The Playing Field is Changing for Google

We all have made our New Years resolutions and have hit the ground running achieving them, myself included. Google, on the other hand, hasn’t has such a successful start.

There have been a series of articles in the past two months that have forecast a difficult 2015 for Google. When I look at the facts, those forecasts may very well be accurate. Mozilla Firefox has dethroned Google as its default search engine and signed a 5-year deal with Yahoo back in November of 2014. Apple’s new OS Yosemite includes a web search capability using Bing within spotlight search. Lastly, Apple is considering changing its default search engine in the Safari app on iPhone. It is still unclear whether the company will use a different search engine or create their own, though we all remember the uproar regarding the Maps application that replaced Google Maps back in 2012…

These forecasts are all the more plausible with Google’s 4.1% decrease in its market share of web search in the US as well as the fragmentation of Google’s reach in Europe.

This poses a challenge not only to Google, but to search engine marketers as well. How will marketing mixes change regarding allocation of funds? Will Bing and Yahoo perform well this year as a result? How will Google combat this gloomy prediction?

Personally, I don’t think Google will fall from grace all in one year, but the company does need to do some serious planning. The biggest trend I have been keeping an eye on is mobile. More and more users are experiencing the web through their mobile devices, especially in the United States. Google’s biggest portion of revenue, 91% to be exact, is from search advertising. A big question is how will Google deliver search ads on mobile — especially while they still have the Safari app to count on? In addition, more and more people skip searching for specific products on Google altogether and go straight to Amazon.com or their Amazon mobile app.

How Google chooses to continue competing to maintain its top position in web dominance is crucial. I look forward to seeing where the giant goes from here and if they can prove forecasters wrong.

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