With Millward Brown naming Google as the world’s biggest brand for the first time this year, people are once again suggesting that the Internet super brand is becoming too powerful.
Back in 2002 many businesses who had enjoyed strong Google rankings simply dropped off the radar and questions were asked about the power of the search engine. When they bought Blogger in 2003, the murmurings began again and Bill Thompson of the BBC wondered whether we should have Ofsearch to regulate the industry.
Last year Google bought YouTube and the vocal opposition was back in force. With Google’s recent acquisition of DoubleClick the online marketing community is now up in arms.
This can be viewed as a mindset problem. Google has done its part in placing itself at the top of the search engine table – but we as users have done the lion’s share. The marketing industry has always promoted Google above all other engines and will no doubt continue to do so. A client of mine remembered how he was affected by Google’s sudden shut down of some companies in 2002 saying, “we switched our attention to Yahoo and just prayed that Google would be back before too long.”
I believe the industry is underestimating its ability to affect the fortunes of Google and concentrating too much on the notion of Google’s ability to affect their fortunes. What would happen if every UK business decided to turn it’s efforts to Yahoo tomorrow?