While I don’t anticipate Amazon selling out to Google anytime soon, much of the work done at Google is being duplicated by Amazon and vice versa. Google’s mission is to organize all of the content in the world and make it easy to find. This basically what Amazon has done for shopping. As both companies expand they are going to find themselves doing more and more work that is similiar–even if their end products are very different.
Here are a few examples of areas where there may be overlap:
- Restaurant Menu’s — This seems like something in Google’s domain, but Amazon is the one implementing this.
- Locate a Taxi — Given that Amazon is doing restaurant menus, this seems like it would be something similar, but Google is doing this one.
- Search inside books — This seems like a perfect match for Amazon, but both Google and Amazon are providing this service. Google is currently working on scanning in Harvard’s library so the books show up in their search results. They will only let you view a few pages due to copyright issues.
- Website Traffic Rankings — Amazon is providing this service through Alexa. The data is coming from Google though.
- Directory of Websites — Amazon and Google both provide this, but they both pull their information from dmoz.org.
- Access to Scholarly Papers — Google is doing this through Google Scholar. Most of the time it gives you links to websites where you can buy or subscribe to the information. However if you are part of a university that is working with Google, they can pass you right through to the information without needing to go back to your university library logon.
Much work being done at both companies is similiar. Both Amazon and Google are scanning in books, providing a way to search the book, and presenting the information in a way that protects copyrights. Both companies are trying to provide better ways of categorizing information on the web. Both companies gather information about movies. It seems like only a matter of time before someone realizes that a good portion of the “grunt” work being done at both companies could be done once and used in both places.