“The battle for search is over for now — Google won — but the battle for the underlying revenue is just heating up,” according to Alex Rampell, the CEO of TrialPay. I hadn’t thought if it this way before, but his thought provoking article at TechCrunch, “Preempting Search,” got me thinking.
Rampell’s premise is that:
For Google’s enemies, the best way of hurting the search goliath is not to build a better search engine, but rather to give people a reason to stop searching for a wide class of goods and services by preempting search on Google. Given Google’s dependence on harvesting “transactional intent” for its revenue, the key is to move transaction initiation off of Google.
I wonder though, people are so lazy. Is it really possible that they will circumvent searching in favor of a multitude of transactional and vertical niche sites if Google gives them easy access to those niches in a single easy place that they trust? With Google’s reputation for quality search results, whether one agrees or not, it’s so much easier for the masses to just search and trust Google to show them where to go. Perhaps each individual might have a soft spot for a certain transactional site or vertical (I admit I’m an Amazon & Expedia devotee), but I can’t believe that most searchers would take the time to develop a portfolio of trusted individual sites to meet their individual needs.
Still, if each person chooses one transactional or vertical site over Googling, that could represent a wearing away of Google’s revenue hold to a thousand niche players. Interesting to ponder. Thoughts?
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