Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) reported its first-quarter earnings recently, and overall, the business is good. Google continues to grow, and dominates the business of advertising on the web.
Online advertising is expected to continue growing. Online ad spending is expected to increase 14.6% in 2013 to $113.5 billion, meaning that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s core business remains very healthy. But, companies like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are increasingly vying for those ad dollars. Google does need to focus on diversifying its business outside of just people clicking on web-based ads, and here are five areas where the company could really expand over the next few years
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has announced that it is bringing its fiber internet to Provo, UT. This is the third city that Google is bringing superfast service to. The ability to use the web at 100 times the speed of regular cable internet offered by the likes of Verizon or Comcast has major benefits. Cloud computing, streaming media, and internet-enabled devices are all technologies that benefit from faster internet — and Google is involved in all of these businesses.
Most people don’t realize that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s enterprise businesses are doing quite well. In fact, it’s well over a billion dollar business for the company and continues to grow, slowly taking business away from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). The division’s flagship product is Google Apps, a web-based productivity suite that includes business class Gmail, word processing, and spreadsheets. Millions of businesses pay $50 per user per year for the service. Other enterprise offerings include Google Drive, mapping products, and the Google Compute Engine.
The Glass Explorers program, a limited test of the wearable Google Glass project, just got underway with the shipment of units to early adopters. Glass offers a glimpse into the world of wearable computing, a technology that offers a lot of promise for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). Instead of relying on computers and smartphones for information, Glass will enable its users to always be connected. That’s good for all of Google’s business, as it means increased usage of their services, although it might take some time for people to get used to the concept of wearable devices.
While Google’s Chrome browser is free, the company benefits from people using it. It is now the most popular browser, overtaking Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Chrome allows Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to have much more influence over the web. And while Chrome OS laptops are not selling as well as Google would like, it’s still a competitive alternative to Windows PCs or Macs. Chrome is a complementary business; it allows Google to sell more of its products and services by providing another portal via the browser.