Google Faces 10 Threats to Its Future Global Growth

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-10-02 Print this article Print

Judging just from Google's financial performance, it looks like the company has an impregnable position and is well-positioned for rapid growth into the indefinite future. The company has dominated the search market, cornered the advertising space and is well on its way toward winning Windows-like market share in the mobile space. All the while, it's generating billions of dollars in profits each quarter and its stock price continues to soar. But as everybody knows, nothing lasts forever. It wasn't long ago when it looked like Apple could do no wrong. Now, market watchers are constantly raising questions about iPhone sales and its future growth prospects. Microsoft was long viewed to be in an unshakable position with its dominance with Windows and applications. But its recent performance has proven that all companies mature and markets change, bringing new competitive challenges. If such things can overtake Apple and Microsoft, why can't they happen to Google? The truth is they can, and no doubt they eventually will. This eWEEK slide show looks at various threats that could hurt Google's future.

  • Google Faces 10 Threats to Its Future Global Growth

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - Google Faces 10 Threats to Its Future Global Growth
  • Anti-Competitive Woes

    Competition has always been important to both domestic and foreign governments. That's why Microsoft got hit so hard in the late 1990s and continues to have trouble with European Union market regulators. That's also why Google is now in the EU's cross hairs over claims that it hurt competition with its search services. There's no telling where this one will go. Google is currently trying to fight the regulators. But it could prove to be a major issue for the company over time.
    2 - Anti-Competitive Woes
  • Android Security Could Prove Troublesome

    Android security is becoming a hot-button topic in the mobile industry. There was a time when Windows was the go-to target for hackers, but now it's Android, according to the latest security data. If Google can't solve that issue soon, it could see its mobile platform end up as disliked as Windows, but unlike Windows, the enterprise won't need it.
    3 - Android Security Could Prove Troublesome
  • Are the Acquisitions Smart Acquisitions?

    When Google decided to acquire Motorola, the company's intentions were called into question. Would the search giant get into the mobile hardware game, or was it simply trying to bolster its offerings? Now, more than a year later, it's clear that the move might not have been the best one. Motorola isn't any closer to matching Apple, and Google seems lost. More acquisitions like that could be a huge problem for the company.
    4 - Are the Acquisitions Smart Acquisitions?
  • Counting Microsoft Out Is Dangerous

    In the mobile space, especially, Google seems to be ignoring Windows Phone, deciding instead to focus its main competitive ideas on iOS. However, recent data from Kantar shows that Windows Phone is gaining significant ground in Europe and has respectable share in emerging markets. Counting out Windows Phone and Microsoft is a bad idea.
    5 - Counting Microsoft Out Is Dangerous
  • What If One of the Founders Moves On?

    If Larry Page or one of the other founders decided to leave Google, what would happen next? Although Google has a solid lineup of executives, the company has basically been run by three men since its founding, Page, co-founder Sergey Brin and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. It's entirely possible that Google brings in a new chief executive that does an even better job, but as history has shown, a changing of the guard is never as simple as the companies would have their shareholders believe.
    6 - What If One of the Founders Moves On?
  • The Challenge From Marissa Mayer and Yahoo

    When Yahoo was found to have been the most popular Internet destination in the second quarter, the world gasped. How was it possible that Google lost its standing as the Web's most desirable destination? Blame it on Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer. Google needs to watch out for its former executive. Not only is Mayer extremely intelligent, but she also has the relationships with Google executives that could see many of its top talent go to Yahoo. Watch out for Mayer, Google.
    7 - The Challenge From Marissa Mayer and Yahoo
  • Doing Too Much Isn't Always a Good Idea

    Google seems to be getting away from the core elements that have made it successful. The company has its core search, advertising and mobile businesses, but it's also delving into renewable energy, Google Fiber service, driverless cars and more. At what point does all of that investment in other technologies cause the foundation to crumble?
    8 - Doing Too Much Isn't Always a Good Idea
  • Hardware Seems to Be the Near-Term Fix

    Looking around the marketplace, it appears that for now, the way to make it big in the industry is to deliver hardware. That's why Microsoft has decided to go that route and why Apple is generating so much cash every quarter. Although Google has Motorola, the company has yet to prove it's really all that good at making hardware that people want. That needs to change.
    9 - Hardware Seems to Be the Near-Term Fix
  • Apple Remains a Major Competitive Concern

    Apple shouldn't be taken lightly by anyone in Mountain View, Calif. As the years pile on, the overlap between Apple and Google becomes greater and greater. Meanwhile, Apple continues to post massive profits. The company has also made it clear that it wants to do battle with Google. If Google takes up that challenge—and it appears it's doing just that—the company could find itself in a world of hurt.
    10 - Apple Remains a Major Competitive Concern
  • Google Has to Deal With Global Competitive Issues

    Google's political issues internationally could be a huge problem for the company going forward. In China, for example, its search engine is not accessible, which is why Baidu is so dominant there. In Europe, certain countries are finding more and more issues with Google. The search company must overcome those political challenges or face the full wrath of foreign governments that appear to not want to see it succeed to the degree it has so far.
    11 - Google Has to Deal With Global Competitive Issues

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