June 6, 2006, 9:44 am

What Does Google Run On?

By Henry Woodbury

According to Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, Google runs on trust. Which makes him wonder about its prospects:

Lately, though, I’ve been wondering if Google has peaked. The reason is that, for lots of different groups of people, Google’s reputation as good guys has been stained. And I’m not sure what Google really has to bank on, besides a good reputation.

Reynolds points out that users can easily switch from Google to a competitor like Ask just by typing a different URL. However the barriers to change are not as low as he suggests — baseline users will use Google until it fails as a service while the webheads that are paying attention to Google’s PR problems may also have a Gmail account or run Google Desktop. And until advertisers see a change in traffic, they have no incentive to switch to a lesser-known service.

On the last point, Reynolds does link to a Buzzmachine post that suggests that Google’s marketing approach is not extensible. This doesn’t mean the current “views and click-through” model is at any risk, however.

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Filed under: Business, Technology

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