Google portal to displace Yahoo, Microsoft?

“Wither Google destination verticals?” I posited in August.
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor
Wither Google destination verticals?” I posited in August. The Google triumvirate inferred as much last week at the Googleplex. 

Google hosted one of its famed Google Zeitgeist show and tells to leading companies and key advertiser accounts at its Mountain View Googleplex. What exactly transpired during the two-day cozy-up to clients, and even the attendee roster, is hush-hush as per Google’s standard make the world’s information universally accessible except for information about Google stance.

Upon the conclusion of the top-secret Zeitgeist summit, the Google triumvirate—CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin—acquiesced to broad, brief commentary to a small press coterie.


According to reports of Google’s public comments—at latimes.com and Forbes.com—Google is embarking on a “Features, not Products” initiative:

The company's top executives said that they had begun telling engineers to stop launching so many new services and instead focus on making existing ones work together better…

Google has whittled down the number of planned Google products. Some that had been on the drawing board will instead appear as features inside other products, which Brin said had become so numerous that even he was losing track of them all.

The slimmed-down list ‘is not about brand management, it’s about the user experience,’ Schmidt said. ‘We’ve done lots of studies, and people can remember five or six things. They can’t remember 35.

In “Wither Google destination verticals?” I put forth:

What is the future of Google destination verticals?

In explaining the reorganization of Google’s homepage vertical tabs, Marissa Mayer, VP, Search Products & User Experience, prioritizes search at Google.com, over search at Google verticals:

'Search has always been a fundamental paradigm here, so we’re constantly working to integrate more services into the main search experience. So while you can go to specific search services directly through the More>> dropdown, you’ll also find great results from Books, Groups, and Froogle by just searching Google.'

In “Google Verticals vs. Google.com: What is Google’s end-game?” in June, I posit a demise of the Google destination vertical strategy while it maintains vertical applications to gain free content:

Google aims to obtain, control and own more content, cost-free to Google, for inclusion in its core search product via a no-cost content acquisition strategy through various Google Verticals.

At last May’s investor conference call Schmidt confirmed a non destination vertical and content acquisition strategy:

When we think about Base, we think of it as a way of getting structured data into our index. This is not the same thing as people going to base.Google.com and doing specialized searches. It's really about getting information into the indices that Google cares about, and then using that structured information to then blend those results into the Google experience.

So we don't anticipate Base being a large and separate site with its own user perception, its own branding, its own thing. Rather, it's the next logical step in what we did with Froogle some years earlier, which is to get highly structured information…

the quality and the depth of information in Base has been exploding, and the leverage there is that it will eventually be in the Google index as a whole. As we learn how to take that information and, if you will, merge it or index it with other unstructured information, we can offer an even more integrated solution…

overall traffic will grow, we hope, and customers will be much happier because we will have a complete solution out of every piece of information they access with Google.

What is Google’s “complete solution” for information?

In “Google.com ‘refinement boxes’: future classifieds ‘complete solution’?” I discuss how Google seeks to integrate its vertically obtained content within Google.com and surface it to users via “refinement boxes” at the top of Google SERPs.

In “Google City Guides? Google SERPs feature tourism refinements” I put forth a case-study of how Google’s refinement box, or OneBox, SERP presentation is being implemented as a competitor to the tourism and travel verticals of portals and destination city guides:

Google “City Guide” type searches are being promoted at Google.com.

Searches by city name at Google.com yield SERPs featuring tourism related search refinement options.

Perhaps Google is considering a Google Tourism vertical or a Google Travel vertical.

Presently, a search on a city such as “Chicago” yields a SERP with a featured link to a Google Map of Chicago and six tourism related “refine results for Chicago” options:

Dining guides
Lodging guides
Suggested itineraries
Tours & day trips



Google is implementing the same non destination vertical strategy in favor of a Google.com specialized data refinement by vertical approach for many vertical sectors featured at destination portals such as Yahoo and MSN.

Google on its OneBox results:

Google's search technology finds many sources of specialized information. Those that are most relevant to your search are included at the top of your search results. Typical onebox results include news, stock quotes, weather and local websites related to your search.

Google OneBox SERP targets portals Yahoo and MSN.

Google Movies OneBox targets YahooMovies and MSN Movies

Google on Google Movies:

To find reviews and showtimes for movies playing near you, type "movies", "showtimes" or the name of a current film into the Google search box. If you've already saved your location by using Google Local, the top search result will display showtimes for nearby theaters for the movie you've chosen…

Can't remember a movie title, or just looking for something new to see? You can use the "movie:" operator to search for films related to a specific actor, director or plot detail.

Want to read about the movies you find? Your search results for any film will include an average rating out of 5 stars and several snippets from online reviews, along with links to the reviews themselves. Click the "reviews" link near any title for a complete list of online reviews of this film.


Google Finance targets YahooFinance and MSN Money

Google on Google Finance:

To use Google to get stock and mutual fund quotes, just enter the symbol into the search box. Click on the chart or Google Finance link to see more relevant information from Google Finance. Alternatively, you can go directly to other financial information providers for more information by clicking on the links provided.


Google Base “People profiles” targets Yahoo Personals and MSN Dating & Personals

In “Google online dating service: Google Romance for real?” I put forth a Google personals strategy: 

Google Base is amassing a database of “people profiles.” I discuss a future Google.com classifieds strategy based on Google Base classifieds listings surfacing in Google.com in my "Google.com ‘refinement boxes’: future classifieds ‘complete solution’? " The same analysis applies to Google Base people profile listings; Google is using the free “people profiles” it obtains from users at Google Base to fuel “refinement box” search queries for online networking and online dating (see also my Google Base obtains the world’s content for free, Google.com capitalizes on it .)


Google on Google Base:

Google Base is a place where you can easily submit all types of online and offline content, which we'll make searchable on Google (if your content isn't online yet, we'll put it there). You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they do related searches. In fact, based on your items' relevance, users may find them in their results for searches on Froogle, Google Maps and even our main Google web search.”

Google Movies now at Google.com, Google Finance now at Google.com, Google Tourism now at Google.com, soon Google Personals at Google.com…

The Google triumvirate last week put forth its standard “we are not a content company” supposed disclaimer:

One area Google won’t be moving into, the three said, is actual content creation. That's a refrain the company has to constantly repeat in the face of concern by publishers and other media types who worry about the company's ambitions. 'We see ourselves as the best way to get to content,' said Schmidt.

'…and monetize it,' Page added.

Google “the best way to get to content”? GOOGLE PORTAL

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