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Google's Increasing Self-Promotion Raises Eyebrows
Posted on September 5th 2013
A step beyond the ordinary
It's common knowledge that Google promotes its own products in its search results. Most of us wouldn't expect anything less of the search giant... and yet things seem to be getting progressively worse.
Recent search results show an increase in Google's self-promotion that are alarming to some - in a large number of cases users are overwhelmed with ads and results from Google-owned properties on the web.
Video: Google search displays only 13% organic results
In truth, the amount of space that is given over to ads on the Google search results pages has grown larger every year while the space allotted for the organic search results has grown smaller.
There is a push towards the availability of relevant, useful search results, and if Google cannot keep up with user demand they will undoubtedly begin losing their majority share of the search market.
Google's changing roles
There is a growing concern regarding the different roles Google plays amongst the web community.
For a long time Google was a search engine, pure and simple. Then it began to branch out and little by little grew into a company with its fingers in many different operations from email to public business pages. Google also owns YouTube and offers users access to a free virtual library full of books on a wide variety of subjects. It is obvious that while Google is still primarily known as a search engine, that is not the only market they are catering to any longer.
This diversification of roles has escalated to the point that these other activities and services are obscuring Google's original purpose and offering: their search results and the search engine that provides them.
Combine this change with the rate at which the space provided for organic results on a search page is shrinking and you have a truly alarming trend.
What this means for the rest of us
Google is a rather large company with profit margins that would make most people's eyes cross just to hear them described in general terms. It provides so many services that many people have come to regard as essential. And yet there is still a rumbling of dissatisfaction at the growing lack of care being given to what a lot of people view as Google's primary purpose.
Some would say that Google is going to do what it wants regardless of how the general public believes or behaves, and to a point they are correct. What we (the public) do not have to do is sit idly by and simply complain about the things we see wrong.
If you or anyone you know is truly dissatisfied and no longer finds the use of Google or its products to be beneficial, it's time to move on. Find a new email provider, a new way to host blogs, images, and videos. And, difficult as it might be, find a new search engine to use on a regular basis.
This might seem harsh, but the only way to show a company like Google that their user base is not happy with the direction the company is taking is to speak with our use of their products or lack thereof.
It's not just PPC we need to be afraid of
Google is increasingly putting their hands into direct product satisfaction for the customer. We no longer need to search then go to our designated website and purchase. More and more Google is offering a direct solution to your search query from their own services. Point and case:
One can only assume that mega sites like Kayak, Orbitz etc. are feeling the pressure and game planning for a solution. Where doe it end? The same is happening with practically everything retail. In this example we see google places their own service even higher on the page then the PPC paying customers. One question you may ask is does this make the cost of PPC less expensive since clients are no longer getting the coveted top of the page? The answer is no. Matter of fact, PPC prices are constantly on the rise.
Taking a look at another example we can see the huge importance Google places and the relationship Google and Yelp have developed plays into a search query. The local business that isn't represented in these two products stands little chance to compete in a Google search. The bottom line is Google is seemingly doing everything they can to avoid the customer needing to ever click on an organic search result.
What do you think?
Does Google give enough space on an average results page for organic results, or do you feel that there are too many ads and sponsored listings?
Do you find Google's results to still be relevant and useful for your search needs?
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