A post on Skrenta heralds Google as the winner in the third age of computing. Worth a read, some major points include:
* Yahoo is effectively letting $1.5 billion in revenue sit on the table so long as they chose not to allow AdWords to handle their search monetization.
* “Google is the start page for the Internet. The net isn’t a directed graph. It’s not a tree. It’s a single point labeled G connected to 10 billion destination pages.”
* Alluding to Battelle’s database of intentions: “Google’s CPMs are $90-120, vs. $4-5 for an average browse page view elsewhere. This value premium on search vs. content is because of the massive concentration of choice potential which exists on the decision point, Google.”
* Next step, dominating the verticals: “It’s actually not inconceivable that they could eventually own all of the destination page views too. Crazy as it sounds, it’s conceivable that they could actually end up owning the entire net, or most of what counts. Complaints are already being heard about Google using their starting point power to muscle into verticals.” Here Skrenta is referencing the new Google Tips on their homepage, on which Firefox brain Blake Ross, generally a friend of Google, just posted a scathing note of criticism.
* Zero switching costs for users means that a search engine with even a modest advantage will attract a snowball effect of preference, to paraphrase Skrenta. That’s an advantage underlined when brand recognition is taken into account.