April 10, 2012

Having been an avid Google-Watcher for over 10 years now (and Adwords payer for nearly as long), my biggest gripe with the big G can be explained by the 10 year evolution of the Number 1 Search Results Page. Back when Brin & Page were still genuine, outside-the-box geeks all that appeared on the page were the best results – organic. Brin & Page were even famously quoted at that point of stating that any form of paid search results would not be in the interest of the user.

OK, so they were naive, and when they had to monetize, Adwords was inevitable.  But Adwords started out as a tiny little column on the right hand side very explicitly marked as “Sponsored Results”. And Google started making millions. If they’d stopped there, and had been content just to make millions, all would have been fine, and they’d likely still be the darling of the tech world. But millions werent enough – shareholders wanted billions. And so, every single year since those early days, Google has been putting more and more “Sponsored results” onto the page. Not only that, but they have craftily camouflaged the search results too, so that its increasingly difficult to see what results are paid and what results untarnished by adword budgets.

Still, shareholders (and by implication Brin & Page) were not satiated. With the rise of big competitors such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp et al, Adwords aren’t the only things monopolising the first page results. Now its other Google Properties that are promoted – Google Places, YouTube, etc. The final nail in the coffin of Organic results is the latest Make-or-Break move of Google+. Your First Page results will now also be peppered with Google+ entries.

Internet Marketing experts have been warning  that soon Google’s first page results will consist of exclusively Paid-For links or Google properties. That day is nigh. And I would personally argue that when that day comes a weird situation may result with Google where the Page 2 search results will be better than the page 1 results.  That is where you will find the non-paid for results that got to the top PURELY on relevancy. With this in mind, I present you with the business idea of the decade:

Register a domain something like “Page2Results”, put a simple search box on it and for the Search Results just skim Google’s 2nd page results (onwards).

I reckon the site would Rock! The only reason I’m not doing it myself is that you’d need mega-bucks to set up servers and infrastructure. But you’d have a very solid business.

(whilst you’re about it, make sure you register “Page3Results”, “Page4Results” etc. That way, if Google continues with their greed, you can just switch your model whenever necessary 🙂 )


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