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Why Google Blows Apple, Yahoo! and Microsoft Away

Stocks in this article: GOOG AAPL YHOO MSFT HPQ

This targeted content -- something for everybody -- spreads across platforms. When you use Google to search, you not only receive the top search experience, Google bots serve appropriate related content culled from one of the company's many offshoots such as YouTube or Google Plus.

Google's content and its focus on advertising brought it past $1,000. As an ecosystem, nobody else does it better. Some of Yahoo!'s, Microsoft's and, most certainly, Apple's moving parts beat Google -- and serve those companies (namely Apple) quite well -- but they just don't bring it all together as, how you say, built for the long term.

I couldn't disagree more with my colleague, TheStreet contributor, Robert Weinstein's take on Google's present-day dominance:

Google's revenue driver is its advertising network. It's right there in front of everyone, including the executives at Yahoo! and Microsoft. While it may have taken Bing and Yahoo! years to notice the sun rising every day, they have noticed and they are now making it as easy to buy ads as Google has for a long time.

Weinstein's one of the best traders I know. And he taught me everything I know about options and playing poker, but he absolutely misses the point on this trio's ability -- or lack thereof -- to sell digital advertising.

It's not about how easy you make it to buy ads. Practically anybody can create a self-serve network or what have you. Rather, it's about the dynamism of your platforms.

First and foremost, does the content not only attract, but engage users at scale consistently and for long periods of time. Google wins from this standpoint by miles. Yahoo! and Microsoft haven't even begun to figure out how to come close. They provide hit-and-run user experiences (do a quick search, check junk email, find out a score, view the weather forecast) whereas the Google experience sustains.

To this end, Google absolutely dominates online video viewing. According to comScore, between home and work, Americans spent about 1,294 minutes watching online video (per viewer) in August. Google sites accounted for nearly 522 minutes, whereas Microsoft and Yahoo! properties came in at 33 and 79.2 minutes, respectively.

And, of equal import, is how it takes the experience it provides and packages it from a sales standpoint. Again, clearly no contest. The numbers, illustrated, in part, in Google's earnings report last week speak for themselves.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
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