Call Us: 877.620.6664 | Contact Us
Is Google preventing small businesses from finding success online?
Responding to SEOmoz’s “Titans of Search” video blog
Last week SEOmoz published a special event video blog post featuring an off-the-cuff interview and discussion between two “Titans of Search,” Rand Fishkin (CEO of SEOmoz and “The Wizard of Moz”) and Danny Sullivan (of Search Engine Land and Marketing Land fame).
The video post provided a few very interesting takeaways in relation to some recent announcements made by Google. Of particular interest is Google’s change in attitude and implementation of policies that just don’t seem to have the interest of their small business customers at heart.
Google Shopping (originally known as Froogle) will be moving to a ‘pay to play’ model beginning in September. This is a complete turn around from Google’s stance eight years ago that paid shopping search was “evil.” The speculation is that now it will only be players with deep pockets (like Amazon) who will get products shown in search results. Small and medium businesses looking to sell online will have a tough time playing the keyword bidding game, when in the past they’ve been able to have products shown on the sole basis of relevant content.
The second issue involved Google’s announcement that Google Places will be moving to Google+. Since its conception, Google+ has struggled to gain traction in order to compete with Facebook. Regardless of its capabilities, many users still view the platform as a failed social networking experiment. In attempts to turn that thinking around, Google has mandated that merchants with Google Places accounts will be rolled under the umbrella of Google+. As Danny Sullivan put it, “It’s clever if you’re Google and you’re thinking, ‘Hey, how can I get 80 million new users? I know, let’s make every business in America a Google+ user.’”
Let’s face it, Google is a behemoth and they own search – that’s not going to go away anytime soon – unless Google strikes out in a major way and Bing is ready to step up to the plate. Still, I feel sorry for the many small and medium businesses that don’t have the big budgets and are struggling to be seen and clicked in the search landscape. These new initiatives will certainly minimize their playing field and make it more difficult for these merchants to grow and be seen.
Photo credit: Perfesser