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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

iGoogle - Google Now a Portal Like Yahoo!

It's strange to see a Google page (iGoogle) looking like a Yahoo! portal page:

iGoogle

With the launch (re-launch?) of iGoogle, Google is now a portal! iGoogle is the new name for the Google Personalized (Personalised for some) Homepage. The iGoogle name is interesting considering that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is on Apple's board. I'll stick with NetVibes for my start page. I don't want a portal like Yahoo! or iGoogle. I just want a quick way to catch up on my RSS feeds. I'm not sure if iGoogle is more of a threat to older portals like Yahoo! or newer start pages like NetVibes and PageFlakes.

Although it seems peculiar to see a Google portal, I can see why they're going down this route. How many people have switched to customized start pages and moved away from a search engine as their default homepage? There's another reason, though, for this move. This might be even more relevant. Steve Rubel calls it iAdvertising:
Google and other publishers desperately want you to personalize your experience so they can serve you the right mix of relevant content/ads. However, only a small few want it. That's a direct clash in interests.
Think about it. Where does Google's revenue come from? Yep, 99% from ads.* If they can create more targeted ads on iGoogle, how much more advertising revenue will they generate?

For other perspectives on iGoogle, see what the bloggers who were invited to an iGoogle workshop are saying. Also, there are some funny but relevant comments on TechCrunch like this one: "from now on, i-anything is just gay unless it comes from Apple."

*Source: Google 2006 annual report 10-K filing says "We generated approximately 99% of our revenues in 2006 from our advertisers."

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4 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

The so called portal is just the default page. once you customise it its noting like a yahoo portal page.

I have all my rss feeds on it and my bookmarks.

Tue May 01, 11:44:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Oh, it's a portal. A "personalized homepage" is still a portal. What's important to recognize is that Google is departing from its original mission and is becoming more like Yahoo. Think of it this way:

google.com == search.yahoo.com
google.com/ig == yahoo.com || my.yahoo.com

What's the difference these days between Google and Yahoo? Whether or not you agree with the term "portal" perhaps that's a more interesting question.

Tue May 01, 12:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Fritz said...

google/ig looks like a portal to me *shrug*

Any thoughts on the latest PR update? Several people report losing PR. My Flickr profile page actually went back to a reasonable level (from a 5 to 3).

Tue May 01, 01:22:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Hey Fritz, I actually pay little attention to PR these days. Two reasons:

1) I do more PPC work than SEO work.
2) PR is not as relevant as it used to be.

BTW, regarding your Flickr photos, this one cracked me up.

Wed May 02, 08:41:00 AM EDT  

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