Google chairman dismisses threat of Bing and Yahoo asserting: “Amazon is our biggest rival”
Screw Bing and the pitiful attempts by Yahoo to recapture even a fragment of their former glory; Amazon is where the real competition is coming from in the search marketing industry.
So reads the sentiments of Google’s architect and current chairman, Eric Schmidt, who has unexpectedly identified the digital marketplace, Amazon as the American Multinational’s biggest rival; despite the overwhelming consensus that it has not yet even entered into the search marketing landscape.
Schmidt was making the remarks amidst relentless media questioning over Google’s unchallenged and incomparable dominance in the online search sector – an actuality that the Google chief staunchly denied.
“Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo. But, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon,” Schmidt said speaking at a conference in Berlin.
Google are currently being subjected to investigatory proceedings by authorities in the European Union, who have launched a probe into the search engine provider’s conduct following numerous anti-trust complaints.
The company narrowly avoided paying billions of pounds worth of fines in February, when it consented to providing its’ technological rivals with the same degree of visibility in their search engine results where merited.
And Schmidt argued that whilst it is true that Amazon is not a conventional search marketing provider that nevertheless competition in the digital landscape “isn’t always like-for-like”.
“People don’t think of Amazon as search, but if you are looking for something to buy, you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon,” he said.
“They are obviously more focused on the commerce side of the equation, but, at their roots, they are answering users’ questions and searches, just as we are.”
Amazon current holds the honour of being the globe’s biggest online retailer, and has made numerous announcements over the last year which has illustrated a new business scope outside of its normal e-commerce activity.
Last month, the company finalised its acquisition of games console video broadcasting organisation, Twitch, for a blockbuster total of $970 million, marking the occasion of its largest monetary deal in over two decades.
Twitch – which enables game players to stream guides and helpful content to contemporaries across the world – has garnered a huge independent following since its release, and Amazon’s decision to splash out big to obtain it has been seen as a clear statement of its ambition over the upcoming years.
Nevertheless, it still appears to be languishing behind Google in terms of size and power, with the most recent Interbrand Best Global Brands ranking tables released last week valuing Google at over $100 billion. The search engine giants have occupied the number 2 spot in the world for two years now, and currently have a market value of $107.5 billion – a 15% rise from 2013.
‘The next Google’
Despite currently holding over 90% of the market share in the digital search industry, Schmidt highlighted his apprehension over the rise of the ‘next Google’.
“Someone, somewhere in a garage is gunning for us. I know, because not long ago we were in that garage. Change comes from where you least expect it,” he added.
There’s an air of sincerity in Schmidt’s comments here; He is not worried about Amazon outstripping Google at what it does, but more that it can evolve search marketing – just as Google has done – so that it assumes the title of the go-to place for businesses advertising online. This is reflected in Schmidt’s comments that competition “isn’t always like-for-like”- instead Amazon pose a threat because their business model is attractive and offers an alternative to build on to Google.
When discussing a ‘Google killer’, the suggestion is that a new idea, a new style of marketing, a new governing platform displaces them at the top of the pyramid. As with all technological trends, this is inevitable, but with a huge following, and an endless array of resources to boot, it seems that any change in the landscape of marketing will be gradual and steady, rather than the meteoric surge Google enjoyed just over a decade ago.