This excerpt taken from the GOOG 10-Q filed May 6, 2009.
We face significant competition from web search providers, internet advertising companies, online service and content providers, and traditional media companies.
We face significant competition in every aspect of our business. This includes competition from web search providers, internet advertising companies, companies that provide products and services online, and companies that provide online content. Our competitors include companies ranging from large and established companies to emerging start-ups. Established companies have longer operating histories and more established relationships with customers and end users, and they can use their experience and resources against us in a variety of competitive ways, including by making acquisitions, investing aggressively in research and development, and competing aggressively for advertisers and web sites. Emerging start-ups may be able to innovate and provide products and services faster than we can.
In certain markets outside the U.S., other web search, advertising services, and internet companies have greater brand recognition, more users, and more search traffic than we have. Even in countries where we have a significant user following, we may not be as successful in generating advertising revenue due to slower market development, our inability to provide attractive local advertising services, or other factors. To compete more effectively, we need to better understand our international users and their preferences, improve our brand recognition, enhance our selling efforts internationally, and build stronger relationships with advertisers. If we fail to do so, our global expansion efforts may be more costly and less profitable than we expect.
In addition to competition from internet advertising companies, internet advertising companies such as Google face substantial competition from companies that offer traditional media advertising services. Most large advertisers allocate only a small portion of their overall advertising budgets to internet advertising, and we expect that large advertisers will continue to focus most of their advertising efforts on traditional media. If we fail to convince these companies to spend a portion of their advertising budgets with us, or if our existing advertisers reduce the amount they spend on our programs, our operating results will be harmed.