SWOT analysis of Google
This article is about a detailed SWOT analysis of Google. It examines the strengths and the weaknesses of Google. It also examines the opportunities and the threats facing the company. Google is an American multinational company. It was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998.
Strengths of Google
Google is No. 1 search engine in the world. As of July 2018, it has 86.28% of the global market share of the internet search engines (Statista, 2018). It is far ahead of its nearest competitors such as Bing, Yahoo, and Baidu. According to many analysts, the biggest strength of Google lies in the fact that it is the undisputed leader in search engines.
Google is a household name around the world. Google Maps, Chrome, YouTube, Chromecast, Pixel 3, Gmail, and Google+ are some of the most popular members of the Google family (Google, 2018). The brand recognition is in fact another great strength of Google.
A key strength of Google is its financial position. Its revenue amounted to $109.65 billion in 2017 (Statista, 2018). Unsurprisingly, Google has generated majority of the revenues through advertising partnerships with third party websites, blogs, and similar platforms.
Google has a number of competitive advantages over its competitors. For example, it collects a vast amount of information about its users and their search habits through Google Search, Google Analytics, YouTube, Android OS, Chrome and its other products and services. Google uses this information to maximise its advertising revenues.
Weaknesses of Google
Many critics argue that Google’s over dependence on advertising is a problem even though it is the company’s main source of income. They argue that should there be any dip in advertising revenues, it may cost Google very dearly.
Google has been criticised over a number of issues. Censorship of search results, anti-trust violations, anti-competitive practices and patent infringement are some of the major concerns that have been raised over the years by many people and organisations.
Some of the Google products fall well behind their competitors. For example, Google+ is not as popular as other social networking sites. This shows that while Google is No. 1 in the world as a search engine, it is not the best in everything it does.
Opportunities for Google
A company such as Google has financial might, market knowledge, and experience to diversify into other areas of business. Google has very good acquisition capabilities and histories (as reflected by its purchase of YouTube) and can benefit further from exploring acquisition opportunities.
Google sees long-term opportunities in its healthcare company Verily and self-driving car unit Waymo. In fact, selling self-driving cars is an exciting opportunity for Google. Google also sees further growth opportunities in Cloud Computing, hardware, and YouTube.
Threats to Google
Threat is the last element to address in the SWOT analysis of Google. Google faces a number of challengers in different fields. Its key challengers are Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. Facebook has over 2 billion active monthly users. Therefore, many companies now-a-days prefer Facebook to Google for their advertising campaigns. Likewise, many people go directly to Amazon to shop which reduces the number of product search queries Google can process.
Legal challenges may also turn out to be very costly for Google. For example, the company was recently fined £3.8bn ($5.1bn) by EU over Android antitrust violations (Rankin, 2018). The European Commission also fined Google £2.1bn ($2.4bn) in 2017 for promoting its own shopping services in search results. The India’s competition regulator has also fined Google 36bn rupees (£15.2m; $21.2m) for abusing its dominance in the country.
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The article publication date: 27 November 2018
Google (2018) Our products, available at: https://www.google.co.uk/about/products/ (Accessed 24 November 2018)
Rankin, J (2018) Google fined £3.8bn by EU over Android antitrust violations, available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jul/18/google-faces-record-multibillion-fine-from-eu-over-android (26 November 2018)
Statista (2018) Google’s revenue worldwide from 2002 to 2017 (in billion U.S. dollars), available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/266206/googles-annual-global-revenue/ (Accessed 25 November 2018)
Statista (2018) Worldwide desktop market share of leading search engines from January 2010 to July 2018, available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/216573/worldwide-market-share-of-search-engines/ (Accessed 25 November 2018)
Photo credit: Pixabay
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He is a graduate of Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.