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Forrester: Google To Weaken As War Rages

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-03-08

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With search engine competition spreading like fire across the Internet terrain, Forrester Research, Inc., predicts Google's grasp on the search industry will weaken.

Forrester today released a research report predicting the decline of Google's seemingly unstoppable dominance in the year to come with the impact of Microsoft and Yahoo entering the battle field.

"One of the most splendid technologies on the planet right now is Google search," said Forrester Research Chairman and CEO George F. Colony, adding that, "The Web has gone through two major phases in its short history: pre-Google and post-Google."

Its innovative search technology has gained Google several dedicated followers. However, those followers do frequent other search portals and can easily switch to another alternative should a better or more relevant search engine arise.

Yahoo and MSN are swiftly making improvements as well as utilizing features such as Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail to expose their search technology to users in an effort to steer traffic away from Google.

Another factor working against Google is the Internet itself, which is changing rapidly to include new types of content, such as databases and executable files.

As new forms of search begin to emerge, Google's PageRank algorithms may lose their relevance, Forrester says.

If this news doesn't seem grave enough, Forrester even goes as far as predicting Google will lose two of the three upcoming search battles.

"Over the next few years, search will be fought on three battlegrounds - structured search, portal integration, and advertiser sign-ups," says Forrester Research Principal Analyst Charlene Li.

It is predicted that Microsoft will become the leader in desktop search, while Yahoo will provide the best portal by integrating search into its already-existing network and offering a high level of customer satisfaction.

Meanwhile Google will remain at the top of pay-for-performance advertising, thanks to its large network of publishers.

This news comes after a previous analysis estimating Google is worth much less than the tens of billions speculated by many professionals.

"Google has seen tremendous growth, in terms of consumer use and paid search ad revenues. And, although it continues to be the most innovative search company out there," Li says, "Google can't be everything to everyone."

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