Full disclosure: I work at Google and am formerly an Amazon employee.
David Aronchick

Edit: I decided to provide counter arguments to everything you said, since I apparently enjoy playing devil’s advocate with this subject.

Google captured 78% of the search ads market, which is growing 24% y/y

Sure, but growth isn’t an indicator of invincibility. BlackBerry’s numbers were at their highest point after the iPhone was released.

Google received 96% of all search-ad clicks from mobile 2016Q4

Yes, and mobile adblocking is on the rise.

Youtube revenue is projected to hit $7B in 2017

Revenue. The point I was making is that it still isn’t profitable. It costs a stunning amount of money to keep something like YouTube running.

Google search ad clicks increased by 44% y/y 2017Q2

Again, growth doesn’t guarantee future growth. And if I had to guess, it probably has something to do with Google making the distinction between ads and search results less and less clear with every iteration. Every time, they say it doesn’t have any impact on people’s ability to tell the difference. I’m sure what they mean is that there is no statistical difference. But I bet if you compared the original look of ads to what they look like now, there would be a difference. So some of that growth may be from people not realizing they’re clicking ads — something I’ve watched my friends do multiple times recently.

“Google’s ability to acknowledge the coming trend and still fail to land in front of it reminded many observers of its catastrophic failures in the booming industries of social media and instant messaging.” — You didn’t list any data here — what did you mean? Wouldn’t you say improved click/traffic through AI is the result of successful use of the technology?

I’m talking about Google Hangouts, Allo/Duo, Google+, and Google’s lack of a strong presence in either of those two fields. When’s the last time you talked to a friend on any of those services? How about on WhatsApp, or Messenger, or Slack? Got an Instagram account? The only real way Google has capitalized on the social media wave is through YouTube and Google Maps.

Google Home shipped as many units in Q4 as Echo

Fair point. It’s still early days, and Google Home wins in a lot of ways, but regardless, it still doesn’t have a clear monetization strategy. If ads on screens keep getting blocked, how does Google Assistant make money?

My original reply is below:

I appreciate the feedback and the links!

I am aware of all that — this was really intended to be more creative writing than a serious market prediction. It was originally titled “How Google Collapsed” (reflected in the URL) and the Startup Grind editors picked a more catchy title when it was published here.

I just wanted to see how convincing an argument I could make, and how well I could challenge the seemingly common belief that Google is invincible.

I love Google but I hate their ads, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. I figured it would be an interesting disparity to shine a light on.