Amazon Is Our Biggest Rival in Search Market, Says Google

Amazon is Google’s biggest rival in the online search market, Google chairman Eric Schmidt has admitted.

The confession came as Schmidt denied claims that Google enjoys an unparalleled dominance of the online search industry.

“Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo. But, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon,” Schmidt said in a speech in Berlin.

Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, and has revealed several announcements in the past few months that demonstrate a focus beyond its core e-commerce business.

Amazon completed its acquisition of games console video broadcasting firm Twitch for $970 million last month, the biggest in its 20-year history.

Twitch allows gamers to stream action, guides, and other related content to share with other players, and has been something of a games console darling since its launch. Microsoft and Sony have promoted the service on their hardware.

Schmidt said that competition in the online world “isn’t always like-for-like.”

“People don’t think of Amazon as search, but if you are looking for something to buy you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon,” he said.

“They are obviously more focused on the commerce side of the equation, but, at their roots, they are answering users’ questions and searches just as we are.”

The Interbrand Best Global Brands 2014 ranking tables published last week valued Google at more than $100 billion.

The firm has been in second position for two years, boasting a $107.5 billion value, up by 15 percent on last year. Apple is in first position.

However, even though Google is dominant in the online search market, accounting for more than 90 percent of all searches, Schmidt said he is still wary of the “next Google.”

“Someone, somewhere in a garage is gunning for us. I know, because not long ago we were in that garage. Change comes from where you least expect it,” he said.

Schmidt’s confession comes hot on the heels of a recent move by Google to revamp some of its shopping features to make it easier for consumers to do research in the lead-up to purchasing products.

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.

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