DEBATE: Google turns 20 today – but will it still be dominant in another two decades?

Happy birthday, Google! (Source: Getty)

Google turns 20 today – but will it still be dominant in another two decades?

Lily Covington, senior strategist at commercial strategy firm Cruxy & Company, says YES.

Google’s advertising revenue alone proves its continued upwards trajectory, jumping from $10.49bn to $95.4bn in the last 12 years as its core business has adapted with the times.

Now, the name of the game is data, and Google is ahead. It recently purchased data from Mastercard, which ties purchase intent to transaction behaviour. Google knows that relying on guesswork is no longer enough – with greater data comes greater truth, and that’s where the money is.

For the consumer, the appeal of the data age is mixed, with a constant debate between convenience and privacy. But as the era of hyper-personalisation begins, fear-mongering around data usage will decline, and the obvious benefits will reign notorious.

If Google succeeds in its bid to be the ultimate engine, knowing everything, from our location to what, when and why we spend money, there will be a tipping point where we will trade privacy for a utopia of convenience.

For Google, everything the data-rich consumer touches will turn to gold.

Read more: Watch out, Google: Facebook rolls out its Youtube rival in the UK

Ginny Follen, marketing director at Optimizely, says NO.

The fact that Google has transformed from a company into a verb tells us all we need to know about its success over the past 20 years.

Yet this successful foundation is no guarantee that the company will continue to dominate the tech scene. In the next two decades we will see swathes of new companies challenging every aspect of the business.

These organisations will constantly grow and experiment, putting customers and scientific evidence at the centre of every decision. Such businesses will have a more fail-proof view of what their customers demand than ever before, and will consequently pose a bigger challenge to Google’s dominance.

In the past five years alone, businesses have gone from concept to global behemoth in the blink of an eye. These disruptors will chip away at the tech giant’s market share. Google was built with experimentation at its foundation, and as the industry grows around it, it will be vital to remain true to this philosophy.

Read more: The media’s greatest enemy isn’t Trump, it’s the tech titans

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.