The whole world seems to be playing the "WWGD?" game. (What Will Google Do?) From browsers to VOIP, the amount of anticipation over Google's next move is out of control... and why not? The value of Google as a platform is really immeasurable. There are markets that Google could probably dominate tomorrow if they wanted to code a new offering on their front page tonight. Google's internal five year plan is probably the single most valuable corporate espionage target out there now... Who wouldn't want to know what the Google Good Guys are planning to do with all their IPO money? I just discovered Google's book publicity tool last night. Any publisher can send a copy of their book to Google, and they'll scan it up and tie it into their index, along with a link to purchase the book. Thought Amazon couldn't be strong armed? What happens if they discover that a huge proportion of their likely to buy traffic is coming straight from a Google book search? Maybe Google might want a special discount for Googlers on Amazon. This company is just a force to be reckoned with and it probably has more flexibility in its future direction than anyone else. Kind of makes Microsoft seem like old news.
I think it will be an interesting trend to watch as search tools start trying to interface with content and products that are already located within the catalogues of other businesses. It has already started with Froogle and its only going to continue as search portals encroach into areas like real estate, travel listings, and perhaps even online dating. What if you could Google search "single brunette AND early 20's AND New York City" and come up with results from Match, Spring Street, Love(at)AOL, AND eHarmony? Throw in Friendster while you're at it. There's a level of content that isn't just floating around.... its within a lot of these databases and its only a matter of time before search engines break on through. They'll be forced to b/c they simply don't have enough content to keep up with the demand for advertising.