I wouldn’t go shorting GOOG

Scoble’s already-infamous video shtick says that social-graph-based search (Mahalo, Techmeme, Facebook) will kill Google. And here’s a German newspaper publisher, Christian DuMont Schütte, who says

On my 50th birthday in the spring, I came up with the thesis: In 10 years, Google is dead. . . . We see the first signs already: The eBay euphoria is over. The lifecycle of internet ideas, in terms of content and technology, is completely different from conventional companies in the old economy. . . . (On the internet), the market can be conquered with new ideas again and again.

They both make the mistake of thinking — hoping, perhaps — that Google is too big or too old or too successful to change. I wouldn’t bet on that.

Scoble says it can’t change its algorithms because there’d be an outcry from those who depend on it. But watching companies that do depend on SEO, I can say that those algorithms change constantly. They just made a big architectural change adding in dynamic and multimedia information to search results. I would not assume that Google’s Jell-O is cold yet. Not by a long shot.

There’s another good question here: Can Google layer the social map onto the content map? More on that later.

: By the way, I agree with Dave.

  • I thought of you as soon as he looked into the screen and whispered “watch Yahoo”. Jeff, Do you really think Yahoo’s over? Or are they a “wildcard”?

  • Mr. DuMont Schütte got a lot of replies in german blogs for his “expertise” about Google. The interview with him is really worth reading as it shows that this man hasn’t yet understood very much about the internet, its dynamics and logic.

    It’s bit a bit different with Robert Scoble as he knows much better about what he is talking. Anyway I do agree with you and not with him: It is too early to take Facebook (and others) as a dangerous thread for Google yet.

  • Also, Google is making moves into telephony. Called 1-800-GOOG-411 lately? Definitely don’t count ’em out.

  • My experience is that NEWCO rarely “kills” ESTABLISHEDCO. Typically, markets get bigger, product offerings get more robust, and marketshare shifts around. IF a company does implode its typically the fault of the management NOT because of the external factor.

    That being said, NEWCOs in the search space can build a very robust business with even a small % of the ever expanding global search traffic marketplace.

    *That* being said, Scoble is correct in that HUMANS+MACHINES+SOCIAL NETWORKS will ALWAYS be better than machines or social networks alone.

    It’s going to be a VERY interesting five years.

    all the best,


  • It’s the dynamics of the Big Competitors that make this interesting. I don’t think Mahalo will knock off Google. I’m not sure Scoble does either, I think he just writes headlines that drive readership.

    OTOH, Seth mentioned Yahoo way up top. Yahoo, Microsoft, and many others large and small don’t want Google to own the front door to the Web. They have the power to do some revolutionary things that are in the spirit of what Scoble has suggested:


    Will an Open Social Network Search ever be created? Hard to say. People have a hard time cooperating most of the time, and then other times it happens very suddenly.

    The one thing Scoble is absolutely right about is that Social Networks need to factor into Page Rank.



  • I definitely second Matthias opinion. Not only blogs, but all the people in MSM i talked with about this interview were wondering about the rationale behind it. It is so obvious that expertise in the field definitely is not the reason.

    Just two remarks:

    1. Even if GOOG is dead in 10 years. The company or companies that will substitute them will definitely not be MSM companies (at least companies headed by managers like Mr. DuMont Schütte. I’m not sure if Mr. Schütte is aware of the fact that he is acknowledging this when he is saying: “The lifecycle of internet ideas, in terms of content and technology, is completely different from conventional companies in the old economy. . . .”

    2. But at least Mr.Schütte should be knowledgeable wrt. MSM facts. I especially would be very interested in the reasoning that led him to a 9 Billion Euro figure that MSM companies in Germany spend for news gathering each year. That would be around 60 times the news gathering budget of the NYT and at least 100 times the revenue of germanys biggest news agency dpa (disclosure: i’m working for the online subsidiary of dpa). BTW: Does anybody know the aggregated news gathering budget of american newspapers (media companies or a pointer where i can find them?

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  • Don

    Although google electrified me back in 1999 it’s now too superficial for my needs. When Scoble speaks of algorithms he means people such as me routinely skipping to page 3 of a google search to save time by jumping over the topmost cruft. For all its faults Wikipedia typically enables me to go deep fast.

  • Google will adapt. It’s that simple. They understand the market is and will be changing. It’s not about information, it’s about advertising and they have and will continue to attract the advertising revenue based on their rep and stats. New media and social networks to kill Google? Pshaw! They will incorporate these into their existing business. Everyone else is doing it and so will they.


  • Google hasn’t made many successful inroads into the social side of the web, and it seems that the likes of Facebook will be hard to counter. But google is ingenious in some ways, and I have a feeling they will do something soon that will put them on the map in a big way.