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Offline thaiga

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Could Google disappear
« on: October 22, 2012, 12:59:14 AM »
Could Google disappear? Analysts warn of Google's demise if the search engine fails to improve mobile advertising

* Google shares dropped nearly 10 percent over the course of two days, wiping out more than $24 billion from the company's value
* Plunge in share prices followed weak earnings report showing a 20 percent decline in profits compared to the same quarter last year
* Analysts say the drop in earnings is driven by a an advertising problem that will continue to worsen for Google

As Google suffers a catastrophic nose-dive in its market value, analysts are already predicting its demise as the world's lead Internet search engine.

'[Google] could disappear in five to eight years and disappear in the sense that Yahoo used to be the king of search,' said Eric Jackson, the founder and managing member of Ironfire Capital, a technology-focused hedge fund. 'Now, for all intents and purposes, Yahoo has disappeared,' he said on CNBC Friday.

Google's stock value plunged a hair-raising 10 percent this week -- wiping out more than $24 billion from the company's value -- after its third-quarter earnings report, which revealed a 20 percent drop in profits over last year, was accidentally released three hours earlier than planned on Thursday.

The profit losses were driven by a decline in advertising revenue, according to its earnings report. The amount that advertisers paid Google on a click-per-click basis fell 15 percent.

Advertising revenues are falling -- and will continue to fall -- for Internet companies because consumers are increasingly migrating to mobile applications and advertisers aren't willing to pay as much for a mobile ad.

'I keep saying Facebook isn't the only one that has a mobile issue -- Google does, too,' Colin Gillis, an analyst for Boston Consulting Group, told 'If you are an investor in Facebook, mobile is priced into earnings. I don't think mobile in Google is priced in.'

Advertisers aren't willing to pay as much for mobile advertising because the platform is not as effective as advertising on a desktop or laptop computer, analysts said.

Other companies, such as Apple, will get ahead of Google in attracting advertisers to their mobile applications and Google's dominance will eventually start to shrink, Jackson predicted.

'I think that there is a big opportunity right now for someone to step forward and assert themselves for a new way of getting people information for doing search in a mobile world,' Jackson said. 'I don't think typing in a blue box is the ideal format for a mobile world. And I think the best opportunity out there to displace Google in this area is probably Apple's Siri.'

For now however, despite its drop in earnings, Google remains dominant in online advertising with a 74.5 percent share of the U.S. search ad market, according to data from eMarketer.

Shares in Apple, the only technology company larger than Google in market value, fell by around 2.8 per cent during trading on Friday.

Facebook, which is another technology stock heavily dependent on advertising for its revenues, saw its shares fall by 0.5 per cent during trading.

The Dow Jones index of trading on Wall Street dipped more than 200 points.

Google blamed its printers for releasing the results by accident. Speculation was mounting on Friday night that Google could make a legal claim against R.R. Donnelley, the company it pays to put out its financial results.
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Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.