Google’s array of search product announcements today were impressive, but not unheard of. Imagine how many startup CEOs at this moment are drafting blog posts welcoming the monolith to their territory and spinning competition from Mountain View as a good thing (just as OpenDNS did last week). On the plus side, if the upstarts don’t get marginalized by Google’s 65 percent search market share, they’re probably some of the ripest acquisition targets around. Here’s our initial crib sheet of which companies are seeing their core products challenged by new Google features:
Real-time: Like just about every real-time search engine, Google (for now) depends on Twitter updates as its main source of data. Impacted: OneRiot, Topsy, Wowd, Collecta. Perhaps the most significantly affected may be Twitter itself, which should probably establish itself as the best search engine for its own data — but hey, cutting deals with all the giants may be an OK short-term strategy.
Location/local: Google said it would be compiling its own reverse look-up data, challenging startups such as SimpleGeo and GeoAPI. It’s also including ratings data directly in its “What’s Nearby Now” mobile feature (at first only available on Android), which will more directly challenge local review offerings from folks like Yelp. Especially in the mobile environment, if users can get all the information they need from one app, they won’t leave it.
Products: Google said it hopes to weave in information about local stores’ inventory with its product search. This is not a new concept; companies like Krillion have been attempting the same thing for some time now.
Voice: Like Vlingo, Google wants to make search more accessible by taking more voice queries. (See also: “How Speech Technologies Will Transform Mobile Use” from GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d))
Images: Using image recognition to match and identify similar pictures is a hard technical problem that plenty of companies have thrown Ph.D.s at for years. Some startups in the space include GazoPa, Like.com and Pixsta.