Recent adverse criticism of Google – particularly the lengthy attack last week in the financial journal Barron’s – has cost the internet search engine’s share price more than 25 per cent of its value over the past week.
How significant is this? I’ve met Google’s founders and have followed its fortunes closely since its earliest days and especially since its flotation. I’m pretty certain that what we have seen in the past week, far from being in any way evidence of a fundamental, long-term problem, is merely a temporary down cycle in the fortunes of a mature business that, like any other, will have its inevitable ups and downs.
Whatever Google’s detractors might say, the customer benefit is unarguable. Google plays a key, even catalytic, role in creating instant access to what is pretty well the sum total of human culture. It’s a comprehensive, universal research tool whose breadth would have been unimaginable a decade ago.