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Today, Google is based in Mountain View, California. Google prefers email communication, but you can get a live voice by calling (650) 623-4000. If you really want to talk to them, refuse a charge from company on credit card you use for Adwords. They will contact you pretty quickly!
The company went public in 2004 [Symbol: GOOG] and has a stock value of around $250 per share. Larry and Sergey are sickeningly wealthy. One can assume that Andy Bechtolsheim is also doing all right.
In last year or so, Google has certainly received its fair share of criticism. PageRank is almost useless in relation to ranking in search results. At time of this writing, PageRank hasn’t worked for three days, which means a change, shuffle, dance or whatever you want to call it is coming.
On competition front, things are a bit murky. It seems a week doesn’t go by without a patent lawsuit being filed against company. MSN and Yahoo have started to raise level of competition and more will be coming. Google’s reliance on AOL as a traffic source is also a bit troubling given continual loss of market share by company that nearly brought Time Warner down. Gmail is dogged by patent issues, not to mention questions about violations of privacy of users. All and all, things are not as rosy compared to a few years ago, but they can hardly be called bad.
Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to predicting if Google will become just another search engine. Personally, I think it will, but not because of any of above. Instead, evolution of Internet suggests there will be a next “big thing.” Who knows, maybe Google will get a Grub [Grub.org] in its Nutch [Nutch.org].
Halstatt Pires is with Marketing Titan- an Internet marketing and advertising company comprised of a search engine optimization specialist providing meta tag optimization services and Internet marketing consultant providing internet marketing solutions through integrated design and programming services.