It should come as no surprise that Google online advertising solutions are one of the reasons newspapers are struggling. Job sites like Monster and classified sites like Craigslist/eBay are other culprits of course. The irony of course is Google went into the business of selling ads in print publications and then abruptly pulled out.
The same thing just happened in radio where Google abruptly pulled out yesterday.
Some suspect TV is next but this Wall Street Journal article claims Google is serious about this business. IMHO TV is an area of the market where Google can be very successful as we will continue to see TVs and the web merging. As these once disparate spaces intersect, there should be abundant opportunities to show ads related to TV content.
The challenge for Google is that it is a cash generating machine and has a monopoly on the search ad business. There are precious few other industries it can enter into and make any meaningful revenue compared to its core business.
Selling cloud-based solutions is one area where the company of course can excel and Microsoft Office (no pun intended) is an easy target. A quick search on Amazon shows you can get the Microsoft Office Small Business 2007 Full Version for $240 meaning there is a quite a bit of room for Google to generate revenue with its Google Apps Premier Edition at $50/user account/year.
Other software apps will make sense as well and I would expect Google to look to expanding its software solutions in a bid to generate more revenue.