How Google is Trying to do What Facebook is Already Doing
If you have been using Google Ads to generate money for your site then stop and think – if someone is paying you that much for your traffic, then they must be getting more money out of it somehow. Put it another way – in order for it to be worth their while to pay you for advertizing, they must have something that’s paying out higher on their page. In other words they have monetized their site better than you have, and by sending the traffic their way you are actually only getting a very small cut of the reward.
Most webmasters work this out fairly early on and soon change tact to begin selling products that they own, offering subscription services etc. By keeping the traffic on their site they stand to earn more than they do by sending it away. If someone came into your shop, you wouldn’t accept 20 cents from the shop next door to send them all their way would you now?
Google’s Unusual Business Model
Which is why it’s kind of unusual that Google, arguably the biggest web-based company out there – base their entire business model around sending traffic away from their site. Their main service is to provide people with lists of other places they can go, and the only time they get paid is when someone clicks an add – that takes them away from Google.
Facebook however has gotten around this in a rather smart way – by giving companies the ability to set up their own Facebook groups and pages. This way when you click an ad in Facebook you are simply taken to another Facebook page – albeit one run by a different company. And from there Facebook can keep you interested in their site for longer, and even better – show you more ads. Facebook have their own microcosm of web business, and it’s a pretty great position to be in. No wonder then that they are looking at a $100 billion IPO.
The New ‘Face’ of Google
It seems though that Google has finally gotten wind of this (who told them?) and has started to look at more ways they can make money by keeping people on their site and by creating their own infrastructure and by hosting more content of their own. Everyone knows that not so long ago they purchased YouTube, and so suddenly any advert for a video is one that takes you to another Google page. Then there are companies with their own Google Plus pages, and again if you head to those through Google… when then you’re still pretty much on Google. They have also tried ‘click to call’ meaning that they can generate leads for businesses directly from Google without visitors having to leave the site at all – all in a bid to keep people on the web for longer.
But the biggest step in that direction is Google Plus Your World. Google Plus could already be seen as Google’s attempt to mimic Facebook and offer a more ‘social’ version of the web, but now with ‘Your World’ Google looks set to push Google+ even harder (or maybe ‘ram’ is a more fitting term… as in ‘ram it down our throats’). This looks to integrate Google+ into Google’s search engine, so that if you search for ‘Spain’ you could get pictures of Spain that were uploaded by people in your ‘circles’. This way it will be impossible to avoid Google+ and the act of browsing the web could become a more personal and social experience. On top of GoogleMail and Google Maps Google pretty much have you hook line and sinker, and some people are already crying ‘Monopoly’.
So What Does this all Mean?
The question that remains to be answered of course is whether Google can pull it off or whether Your World is one step too far; and what will happen next whether they do or don’t. Of course this could change the way that SEO works, and sites really would have to start promoting themselves even more through social networks. It might mean the end of Facebook. It might be the beginning of the end for Google. Or it might be the end of the beginning for both of them. All we can do is to watch, adapt and most importantly learn. Are you making the most of your traffic?