After 8 hours of flights and transfers, I arrived at Palo Alto, California, site of the 2016 Google Top Contributor Meetup for the US and Canada. It’s quite a distance to travel for a day and a half event, but one which I have the good fortune to experience.
There’s a non disclosure agreement, so specific details of this event, like previous Google (Alphabet) meetups and summits are confidential. However, these events provide an opportunity to peek a little into technological trends and their impact on marketing and business development.
Of course, there is a built-in bias when you are invited to events where your travel, accommodations and meals are provided. And as I prepare for the first evening gathering here, one Wall Street analyst has finally broken ranks with the crowd and produced a negative projection for Google’s share prices — reflecting changes in marketing trends (which may be worthy of much further consideration.)
Barron’s Tech Trader Daily reports:
Wedbush’s James Dix late yesterday initiated coverage of the stock with an Underperform rating, arguing that fundamental change is coming to the market for advertising that could diminish the value of Alphabet’s main Google division’s ad technologies.
Dix points to the primary traditional reason for Google’s appeal to advertisers: “Paid search monetizes better than other digital media because its traffic is a good proxy for “self-identified consumers.”
But he thinks a variety of things, including advertising-blocking software, constitute an emerging phenomenon he dubs the “The Four Horsemen of the Search Apocalypse,” which also includes Amazon.com‘s (AMZN) rising prominence in commerce, all of which could substantially undercut Google’s value.
Hmmm. I can’t report on the details of a trend I learned first a summit I attended some years ago, but it was right on the mark in terms of predicting the future. But it is dangerous to be complacent and always believe what you hear. I’ll keep my ears tuned.