Google often fluctuates between being the most and second most valuable corporations in the world, the other corporation being Apple. In just under 20 year Google has gone from a tiny piece of code to being a corporation more wealthy and powerful than some independent nations. Their business model is stung together by the search function, a market that Google now dominates. But now google has moved into online video, artificial intelligence, biomedical science, and many more industries. The obvious outcome of such a large corporation entering so many industries is competition. I thought it would be interesting to list google’s biggest competitors. There was a time when Yahoo and Alta Vista dominated the search engine, making them the biggest rival to google. But they were defeated. Alta Vista doesn’t even exist any more and it looks quite likely tat Yahoo is about to be broken up into it’s individual assets. Google won big. But there are still companies trying to be the top dog in search, or in other areas google operate in. Here are 10 of Google’s biggest competitors.
Microsoft has made a name for itself by being a big competitor to almost anyone trying to build a business. Back when Google first launched, investors wouldn’t go near a startup unless that had a clear plan on how to deal with Microsoft stealing their ideas and driving them out of the market. Microsoft is in direct competition with Google via their own search engine, Bing search. Bing search doesn’t nearly have as many users as google right now but Microsoft is constantly improving it by adding new features and striking up deals with websites. Most of google’s biggest competitors don’t pose much of a threat to google’s search function, but Bing is really going in for the kill. Microsoft is also competing with Google on cloud computing, with both companies wanting to be the dominant force in this market also. It’s a really interesting virtual power struggle.
Facebook is one of google’s biggest competitors for several obvious reasons. The first is news. Google aims to maintain it’s spot as a top aggregater of news. But more and more people visit facebook to get their news due to trending topics and hashtags being added as a function. Facebook is technically one of the internet’s largest search engines also, but it’s a completely different focus than google’s search function. Facebook has been focusing on online video, which put’s it in competition with YouTube, which is owned by google. More video views means more advert money for the host website. So Facebook has added their auto-play feature to increase views. Their views have been rapidly increasing ever since, enough to genuinely cause concern for Google.
Yahoo has long been one of Google’s biggest competitors, and even today they are a rival. Yahoo is currently going through a bizarre situation where it’s clearly about to be purchased by either one or a collection of other corporations. There is the very real possibility that it’s assets will be stripped from it and Yahoo will be no more. But Yahoo is ranked by Alexa as the world’s 5th most popular website, meaning it’s still a major player. So Yahoo is obviously a competitor to Google’s search funtion but they also compete in email and news, their news capabilities being particularly popular. In recent years, Yahoo has modeled Google’s acquisition tenancies, purchasing Flikr and Tumblr. They made it so that you automatically had a cross-board Yahoo account on signing up for these websites. But this didn’t work. Yahoo doesn’t have enough users to continuously compete. I think we are about to see the death of Yahoo.
Speaking of old competitors to Google search, AOL is still around. AOL has been through a rocky journey, being merged with Time Warner in a deal that ended disastrous for both. AOL was one of the main search engines when Dial up internet was still in use. But for whatever reason, AOL lost popularity when dial up internet largely out of use. AOL was bought out by Verizon last year and is now focusing on mobile device usage. To be honest I’m pretty amazed AOL is still a thing. Imagine Yahoo is Yahoo didn’t do Yahoo so good. That’s basically AOL right now.
As I was saying, Verizon has made a number of acquisitions in recent years. An unlikely member of Google’s biggest competitors, Verizon is the United States most successful provider of wireless communications. But this puts it in a position to be able to encroach further into online media as their revenue grows. And with Verizon’s revenue being over 130 billion dollars last year, they are in a very comfortable position. Verizon and Google have been working together on Android in an attempt to push Apple away from the top spot in the smartphone business. But Verizon has competed with Google in the past. This suggests they will eventually compete with google again. Their android deal could be seen as a sort of Nazi-Soviet pact.
It is a great shame that Ask is no longer known as Ask Jeeves. I just like the idea of a search engine inspired by a fictional butler. But it dropped Jeeves and just became plain old Ask.com in 2006. They later brought back Jeeves but only for the British isles for some reason. Today, the website has it’s own niche as an ‘answer engine’ kinda like a search engine combined with Yahoo answers. But they are still one of Google’s biggest competitors, controlling 0.24 percent of the search engine market share. That doesn’t sound like much but it’s a big market. AOL only controlles about 1.1 percent, and it’s a major threat.
Baidu is a huge search engine in the Chinese market. China has the largest population in the world so the Chinese search market is aggressively competed for, mostly between Google and Baidu. Right now Baidu is ranked as the 4th most popular website by Alexa, one higher than Yahoo. Baidu’s music service alone has over 150 active users each month, a service that wants to be Apple’s main competitor. So clearly they aren’t afraid of competition. Baidu actually controls over 50 percent of China’s search engine market, making it the most successful in China. But it does seem to be losing ground, as it’s market share was once 60 percent. Although, Google still isn’t it’s closest rival.
Alibaba is the Chinese ecommerce giant just starting the cause trouble internationally. Alibaba’s initial public offering was higher than Google, Facebook, and Twitter combined. That’s a big deal, and Alibaba has wasted no time taking to battle to Google and Amazon. Alibaba has it’s own smartphone operating system to rival Google’s Android. They have actually been accused of copying the whole thing but that’s a story for another day. Alibaba is a powerhouse strong enough to push a real alternative to Android in the near future so it’s going to be real interesting battle between the two corporations for control of the Asian smartphone markets.
Apple is obviously among Google’s biggest competitors in regard to the smartphone market. Google has been hacking away at Apple’s dominance of that industry for years. In fact, it even caused Steve Jobs to swear he would destroy Microsoft for making attempts to do a similar thing. Google has been tackling Apple hard in Asian markets, which is seen as the soft underbelly of the Iphone. Google Play store is also in direct competition with Itunes, which just put’s more pressure on Apple.
Eric Schmidt is the executive Chairman of Google’s parent company. In 2014, he literally stated that Amazon is the biggest competitor to Google. But how is this the case? Well Amazon is one of the internet’s most powerful search engines. Think about it – when you search for a product on Amazon you use their search function. It’s as simple as that. Amazon genuinely poses a threat to Google’s dominance in search. They also indirectly compete in many other ways. Amazon has it’s own app store. Because of this, Android systems don’t allow people to download the Amazon app. In response to this, the Amazon app store no longer allows people to download Google apps like Gmail or YouTube. Both Google and Amazon are growing rapidly, especially into online video. So this battle is a big one.