Recently, on a business trip, I grapped the latest version of FastCompany from the newspaper shop in the Philadelphia airport. The cover had a picture of Google’s Larry Page on the front and the title read “The great tech war of 2012, Why Google will win!” It was a great ploy, but I wondered… what tech war!

As I grabbed the magazine, I realized that there was a different cover behind it. That one read “The great tech war of 2012, Why Facebook will win!”. It was the typical magazine scam of the same magazine but with 4 different covers. Calling out Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook as the “Tech Giants” was simple, how they were at war was interesting, but what many of us have been claiming for some time, that all four of these tech giants were slowly, but unequivocally encroaching on each others turf. They all were beginning to do mobile, sell content, target advertising, and ultimately create secondary and tertiary business then what they started as.

But why the war? Isn’t that business as usual? The answer… nope. They are feuding. Each gobble’s up new start-ups before the other, and each is growing. Focusing all of their efforts on each of the other three in some fashion. For example Google’s purchase last week of 2 new small companies (Apture, and Katango) to help with its Chrome browser, and with Google+. They found a small section of their offerings, and bought what it needed to enhance it just a bit.

This is what i call the “Monopoly Effect”… no not the typical monopoly, but rather the board game. Each turn around the board, you find some other property that you can bump to a hotel, or add a house. Pass go, collect $200. All industries seem to go through a small phase of this, but the 2012 tech giants seem to be doing it at a rate that far exceeds other areas. For instance Google has acquired 23 different companies this year alone. It seems unfathomable to some when you hear the US is in such a recession but tech still rains supreme.

So who will win? My theory is no one. They will continue to fight, and pull small chunks of each others market share in each area. Eventually they will all simply continue to battle, and we will see some sort of stagnation in the industry, and a small start-up will gain enough momentum to break it all open again.

What is the impact on SEO, SEM, and being an online retailer? Nothing. The same will hold true day by day. Diversify your marketing efforts, focus on quality content, incoming link traffic, and standard marketing practices to drive traffic to your website. Business as usual.

But, only time will tell!

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