I think it was hard not to notice the creeping, and sometimes blatant change that Google is undergoing. Driven by the changes in the online ecosystem and Wall Street pressure for more growth, in an already insanely profitable and growing business, Google had to adjust its business model. No question about it.
As Google is still the prime driver for traffic with no change in sight these profound changes are important for most of us.
Less search more services
Have you noticed the new black header? Right where previously all the different search options were located? Of course you have.
Have you noticed that prompt to sign up to Google Plus when you log out from Gmail and all other places? Of course you have.
Did you know that Google spent $213 MILLLION in 2011 to advertise its own products like Chrome and Docs. That’s quite a lot for a company that not too long ago did not believe in TV and print.
It seems like search alone is not sexy enough anymore.
Google is clearly aiming at a gaining a deeper level of search.
They have started with broad overall indexing of pages – this changed with the acquisition of ITA Software. It is clear that Google has an incentive to serve listing directly on its side, instead of giving vertical search engines affiliate revenues. It does not only keep more people directly on Google, but is also more lucrative.
After flight search it is not improbable that job search will also be served by Google in the future, too. Just give the regulators a bit of time to forget about that competition threatening ITA acquisition.
Less results more answers
If there is something the http://schema.org/ push told us, it is that Google aims to directly integrate data from third party sites. Why not save the user the click to your site when the result can already be displayed on Google, if you format your data in such a nicely structured way?
Just look at the Champions League results as an example. It won’t stop there.
Obviously, in order to serve answers Google needs much (much) more personal data, which brings us to…
Less outside more inside
Google is now an integrated company. It is integrated through many verticals leveraging its powerful AI machine. For the AI machine to learn meaningful interactions, though, it needs to be fed with gallons of data.
Important answer drivers are among others the “social spine” (Google Plus, YouTube) and location (Android, Google Maps). This is one reason these services are supported and why other services will be born to support this data collection.
These three big Google trends are important to understand in order to position your business online in such a way that you won’t be crushed between these three interests. Things you can do to increase your chances are:
- Build a brand
- Invest in user retention
- Build a platform
- Be the producer (of a great product) and not the middleman
Not only will these things improve your long term business odds overall, but they will also help your rankings.
Image Source: 1, 2
I am asking Alexander to write another guest post for us explaining the benefits of the Rankpanel SEO insights search engine. In the meantime, you can follow Rankpanel on Twitter and read the Rankpanel Blog.
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