Will Google Be Eaten By The Niche Players? - InformationWeek

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5/23/2007
01:16 PM
Stephen Wellman
Stephen Wellman
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Will Google Be Eaten By The Niche Players?

Google is increasingly looking like a big, slow giant tech company and less like the nimble innovator that defined the beginning of Web 2.0. Yesterday Web video search engine Blinkx successfully went public, proving that there is plenty of room for small Web video companies, even when Google controls both YouTube and its own video platform.

Google is increasingly looking like a big, slow giant tech company and less like the nimble innovator that defined the beginning of Web 2.0. Yesterday Web video search engine Blinkx successfully went public, proving that there is plenty of room for small Web video companies, even when Google controls both YouTube and its own video platform.For those of you who haven't tried it, Blinkx is a video search engine that indexes words and images within videos, as well as associated tags. Put simply, its search functions are better than either YouTube's or Google's own homegrown video search.

Blinkx and Autonomy's Idol software that powers it have beaten Google to the punch on video search.

And how about blog search? When Google launched its Blog Search service, I was impressed. I thought this platform would have a good chance of beating Technorati.

Then I saw this post from Robert Scoble on the new Technorati. And I started playing with it. Scoble is right -- the new Technorati beats Google hands down:

I predict that, with this update, Technorati will become a quick takeover target. If I were at Microsoft I'd be spending a few corporate hours wining and dining Dave Sifry.

Technorati is so superior to all the other blog search engines now that it isn't even funny. Why can 45 people at Technorati beat Google yet Microsoft, with its billions of dollars, can't get any traction?

The answer? Technorati is a small idea. It takes one tiny little niche away from Google. It doesn't try to compete with the main Google engine.

Scoble nails it. Both Technorati and Blinkx are beating Google because they're focusing on areas too small for Google's attention. You know, just the same way Google beat Yahoo at search by focusing on the part of search -- namely the algorithm -- while Yahoo was focusing on becoming the all-things-to-all-people portal.

It sure looks like history is repeating itself with Google. While Google is tirelessly trying to avoid being one-upped by the market, it looks like some of the Web 2.0 startups out there are finally starting eat away at Google's business. I have said this before, and I'll repeat it here: It looks like Google could face death by a thousand cuts.

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