Google has been a dominant figure in the internet world for the last decade but over the past year we have seen the ‘Big G’ make changes that challenge many companies business models. With a corporation as big as Google do other companies have a choice but to let Google invade their market and potentially take business away at the search stage?
Most businesses rely on Google to refer traffic to them but when Google is offering news services, reviews and even price comparisons then some websites may get caught out of the loop. Companies in the most danger are comparison sites or affiliate sites that make money from referals. They increase their own SEO to be the first point of call for customers then refer to the cheapest or most rated sites. With Google offering comparisons and reviews this can cut many sites out of the loop and refer the user to the end site so the middle man looses out on their cut.
This could work out better for the consumer as many companies have to mark in the commission for these referals in ther costs so taking out the middle man may work out cheaper.
Most people see Google as a force not to be argued with and all the changes that the company roll out mean other businesses just have to find ways around this. The Times went up against Google earlier this year by blocking search bots from indexing their website and putting up a paywall so customers have to pay to read their content. This was heavily criticised and it will be interesting to see how this has worked for Rupert Murdoch after a good length of time with no traffic being refered from Google, and users being able to find similar content online for free using Google News.
Recently we have seen another company go up against Google in Trip Advisor.
Google Places was released a few weeks ago and includes genuine reviews on places you can visit such as holiday destinations, restaurants, bars and even companies. This has been done for the consumer so they can see how other people rate these places quickly without having to search through all of the review sites out there.The reviews can be added to Google or pulled in from other review sites.
Trip advisor is a very popular Trip review website and Google pulled in reviews from this reputable website to appear in Google Places. This eliminates the need for people to go to Trip advisor, this means loss of advertising income for the website and loss of commission from referals. To counter this Trip Advisor has banned Google from pulling in it’s reviews to Google Places hopefully driving traffic back to their website.
This is a brave move by Trip Advisor as Google is a big player to go up against and this will be seen as a defiant move, understandably Trip advisor has released a statement saying they are having technical issues so it is still debatable whether this has been done on purpose but we will see how it turns out.
If you want information on getting your business listed in Google Places or improving your natural SEO results then speak to the team at SEO Creative.