Could it be true? Is Google doomed to become — like most giants — a dwarf in the near future?
That’s the opinion of Farhod Manjoo, a New York Times columnist, who suggests that indeed “the mainstream media is losing confidence in Google, which for some time has dominated several areas of the tech industry, but is now displaying signs of “losing touch.”
Manjoo argues that companies “meet their end not with a bang, but a whimper, a slow imperceptible descent into irrelevancy.”
According to Business Insider, Manjoo refers frequently a blog post by industry analyst Ben Thompson “as evidence for Google’s gradual demise.”
Manjoo draws on Thompson, who boldly goes where no man has gone before and says: “Google may very well be in a similar situation to early-eighties IBM or early-oughts Microsoft: a hugely profitable company bestride the tech industry that at the moment seems infallible, but that history will show to have peaked in dominance and relevancy.”
A world without Google? Seems unthinkable, but critics are convinced there are cracks in the wall.
The basis of the criticism is this: while Google enjoyed $11.3 billion in ad revenue in Q3 of 2014, the vast majority emanated from search advertising. So what happens when the broader ad industry moves (and they already are through the likes of native ads and other formats/technologies on which Google is lagging)?
“Google is dominant when it comes to the algorithm, but lacks the human touch needed for social or viral content,” according to Thompson.
Search — where Google is seen as “king of the hill” — could also be in jeopardy.
“There’s no single, existential threat to Google,” says Business Insider. “But if the tech giant isn’t careful, it could experience a death by a thousand cuts. Slowly, overtime, several small issues can lead to one big failure.”
Strange, but true — and it could happen. After cars, who wanted a horse and carriage? After electric typewriters, who wanted a manual machine? And after computers, who wanted a typewriter at all?