobile…even tho we the users are all about it. That means that as mobile click volume has risen the average price over all continue to drop. These are seismic metrics which anyone…even Wall Street analysts can readily grasp.

2   On mobile devices we tend to spend most of our time on apps like Facebook Instagram, Yelp and Twitter.  Google has spent billions acquiring “moonshot” projects focused on the long term big win.  It hasn’t been as successful acquiring the kinds of mobile aps that we are spending our mobile time on. In many cases we’d rather buy our stuff from Amazon or even ebay direct rather than do the Google dance.

3   A lot of people have developed a healthy scepticism about how Google (and others) handle our personal information.   They aren’t the only offenders for sure, but I have to believe there is at least some backlash against them.

Don’t get me wrong Google is still a powerhouse…but this may be the first time ever when the stars aren’t all fully aligned in their favor.

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