Google Transformation from Just Search to Destination

Almost a year ago, writing for GigaOM, Robert Young posted a piece that billed Google as a media company and eventually more a destination in the classic media sense. Some statistics released by comScore at the Search Engine Strategies conference in New York support Young’s assertions.

Of some 1.2 billion search queries on Google during a one-week period in January 2008, universal results were presented about 17 percent of the time, according to research released by James Lamberti, comScore’s SVP, search and media. “The search result page is beginning to operate as a destination,” observed Lamberti. “The consumers are a priority. Not the marketers.”

Plus, Google sent nearly 400 million search referrals to their own multi-media properties, such as YouTube, over six months. That includes 148 million referrals to YouTube and 173 million to Google Images, the comScore data show.

John Battelle broke it down nicely when he wrote on his blog:

To pretend otherwise is to ignore the reality of YouTube, Google News, Google Maps, Google Local, the onebox interface, Knol, and everything else Google owns that represent the chance for them to make money the way every other media company in the world makes money – by competing for your attention and monetizing it with advertising.

What do you guys think about this search-to-destination transformation of Google?