I was reading a post at the Search Engine Round Table website about Matt Cutts (AKA The Prince Of Flies) warning SEO’s about the next round of penguin updates. Basically Matt says his pet penguin hasn’t been sitting around on its ass, eating cake and getting fat. It has instead been injecting itself with hardcore steroids and pumping iron with the incredible hulk and that massive ugly dude from the film 300. It’s been retro fitted with the poisonous fangs of the King Cobra, the brain of a Rottweiler and the of heart of Rocky Balboa. It’s fair to say that it might be worth giving your clients a heads up before they roll it out. Here’s a draft letter you can use.
“The path of the righteous SEO is beset on all sides by the inequities of Matt Cutts and the tyranny of evil Google. Blessed is the SEO who, in the name of small businesses and good will, shepherds their websites through the valley of Googledom, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost backlinks. Google may strike down upon thee once again with great vengeance and furious anger those SEOs who attempt to poison and destroy their blessed SERPS. And you will know their true name is Bielzibub when they lay their vengeance upon us.”
(Insert Name Here)
But what happens if one day Google get their dream and the only business results are PPC or other paid ads?
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
In the beginning Google never knew just how powerful they would become. Two snotty nosed students covered in spots with a big idea.
Now Google has over a 90% share of UK searches, leaving the others trailing miserably behind. But these statistics show that Google have a huge responsibility to ensure businesses get their fair share of visitors especially the way the current economy stands.
More and more people are buying online, in the comfort of their own home, instead of traveling out to the shops.
In the UK thousands of businesses have closed their high street stores due to the recession and are investing in ecommerce solutions to recover. But no matter how hard they try they will still have to compete with the big players who have the most money.
How on earth does a small business selling clothing compete with the likes of ASOS, NEXT and REPUBLIC? There is no chance.
In a nutshell the SERPS show:
- 10 Organic results
- 10 PPC results
- 10 Local listings
This hardly caters for the shear volume of businesses trying to grasp a few extra visitors.
We know that Organic listings yield the higher CTR
We know that PPC is pretty much focused on the highest bidder but has lower CTR
How many people actually click on Local listings?
Am I really saying that as big and powerful as Google are, can they really only cater for 30 businesses per search? This seams like such a small figure for the power they hold. So does this in turn really make their SERPS available to the most affluent of companies?
Surely Google’s business model is too old and too unyielding to cater for the hundreds of thousands of businesses that rely on the internet to be successful. Let’s remember that the internet itself is FAR bigger than Google will ever be. They don’t own it. They simply act as the gate keeper to the internet. In fact we have allowed them to become the Pearly Gates of the internet, and they have inherited the power to say “If your name isn’t on the list, your not coming in!”
In my opinion they hold the monopoly on the internet and we must all bow down to their will. When is an independent commission going to stand up and take control of this? When will they regulate the companies who hold all the locks and hide all the keys?
I understand that they own the search engine that we all use and they can do what they want with it. But what I want to know is:
- Do you think that Google is fair to all businesses?
- Should they be governed to ensure fair business for all?
- Does their responsibility to internet users reflect in their actions?
- is 30 business results enough to to show fair play.
- Do you think the ecommerce side of the internet is reserved for the privileged?
- Does their business model reflect their responsibility to businesses?
I write this to provoke debate. Slate me, agree with me, tell me how much rubbish I’m talking, but please answer the questions above and post your own for open debate. It will be interesting to collate the data and make a report about the findings.