Much virtual ink has been spilled about Google’s “dramatic” booting of the Froogle “tab” on its homepage in favor of a Video “tab.“
For John Battelle, the “billion dollar question” is:
Will moving Video to better real estate mean Google Video will overtake YouTube?
A question with perhaps a different price tag is:
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:
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.
In “Google and the drag effect,” Dan Farber observed last month:
The recent Hitwise numbers on Google show the same trend as in past months–search rules and the rest of the properties come along for the ride in the back seat…
Many of Google's properties don't enjoy a drag effect because users don't find them good enough.
Unless Google improves the destination value of its vertical properties, a “reorganization” of its homepage vertical “tabs” will most likely not yield dramatic results.