Is Google The New Yahoo?
Google twists precariously on a thin wire. Actions now define the future of the most successful technology ever created. There is so much power in Google, so much fair intent. Google may be the purest expression of who we are as individuals, countries and a blue marble spinning in infinite, expanding space.
The nature and value of the most perfect mathematical expression of human aspiration is at risk. Aspiration collection at this level is pure art. Well removed from the science of its creation Google’s massive brain is the closest thing to intelligent silicone and integrated circuit so perfectly matched to human desire and intention it may be more human than humans.
The risk of so much manna is ever present and always tempting. Twist the dial even the smallest amount in either direction and purity leaves the building. Evil isn’t the result as much as something surely perceived as an inevitable slouching toward Bettelheim. What is the common trend of these Google moves:
Secure Socket Layer Encrypting
Google’s Index Float
When Google decided to create individual search results sets based on mob + individual results something important ended. Once I see a different result set than you striving for a #1 listing carries less or no value. Even when using a tool like Mike’s to determine a true Google organic listing what does it mean? Nothing really because the only thing that means anything is did you drive more traffic today than yesterday and today vs. last year trended for as many years as you have. Google’s float means metrics drive. The need for viral, purple cow, content has never been greater. Google’s floating index values what you’ve searched in the past, what your friends are talking about now and what their super-model tells them makes sense, what is relevant. Watching a presenter at Content Marketing World decry metrics tools before sharing a logged in screen view of “all my #1 listings” I didn’t have the heart to explain I had a very different set of listings on my computer.
The idea of the #1 listing dies hard. Google float is a hard concept. Fighting tooth and nail to get to the top of a hill (achieve a Google #1 listing) is easier to understand. Google’s number 1 listing’s demise means comparison to an absolute as a search engine optimization is dead and gone buried by Google’s search for relevancy and our human tendency to ask the wrong questions, in the wrong way about the wrong things.
Brian wrote a great piece about Secure Socket Layer encryption and Rachel is working on the evil side of the equation so I will stay out of the “he said” vs. “she said” controversy only saying that SSL is really about search volume. Retargeting, showing ads to you in the vast infinity of our content network world, after visiting site works because we trust things we see more. Retargeting watches your shoe search and increases the relevancy of the display ads on sites you visit next significantly increasing chances of your buying. The problem isn’t in your buying it is in your NOT continuing to search. If SSL cuts 30% of your search volume moving it from Google to retargeting content marketing networks it saves YOU (consumers) time and costs Google money.
Google Plus is the key. It could make both moves outlined benign or cancerous. If Google artificially maneuvers G+ results ahead of Facebook and Twitter they mess with the very forces of nature, forces they created, nurtured and carefully grew. Pervert, change or sell in any way even to themselves and Google becomes the next Yahoo (an example of the dangers of selling editorial search engine credibility to the highest bidder).
Is Google already Yahoo? Is Rome crumbling? As Jason Fells, author of No Bullshit Social Media, said tonight at Argyle Social’s event in Durham, the Jury is out with little indication of pending verdict. Hope Google does not become the next Yahoo since creating anything is hard, creating an “insanely great” thing is damn near impossible and creating GOOGLE is the hand of God.