In case you missed it last week an analyst predicted Google will climb to $600 a share. Not to be outdone with preposterous pontifications another analyst predicted Google would reach $2000 a share. Both of these numbers are completely ridiculous ( I might feel differently if I owned a few hundred shares though). However it got me thinking what would it take to topple Google?
If you’re regular reader you know I feel Google is arrogant, however after giving it some thought they aren’t really in that much danger at the present time. They can cruise along and shoot themselves in the foot multiple times at point blank range and still come out just fine thanks to their defensive line. Who’s Google’s defensive line you ask … well that’s my fellow SEO spammers.
Like it or not you do have to acknowledge Google does a decent job at keeping a lot of crap out of the SERP’s. They keep a lot of good stuff out in the process, but they do keep a lot of spam from being profitable (yes some spam does and will always make it through). Now as anyone who plays in the space knows, you can make money from Yahoo and MSN but the big bucks come when you land a site in Google. The real question is why can’t MSN or Yahoo step up to the plate and take some of Google’s market share, one of the biggest hurdles is getting past the spam. Let’s be honest at this point MSN does a pretty poor job of dealing with spam. If they had anywhere near the market penetration that Google had I’d have a fleet of Saleen S7’s and own a chain of islands in the south pacific. Are the best and brightest at MSN not as smart as the Googler’s, maybe but I don’t think that’s the case. I think smartest employees at Microsoft aren’t working on search they are working on Office and Windows, which brings in the lion’s share of Microsoft’s revenue. Yahoo, who IMHO has some pretty decent SERP’s, has an identity problem. They have excellent relations with the publishing communities, however they don’t do to well courting the public or celebrity bloggers and tech media. Let’s be honest the line of people who are fawning over Yahoo is pretty short.
So what about the outside, can’t someone else repeat what Google did and steal the game? That’s where the defensive line of spammers really does it’s job. For a startup company to come in a deal with spam as effectively as Google currently does is going to be pretty difficult. Notice I didn’t say impossible, I just said difficult. In fact I bet Google is quite happy to fund
webmaster welfare AdSense to keep the spammers in business shoring up the defensive line.
So I’m not backing down from my position that Google is arrogant and it will come back and bite them at some point, but all that good stuff they are giving away to consumers like Google.Pack, Gmail, desktop search and others builds the love, and all the AdSense checks from spammers ranking sites in Yahoo and MSN is a little insurance to keep they entry barrier a little higher for newcomers.