THE GOOGLE INVESTOR: Can Google fibre Compete With The Cable Companies?

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GOOG Wavering With Tech
Markets are bouncing around in early trading as Spain releases awful numbers while both the Chicago PMI and housing prices beat expectations. Shares of GOOG were up modestly in early trading, but started dipping below the flat line by midday. Investors continue look for Android momentum and monetization of smartphones and tablets; direction for Motorola; the resurgence of Google TV; continued growth and monetization of YouTube; expansion of social network Google+; and progress in other initiatives (location-based services, mapping, Google Wallet, Google Music, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 11.8x Enterprise Value / EBIT.

Amazon Is Beating Google To Shoppers (Mashable)
30 per cent of online buyers began researching their last online purchases at Amazon, more than double the number who began their research with Google, according to a Forrester Research. That’s almost a complete reversal from two years ago, when 24% of participants said they began researching their last online purchases at Google, versus 18% on Amazon. The stat points to the growing threat Amazon represents to Google as well as other retailers, who are already struggling against Amazon’s competitive pricing and popular price comparison app.

Can Google fibre Compete? (CNet)
Google has blown the pants off the competition when it comes to offering broadband service, but can its new Google fibre TV service gain traction when the company still lacks popular content? Google unveiled its new Google fibre network and also announced a new TV service it calls Google fibre TV, which will deliver hundreds of channels of programming as well as on demand programing. Google must compete in the same arena as the cable operators to get customers to sign up for its service. The good news for Google is that the service is almost too good to pass up. The company is charging $120 for the 1Gbps service plus the Google fibre TV service. Subscribers also get a $200 Galaxy Nexus 7 tablet for free.

Google TV-Enabled Vizio Sells Out In 12 Hours, If Only They Believed In It (Phandroid)
Google TV-enabled Vizio Co-Star sold out in less than 12 hours. Vizio took to their Google+ page to announce the good news. One could consider this the first real hit for the Google TV platform which hasn’t exactly been attracting consumers like flies on honey. In fact, after the hoopla of Google fibre you’d think that the launching of a new cable service would seem like a pretty good time to plug Google TV and maybe even throw in a set top instead of a Nexus 7. But what do I know.

Monetizing Google+ Hangouts: Digital Goods (The Next Web)
Google+ Hangouts isn’t just a feature, it’s a powerful platform. Here’s another sign that the platform play is very real: Google might let developers of Hangout apps monetise through digital goods. During a recent “Live session” with Google+ developers, the Google team discussed ways of monetizing apps using some type of virtual goods. It’s a clear indicator of how Google is building its relationships with developers and setting up a path to building out an incredibly powerful ecosystem.

Android Peaked In The U.S. While Apple Gained Ground (Strategy Analytics via Apple Insider)
Domestic shipments of Android-based smartphones declined year over year in the second quarter, while Apple saw its iPhone sales grow by 2 million units. Data from Strategy Analytics, reveals that Android’s share of smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2012 was 56.3%, down from 60.6% last year. Android’s losses proved to be Apple’s. Strategy Analytics said the numbers show that Android’s market share in the U.S. is peaking while Apple’s iPhone continues to gain ground. And that’s only going to grow with the iPhone 5.

Google To Double Down On YouTube Channel Investment (WSJ)
It was a $150 million experiment: Seed dozens of new video “channels” on its Web service and see what works. So far, Google likes what it sees from the eight-month effort. The company says it will put in another $200 million to market the channels as it attempts to upgrade its content from simple user-generated videos and to lure more viewers and advertising. The site has launched nearly 100 new channels so far this year, attracting name talent in an effort to draw new audiences and advertisers.

Google+ Shows Strong Visitor Growth (VentureBeat via Scoople)
Google+ picked up 66% more unique visitors between November and June for a total of 110.7 million visitors in June, according to comScore. In the U.S., Google+ showed even stronger pickup, with 82% growth. comScore’s numbers reflect web traffic and don’t account for mobile or tablet traffic. Officially, Google has said that it has more than 150 million monthly active users and that 50% of active users sign in daily. Google has pushed ahead its social layer strategy in recent months by intertwining a number of its products. The company has paid special attention to connecting search, Gmail, and Maps to Google+. Are you actively using Google+ or have you abandoned it?

How Google Is unravelling The Web (ZDNet)
CEO Larry Page wants to own the hyperlink and boost Google’s revenues into the stratosphere. There is something extraordinary taking place. Google’s war on spam sites is tipping the online world upside down and now threatens that most fundamental element of the world wide web: the hyperlink. Google is paying more attention to sites that have lots of links from low quality content sites. Google’s Panda algorithm now measures of the “quality” of each page in its index. It’s a brilliant business strategy by Google because it makes all hyperlinks potentially toxic. All hyperlinks, that is, except those provided by Google.

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