Analysts are already predicting Google’s demise as the world’s lead Internet search engine after it suffered a catastrophic nose-dive in its market value.
“[Google] could disappear in five to eight years and disappear in the sense that Yahoo used to be the king of search,” said Eric Jackson, the founder and managing member of Ironfire Capital, a technology-focused hedge fund.
“Now, for all intents and purposes, Yahoo has disappeared,” he said on CNBC Friday.
Google’s stock value plunged a hair-raising 10% this week – wiping out more than $24 billion from the company’s value – after its third-quarter earnings report, which revealed a 20 percent drop in profits over last year, was accidentally released three hours earlier than planned on Thursday.
The profit losses were driven by a decline in advertising revenue, according to its earnings report. The amount that advertisers paid Google on a click-per-click basis fell 15%.
Advertising revenues are falling – and will continue to fall – for Internet companies because consumers are increasingly migrating to mobile applications and advertisers aren’t willing to pay as much for a mobile ad.
“I keep saying Facebook isn’t the only one that has a mobile issue – Google does, too,” Colin Gillis, an analyst for Boston Consulting Group, told CNBC.com.
“If you are an investor in Facebook, mobile is priced into earnings. I don’t think mobile in Google is priced in.”
Advertisers aren’t willing to pay as much for mobile advertising because the platform is not as effective as advertising on a desktop or laptop computer, analysts said.
Other companies, such as Apple, will get ahead of Google in attracting advertisers to their mobile applications and Google’s dominance will eventually start to shrink, Eric Jackson predicted.
“I think that there is a big opportunity right now for someone to step forward and assert themselves for a new way of getting people information for doing search in a mobile world,” Eric Jackson said.
“I don’t think typing in a blue box is the ideal format for a mobile world. And I think the best opportunity out there to displace Google in this area is probably Apple’s Siri.”
For now however, despite its drop in earnings, Google remains dominant in online advertising with a 74.5% share of the U.S. search ad market, according to data from eMarketer.
Shares in Apple, the only technology company larger than Google in market value, fell by around 2.8% during trading on Friday.
Facebook, which is another technology stock heavily dependent on advertising for its revenues, saw its shares fall by 0.5% during trading.
The Dow Jones index of trading on Wall Street dipped more than 200 points.
Google blamed its printers for releasing the results by accident. Speculation was mounting on Friday night that Google could make a legal claim against R.R. Donnelley, the company it pays to put out its financial results.