Google Can’t Grow New Products, Hence the Acquisitions
Towards the end of Bill Tancer’s opinion piece for Time magazine there’s a great observation about the growth of Google’s new products – they’re not growing!
However, for all of its success, Google’s online dominance has been limited to search. In web-based email, for example, Google’s service, Gmail, is in a distant fifth place to leader Yahoo! Mail, which is over 12 times the size of Gmail in terms of visits. Google has barely made a peep in social networking; MySpace, the #1 social networking site, is over 300 times the size of Google’s Orkut service. Even mainstream information such as Google Finance is an order of magnitude smaller in visits than the industry leader in financial information Yahoo! Finance.
As Bill suggests, and I agree, Google has struggled to build anything that comes close to the dominance it has in the search space (64.8% share). We all look on Google as being a company that builds great products, and even I’m among those that warn industries to prepare for when Google enters your market, yet what has Google dominated outside of search? Not much really and so is instead using its huge war chest to buy its way into dominance (such as acquisitions of YouTube and DoubleClick).
Did I miss a Google grown product that dominates its niche (outside of Brazilian mafia social networking)?