I was at about 8 conferences and networking events in the past 30 days and I heard this comment more than one time from people in the online marketing business. There is a general consensus that Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”), the free way you get found on Google may be seeing it’s final days.
What do I mean by SEO’s final days?
Well, first off, Google has always been in a conundrum in their business. That’s because it behooves them to “Do No Evil”, their actual first corporate mission and tagline by simply not giving away search engine (SERP) space for free. Because Google both controls the Pay -Per-Click (ads links) at the top of Google searches and also controls the FREE search typically below ads, rich snippet stuff (like questions and answers, events, videos, and other extras), they have always have the ironic position of controlling whether they make more and more and more money by reducing the FREE aspect of Internet searches. So, it is bad business to make FREE better and therefor PPC gets worse.
In fact, it is such the case that PPC may be given so much more sway and intelligence than normal search, that Google just does not give a damn about free search stuff at all. The comment from Google would be something, “Yeah, we like free. Yeah, we work on it sometimes.”
That is what a monopoly like Google can do. They can sit there and say they care, when in fact they really don’t care. In fact, why should they care.
Single Search Result
So, the thing that more and more people are talking about is the concept of a single search result! That means that 1 only, the top and only the top search result gets found!
Think about it. If you are using Echo, Alexa or one of the voice based search there is only one search result. You could ask Alexa for the 2nd result, but that would be a search result on it’s own. So, let’s start with that, voice based search, the next level of search, if you are not number 1, you are not existing in the search results. And for now that is not Paid, it is free, but just imagine that it would be Paid results…which means that free search could be a thing of the past.
Lot of Great Stuff Goes Away
Over the past 20 years we’ve seen a variety of ways that search engine searches have changed, especially with Google. There used to be a bar on the left that would let you easily change up your search based on a variety of criteria, including date. I am sure it is somewhere, but when Google removes features, it is usually for a good reason. I mean a good business reason that benefits Google. There used to be extended paid search links on the right side of Google searches that went away. Hmm, without those links, the price of Pay-Per-Click went up even further.
Basically, Google is a monopoly, and like a monopoly they do what is good for them. I only recently got back into SEO as an SEO doctor, but quite honestly you have to do what Google likes and wants or you pay and pay and pay.
Hard to believe but I think that Voice has left the door open for the first time in at least 15 years since the demise of Yahoo, and lessers like Alta Vista, Excite and Dogpile from the search engine game. With Voice, Alexa, yet another behemoth Amazon, has gotten into the 1 result game. But I think there is a chance for others to get in the game as well. I think that it is not something Google wants to allow. In fact, their whole business is still premised on the concept of search. At least I think it is. Without it, there would be another Google… Well, why can’t there be another Google? I mean competition is a good thing, isn’t it?
The Bitter End
I think there is a long term goal for Google in maximizing their revenues on the web or whatever you want to call the future. It means putting in place even more difficult to use or complicated systems (albeit antiquated ones like PPC), that control and keep the marketplace exactly where it is. That is what is good for Google. And with that comes lack of innovation and lack of competition. That is what I am seeing. In fact, it could be the end of SEO services as I am seeing the. Very sad, indeed. If Google did not get this stranglehold on the tech, we could have a competitive environment. If you think that Google is oh so innovative with search these days, explain that to me!
I am always pitching at the end of my articles, especially events and products. We have a series of events coming up for both StartupPOP and SEO Turbo Booster, our SEO products. Most are in South Florida, but we do have a startup pitch event in Newark New Jersey at IDT Corp on June 3rd. See the links below:
SEO Masterclass sponsored by StartupPOP and SEO Turbo Booster (http://seoturbobooster.com) on Wednesday, May 22nd at Robot Lounge in Boca Raton, FL. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/startuppop-seo-masterclass-tickets-60498961021
31st StartupPOP Tech Startup Pitch Event in Newark, NJ on Monday, June 3rd, 2019 at IDT. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tech-startup-pitch-event-mon-june-3rd-in-newark-at-idt-corporation-tickets-61431182320
32nd StartupPOP Tech Startup Pitch Event in Boca Raton, FL on Wednesday, June 20th at Cendyn Spaces. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tech-startup-pitch-event-thurs-june-20th-in-boca-raton-at-cendyn-spaces-tickets-60415010924