I said that the Google Empire shakes in 2008 and many people insisted that no other search engine will beat Google. But when I say Google I don’t see just the search engine – I see the Google Empire as a whole.
Google is more than a search engine. It’s a money making machine, experts call it the ultimate marketing machine because no other company in the world has managed to take over so many market segments in such a short time.
It will take a while for Google to lose its supremacy in search, but there are other fields where better products from smaller companies already have their faithful users. They are called “alternatives to Google” and we have at least one popular “alternative” in every field, including search. When I say “search” I don’t mean Yahoo and Live. I mean hakia, Ask.com and others. What these companies need to take over Google in their fields is better PR.
Sadly not many companies understand what better PR means. Many think that a SEO press release, a PPC campaign and eventually some sponsored reviews do the trick. Others try the “giveaways” approach and they still don’t manage to “sell” their product. The secret to Google’s success is quite simple: don’t try to sell.
Google creates the illusion of giving away for free everything aside AdWords. They even reward financially users who publish ads by Google on their sites.
There is one thing that generates the most negative reactions from the users, including the most enthusiastic fans: Google’s PageRank system. Apparently Google understood that this is a problem and it is trying to “fix” it. In my opinion the fix comes too late, or at a bad point in time. A search for “alternatives to google” returns results that should at least make the Giant think twice before making another strategic error.