Jason Smith

I'm Jason. This is my home on the web where I write. Stick around. It's going to get interesting. 

Google owns the web... but for how long?

Good article here: http://mwunsch.tumblr.com/post/50588412660/on-google
about Google's incompetent management of the web.

I question, however, how long Google will have a stranglehold on the web for.

With many physical products, a large market share perpetuates consumer uptake and usage of that product. e.g. A car manufacturer can suggest spare parts will be easier to come by because they are the most popular model; When everyone else wears jeans you will probably wear them too because you will want to fit in; If everyone is using DVDs your laser disc player is pretty useless...

But what search engine you use to spy on a prospective date, read an obscure Wikipedia entry or simply use as the address bar (because you don't even realise that you're not meant to type the address into google and "oh look there's a space up the top where I'm meant to type the www stuff, all this time I had no idea") is different because everyone using the same search engine doesn't make it a better experience for everyone else... necessarily.

Consider these facts:
Mobile web browsing is still increasing.
Most people don't bother to change the default search engine on their devices.
People don't deliberately use Google. They use the little box that appears on their screen when their device turns on.

A lot of websites report that half their web traffic is mobile. And 3/4 of that is an Apple device; iPad or iPhone (oh and the iPod touch).

So that's something like 37% of traffic coming to your website through a device made by a company who's very ticked off at Google. Lots could change for Google at the flick of a switch.

Here's another little bit of interesting information. Remember when Apple changed the little search bar in mobile safari from saying "Google" (or whatever other search engine you had chosen) to just saying "Search"? No? You never even noticed? Well go check it out now.

Looks to me like someone wanted you to get in the habit of thinking about searching from your device, not searching via a search engine.

Trust me on the mobile web stats too. Heck, even this post was written on my iPhone from the couch. I would have used the iPad but it went flat.

Google buying Android was a defensive move. Google don't need Android to succeed so they can grow. They need it so they can 'not die'.

And if device manufacturers who install Android use Bing or someone else as the default search engine (as some have already started to do), Google are screwed.

I don't believe Google are cocky kings of the mountain who think they can never be dislodged. I think they know more than anyone how precarious their grip is as world wide information curation leader, and their position as biggest advertising company in the world is not guaranteed forever.

They'll never be a MySpace, but they need to make some good choices to not become a Yahoo.


It hits the spot

Is anyone really complaining that iOS is stale?