The Demise of Google and Facebook

*I figure I should probably start updating this blog again. It has seen probably a dozen iterations over the years and thanks to p2, here’s a new one.

Anyway, a friend of mine sent me this Forbes article about the next generation of the web and how it is very possible that Google & Facebook won’t be around in 5 years. Personally, I agree and here’s why: As the article mentions, the web is changing into a mobile platform with more and more devices connected to the web from the palm of our hands, our usage patterns are bound to change. Google relies on search and Adwords for 80%+ of its revenue which makes them extremely susceptible to lose market share fast. The company they should be concerned most with? Apple. Apple has already bought a mapping company to integrate into iOS thus removing the need for Google Maps integration and I predict their next movement to build or buy a search engine (DuckDuckGo for example). If Apple puts their own brand of search on their devices they will massively impact Google’s traffic numbers. Microsoft and Internet Explorer dominated the market for so many years because of their tight integration, now we’ve seen Safari’s growth numbers rise b/c of the increase in Mac and iOS devices. It is only a matter of time before Apple takes their cut of the search market.

Facebook is also under a lot of heat right now b/c as the article states, their lack of ability to monetize mobile traffic. They just don’t know how to make money with their app other than with FacebookAds. This is a big problem for them but the one benefit they have is search. Facebook has the data and eyeballs to create their own search engine based purely on the number of shares for content, Fan Page size and other social metrics based on the activity of its users. This is somewhere Google was trying to go with Google+ because they know the impact of social is going to be the future of content. Link based algorithms won’t be here for ever.

That is my thought and I wanted to get it down in writing for the future but this prediction has one caveat; We make it past Dec 21, 2012!!! Below is the 10 second Too Long; Didn’t Read version.

TL;DR Google is in trouble if Apple ever decides to leverage it’s platform with its own search. Facebook is in trouble of not knowing how to monetize mobile but has an out if they develop a quality search engine.

thomas says May 5, 2012

5 years is too short. Now, if you were to tell me they’d peak in 5 years, I’d take that bet. Google is in a similar boat as MSFT as they only have one real cash cow. However, that cow is pretty fat, and can buy a lot of other companies. Google’s play is mobile, and it’s pretty evident especially with the recent Motorola deal.
Apple really is in the catbird seat. They have 3 really good products, a buying cycle that can’t be rivaled, and the Ford Model T mentality (you get this or nothing. Add to that their fanatical owners, and that’s the reason they are the biggest company in the world.
Facebook will win with their partnerships, but they will have to diversify. To me they are the weakest, and I see some sort of AOL/Time Warner merger in the future.

Evan says May 6, 2012

The way startups come on the scene and get popular I don’t think 5 years is too short. Google def. understands the mobile threat but its defense is more about Android than Motorola. Android gives them the horse in the mobile search race. Facebook has a terrible monetization strategy. Their best bet is to become the login system for the universe but still dont know how to monetize that. I see a search engine coming from them soon.

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