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Brandan Lennox's

Google Dethroned

Quoting Sarah Lacy:

There’s a truism1 in Silicon Valley that Peter Thiel describes in my book: No publicly-traded Internet company stays on top for more than four years….

While Obama was taking the oath of office and delivering his speech, Google’s stats shows [sic] a decline in search activity. Meanwhile, Twitter and Facebook usage soared. This speaks volumes for two reasons. One: It proves why Twitter and Facebook are ultimately more powerful sites….But far more telling and troubling was the explanation on Google’s blog about why their numbers went down: Because people were obviously glued to the TV. Maybe. But they were also on other sites. Google no longer gets where the Web and its audience is going.

Intriguing! I guess that in the future, rather than searching for things via Google, I’ll either (a) post my question to Twitter and wait on people to respond, or (b) look at bar photos on Facebook instead.

There is no clear logical path from Lacy’s premise of increased Facebook and Twitter activity to Google’s being unaware of where the Web is going. And comparing social networking platforms to a search provider is like comparing a refrigerator to a television: they serve different and compatible purposes. When televisions become more sophisticated, people don’t stop using their refrigerators.

Lacy goes on to discuss how Hulu’s superior searchability means the end of YouTube. I haven’t used Hulu very much, but I have to believe that if Google needs to save YouTube by figuring out how to properly search video, they’ll probably manage.2

Lacy finishes up by complimenting Google’s business model and finally proclaiming that it will probably dominate its market(s) for some time to come. I’m not sure how all this results in Google’s being “dethroned.” It doesn’t really sound all that bad.

I’ve got a feeling that this is one of those articles that Jon Gruber will link to in a couple of years so that we can all chuckle and say, “I so totally called that.”


  1. A truism is “a statement that is obviously true and says nothing new or interesting,” according to my dictionary Dashboard widget. There’s nothing obviously true about Thiel’s statement, and if it were true, it would most certainly be interesting to at least a few publicly-traded Internet companies.
  2. This post at counternotions details how Google may have already started this process.