I doubt it...-- they would need something attention grabbing to get enough traction (and just being quiet on when and how they are going to monetize... is just not going to get them there).
Craig appears to have done a whole lot more than that: made people believe he was never going to monetize, kept the truth hidden for a long as he could AND managed to have most people believe he didn't monetize even when anybody who cared to look into it would have found out otherwise... (plenty of people just took his word or rather what appeared to be his word for it and acted accordingly); and the blunder still works to this day -- who would have guessed?
Google could be a serious competitor but ONLY if they were to treat it as a long term non-profit project (like Google Earth, for instance -- buys good-will without bringing direct profits). But would they ever do it that way? They would if they were smart -- there is just no way to catch-up otherwise... as far as I can see... D.