Google And The Path To Beating Apple

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Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be worth more than $1000 per share, but the company’s total worth still lags behind that of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Becoming worth more than the Cupertino company is clearly the wish of shareholders in Google, but there’s a long way to go. Google is worth around $330 billion while Apple is worth more than $460 billion.

It is difficult to see a path for Google dominance that does not include a fall from grace for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). There are ways for Google to increase value, unfortunately none of them are as sexy as the solutions Apple might try to stay ahead.

Google Core Business Needs Improvement

Google is in the advertising business. Almost all of its earnings stem from its advertising business. The company is good at that business. It is improving its advertising technology, and its important metrics, like cost per click, rate it well ahead of competitors like Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB).

The rest of the businesses that Google operates tend to have lower margins than advertising, and they tend to exist only to augment that number. If Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is to eclipse Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) market value, it will need to continue to develop its advertising platform.

It is not the most exciting solution, but it is the only one that is possible for Google right now. The company is learning a lot about hardware and other businesses, but its money is in advertising. If it wants to beat Apple it will need to expand that business. There is no other that can replace it.

Google Risks Abound

In order to improve the quality of its advertising offerings, Google will need to increase the amount of information it collects from users, and improve the way it uses that technology. Google leverages other products, like Android, to do this, and the attempts have been working.

The risks are, however, substantial. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) constantly faces regulatory pressure on its more controlling and monopolistic practices, and the company’s problems with user backlash may be just starting. It is unclear whether users will be as willing to give away information in three years.

Google relies on information to get by. The company is good at combining and organizing that information to make advertising more effective, but the problems may come in it ability to collect the information. Governmental bodies or user culture may restrict the amount of data Google can get its hands on.

If bonds are put on the amount of information that Google has access to, the company is unlikely to catch up with Apple. Google may become more valuable than Apple in the medium term, but the company’s future is risky. Advertising is the key to growth, but information has strings attached. Google may flounder as a result.

Disclosure: Author represents that he has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article at the time this article was submitted.