Why is Google losing the AI race?

After nearly three decades of global dominance, the company is starting to lose its shine.

01 July 2024

It's hard to think of a brand more dominant in its space than Google. Like Coca-Cola, it has become ubiquitous. In lowercase form, its name is now listed as a verb in most dictionaries. Worth over $2 trillion, it’s significantly more powerful than many nation states, and yet, all is not well in Mountain View. The difficulty lies in its core product, the search engine on which its entire business was built. After nearly three decades of global dominance, it’s starting to look, if not vulnerable, at least less hegemonic. To make matters worse, the most significant challenge comes from a technology that Google should be dominating – AI.

For evidence, we can look at Bing, Microsoft's search engine. Bing has always been a bit of a joke, its share of the search market puttering along at 2% or 3%, despite Microsoft ploughing at least $5 billion into the service since it launched in 2009. Then, in early 2023, Bing's market share began to creep upwards. By April 2024, it had reached between 8% and 10% in the US market – and Google had fallen to around 80% compared to over 90% a year ago.

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