Posted March 1, 2008 1:09 am by with 23 comments

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By Alan Johnson

I’m sure most of you have realized that things are not looking all that great for Yahoo!, and let’s just say that both management and investors are beginning to face the facts. To make matters worse, it seems that Google is, according to TechCrunch, close to securing yet another victory, with the folks over at Ask looking into switching to Google for search and abandoning or selling Teoma.

“Downhill” seems to be the best word for describing the way things stand as far as Yahoo! is concerned, and their situation is even close to being ridiculous, since, in their annual report, they have, as strange as it may sound, stated that their executives were somehow “distracted” by Microsoft’s bid. It’s fairly safe to assume that, when your executives start having a nervous breakdown as a result of a bid, be it a billion dollar one, you are not exactly giving the impression of a company which is on the right track.

On the other hand, having Ask switch to Google for search would (like something like that were even needed) represent yet another edge they would have over the competition. If things continue to unfold this way, then “what competition?” will most likely be the question we will be asking ourselves for quite a long time to come.

Actually, Google’s most important competitor is, you’ve guessed it: Google. Given the way events are unfolding, it definitely seems that collapsing under its own weight represents a far greater threat than the competition, at least at this point.

Yahoo! this, Microsoft that, merger this, merger that. As stated last week, all of this represents entertainment and nothing more. And, while Yahoo! and Microsoft seem to be doing a great job of entertaining us, the people over at Google are still enjoying its status as the biggest player and, given the way things currently stand, it seems that their grandchildren will as well.

Google is clearly not perfect as a company, their management is not perfect, their decisions are not perfect and, most importantly, the search engine is far from being perfect. But does it really matter, if the so-called competition is not strong enough in order to take advantage of such weaknesses? While competitors are entertaining, Google is doing, with the possible Ask scenario being yet another relevant example, and it just goes to show you: as long as your competitors are clueless, you don’t exactly have to be brilliant in order to stay on top.

About Alan Johnson

This post was written by Alan Johnson, the author of The Online Business Handbook.

  • PS3

    I had not realised that Google was looking to benefit from Ask as well. We serious need some competition in the search market, the question is, where is a viable challenger coming from?

  • cashing out time for Yahoo! board

  • It is a shame Ask cant keep their own development up and need Google. No competition is not good news.The pressure is on for MS and Yahoo to do something special.

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  • I agree that Google’s own competition is themselves at this point.

  • I think Google will only have competition once the MSN/Yahoo merger goes down. And mark my words – it will!

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  • I wouldn’t count out just yet. Seriously, wait until the merger happens and we’ll see what goes down.

  • They’re not a monopoly yet, but they sure are making all the right moves to become one.

  • I think Ask is a super service. Pity that they cannot seem to do without Google (the internet Gods)!

  • I wasn’t aware that Ask was looking into using or taking advantage of Google services. It seems like a smart move for both parties – Google has the best search results and Ask has a lot of great features that may now get more attention and use.

    It’s unfortunate that Yahoo! is experiencing the dilemmas that it is – competition is always good in my book and without Yahoo! Google doesn’t have any.

  • There are not monopoly yet. It will be interesting if Yahoo and Msn will merger.

  • I wonder how things will turn out?

  • @ Seomotion – It’s inevitable that the merger will happen. I think Ask needs to be having some strategic discussions right now.

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  • I think Ask rides a nice niche, and I definitely use their service. It’s pretty shameful that they would give in to google.

  • All i can say is that if Google does not face some serious competition soon, us as consumers might suffer in the long run.

  • @ SEO guy – I don’t know if that’s going to happen in our lifetime. Google has a stronghold and they’re innovative.

  • I think it is good to have some competition because in the long run with only 1 or 2 companies dominating the scene it can affect the users. More players equals better deals.

  • Now don’t forget that even as close to a monopoly as google is they are still forced to provide desired services, which people demand. If they ever got out of control with things there would be some new company to emerge from the fire, and absorb all the disgruntled consumers.

  • History has taught us that one monopoly gives way to another. IBM led to Microsoft led to Google led to…

    It always looks like a company will hold it’s position forever until the next company comes along. 10 years from now we could all be looking at a company that’s dominating mobile and wondering why Google can’t compete with them.

  • Google has grown to a formidable size and strength. It will be extremely difficult for any competitor to even get close. To say they are ruling the online world would not be an overstatement.

  • Competition drives the market_it’s the nature of our economy. The genious behind Google is extreme, so if they get surpassed in the mrkt just imaginge how much smarter their predecessor will be.