Google talks all the time.
People watch their videos, read their blog posts, and listen to their speakers are conferences. Google talks and people listen, but even more importantly…Google acts.
And when Google acts we should all pay even more attention.
As content creators, the past 10+ years have been good. The business model has been to create content. Google would act as the directory for the online world, collecting all the content and providing the most relevant articles, videos, images, etc. for searchers. It was a good model, but to finance the business Google used a few ads here and there.
Flash forward to 2011 and times have changed.
A post from Aaron Wall described the most recent example of Google’s advertising model in his article Google Admits ‘Organic Results’ Are Filler To Pump Deceptive Ads at Consumers.
I have a huge monitor & it is impossible for me to click *anywhere* above the fold on some search results without going through Google’s toll booth or clicking off to yet another Google ad wrapped page.
It’s worth it to read the entire article.
Here is another article on Google’s Highly Profitable Secret World on Small Business.
This trend has been happening for a long time, but lately Google has been picking up the pace. It’s just easier (and more profitable) for them to serve up paid content instead of bothering with the organic content.
The signs in the last year have been evident (see: Torched by Panda). There were even some examples of Google going against its own theory of Panda by promoting duplicate content on YouTube over the original source of the content. Google is even taking actions to limit the use of SEO data.
Every once in a while Google throws out a little olive branch to the organic world. A recent example was the Freshness Update. But if you’re really paying attention to the actions of Google you’ll realize they are heading to a world of paid-only content promotion. It’s in their best interest in terms of ease and profit. And let’s be honest. That’s what we’re all after.
So what’s the good news?
Write, Publish, and Create as if Google Does Not Exist
Google appears to be heading down the paid content route. I don’t think they’ll ever get rid of the organic side of things, but it’ll get more difficult for content creators to matter in the search results.
There are attempts to create open source, organic results engines, but attempts are far away from fruition.
The real secret to the future seems to be to create content as if Google doesn’t exist.
Create content for people. Write, create graphics, shoot photography, and record video for your target audience. The discovery will be the interesting part of the future on the Web. People will still find content via search. I’m sure it will never go away.
But if you can’t afford to pay Google for a directory listing in their paid results you’ll have to find other ways to generate traffic, sales, and profit.
Create content that is worth sharing. Focus on building a community of followers. Focus on building a subscriber list. Going back to the old school of direct marketing – the money is in the list. It’s a timeless rule.
Focus on building a brand that is recognizable.
I’m not sure how the discovery will shake out in the future. Maybe it’s a combination of search and social. Maybe there’s something on the horizon that will bring back organic search results.
One thing that seems to be true should make you excited – the companies that write, publish, and create as if Google didn’t exist will succeed in the future world where Google doesn’t put emphasis on organic results.
Don’t stop creating. People love content and will continue to demand the best. Those that provide will succeed and profit.
We just have to figure out new ways for people to discover our content while growing a community of followers and customers.