Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Why it Makes Sense for Google to Takeover a Local Search Engine

Why it makes sense for Google to takeover a local search engine

There is often heavy debate over the aggression from big companies towards Mom and Pop shops, as often it is seen as overly ambitious and even malicious. The simple fact is that these small companies usually don’t put too much of a dent in the corporate giants of whatever industry they’re in, and therein lies the outrage from the public. The same principals at play in these scenarios, however, don’t necessarily apply to Google, despite their enormous size and scope. Enter Just Dial, a local search engine who’s stock rose 9% when rumors spread that Google was to purchase the company. Although they have denied any such claim that there was a buyout present and even proclaimed news sources were incorrect in this allegation.

Some would wonder why Google would even bother with a local level search engine, as it couldn’t possibly be doing enough damage to Google to even make a blip on the radar. The fact of the matter is, with some of these smaller options, the search giant actually does. Many of these localized search engines and other apps (food, travel, etc.) have really began to attract popularity due to their end-to-end process handling as well as the local depth these smaller search engines are able to achieve. Where once Google was the answer for any question you might have, even in regards to your plans for the evening, today is a different day and age. Apps run everything and people have an insane variety when it comes to options. While current capabilities of these smaller apps include transaction processing, listings and discovery platforms, and greater depth than Google can offer.

The point is that whether this allegation is true or not (as we are never sure in events such as this), it would make sense for Google to make such a move. Enough local engines/smaller applications on the market with the greater depth and insight compared to the high level Google could eventually cause damage to the company, and they should be slightly worried at varied rates throughout the world as different populations become more adept to other options.

2 Responses to Why it Makes Sense for Google to Takeover a Local Search Engine

  • Arlo, I actually wasn’t at all aware that Google engaged in such practices. I think its an interesting concept, but I’m not sure how the cost/benefit analysis would work out. I wonder if Google is better off buying smaller, specialized search engines, or if they would have more success integrating the smaller engine’s differentiator. I think a lot of people would use Google’s product or service simply because it has the name, and we’re all familiar with it. So, what is the benefit to buying out another search engine? Why not just improve Google on its own, without the additional investment in a smaller company.

  • I think Nicole makes a good point. I think this one deal makes sense because it might allow Google to really pick apart what it is this local search engine is doing and integrate it into their normal search to provide the same depth (and make Google even more attractive). But that’s about the only value and if Google’s plan is just to buy multiple local search engines and turn them into “Google Local” then I doubt they get their value out of it.

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