In this era of extreme cyber culture, the Internet represents a whole new world, where the virtual has become real. While we carry the world in our pocket, thanks to the smart phone and other hi tech devices, can we at all conceive of daily life without the presence of Google Inc. (GOOGL – Analyst Report)?

Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have already proved this point beyond debate, but does their stock reflect the same essentiality to investors? Of course it has, with its ridiculously impressive 1,154% gain in 11 years on the public market, cheering investors and generally keeping spirits up.

Google’s gains are indeed staggering. But is it the sole star in the firmament setting benchmarks for others to try and emulate? Historically, there are a number of stocks in the equity universe which are in neck-to-neck competition with Google. However, their products, though serviceable and important, lack the glamour to be in the limelight, and have thus eluded attention. It’s time we dig into some eyebrow-raising facts.

Google to Alphabet
Any indication of slowing down?

When Jim Cramer asserts about Google that “profitability is up to them and their destiny is in their control,” we jump up from our chairs and go for this expensive bid. We’re all the more confident of Google’s mass rebranding as Alphabet which is now being talked about as the tech version of Warren Buffett’s insurance-focused conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway.

Of course, there are similarities with respect to management structure, low debt level and capital deployment policy. However, a glaring difference lies in the fact that while the Buffett mantra is in investing into good stocks that generate a present stream of income, Alphabet is all about investing in the future with hardly any current cash flow.

And that is not all. There are many other reasons which might make an investor think beyond Google at present. Even with an ever growing array of services and diversification, Google is still very much dependent on its core search-advertising business. According to a Fortune article, “Google’s co-founders are trying to put the cool back into their company by renaming it Alphabet. Too bad their bread and butter still comes from the decidedly unhip advertising business.”

This certainly provides food for another ‘doubtful’ thought. Google has witnessed considerable slowdown in advertising revenue over the last few years with ad-rate falling consistently. With people moving to the Android version of Google search that has minimum space for advertising and using apps like ad blockers, the company has found the road uphill. Moreover, Facebook’s rise as a prominent advertising platform, especially in the field of online video advertising, has put considerable pressure on this search giant.

And how can we forget about the series of fancy discoveries by Google which include Internet balloon, driver-less car, Google glass and so many other things that have stretched the company’s R&D spending to ridiculous limits. According to a Wall Street Journal report, many of these projects have not as yet succeeded in generating significant revenues.

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