In this case study the authors have given a detailed overview of the performance of Google and the opportunities and the challenges it faces by the prominent competitors. Google is an Internet services provider, which core competency is its superb web search engine.
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Google major tools include desktop search, Google browser buttons, Google in your language tool and Picasa photo organizer. The main services include Google alert, Google Answers, Google Catalogs, Google Image Search and Google News. Nevertheless the company’s main strength and competitive advantage is its superior Internet search technology. Google’s main weakness is the lack of any switching cost for users to another search engine. Microsoft has decided to take counter measures against Google success in this regard. Google’s main competitors in the Internet search business are Yahoo, MSN, and AOL.
These companies have started major efforts to develop their Internet search capabilities to outperform Google. These companies already enjoy large user base due to other services they provide via subscription, like email services. Yahoo is second to Google in its search engine popularity and the leader in other services like email and web portals. It also offers business services like domain name registration, web design and development and web hosting etc. Security and confidentiality are the major weaknesses of Yahoo.
AOL a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. specializes in Internet services provision and has also entered in the Internet search market, where it is ranked fourth among the main competitors. AOL’s main weakness is its lack of popularity beyond the United States and Canada. MSN developed by Microsoft is offers Internet services based on emails, personals, online shopping etc. It has also linked its search engine to Encarta Encyclopedia. Microsoft has openly challenged Google and has expressed intentions to improve its search engine capabilities to a new level.
Despite its dominance in the software market it has been rapidly losing its user base to Google. Google founded in 1998 is offers highly targeted advertising solutions, global Internet search solutions, and intranet solutions. It provides ads based on keywords and interface in more than 88 languages. It is very popular outside the United States also. Most of Google’s revenue comes from advertising through its AdWords program, based on auction system. It has a powerful self-management system. Google charges the advertisers when a user clicks the ad appearing on the search page.
Some other major services include Google Images, Google Groups, Google Directory search, Google Toolbar, Google News, Google Wireless, and Google Catalog etc. Google Corporate services include Advertising, Business Solution and Case Submission links. The loyal pool of Google users who use its search engine as a primary gateway to the Internet are the most probably target customers of Advertisers via Google. Despite of its usual contextual ads Google has also started offering Flashier ads, which are more attractive to the users. Google’s primary technology includes its search engine, AdWords and AdSense program, which provides relevant ads.
It also attracts a large number of third party websites to use Google search engine. Google is extremely picky about recruiting new staff, but it is entirely based on merit. Google does not use its home page for advertising neither the television. Google also needs to expand its member-ship grabbing efforts by introducing new services. Google is though far ahead than its competitors and financially in a strong position because of a revenue growth of 117. 56% and minimum expanses, but it needs substantial innovation to keep it up.
Google’s founders have two different visions about future vision of Google. Larry Page suggests that Google should focus on Internet Search Solutions. On the other hand Sergey Brin suggests that company should Google needed to add a broad range of services and communication tools like instant messaging, news, email, website developing and hosting etc. In short Google needs to expand its business. Reference List: Teye-Kofi, Joseph, Mockler Robert J. , Gartenfeld, Mark. 2005. Google: An Internet Search Service Company. Strategic Management Research Group
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