Clement Charles

Clement Charles 's thoughts
June 19th, 2013

Google, threaten by… SEO, creates room for competitors

Today, in 2013 it appears to me that we are in a situation not so far from the appearance and emerging domination of Google a bit more than 10 years ago. Indeed, a lot of people today acknowledge that Google is the leading, not to say the only search engine, but does not really provides good results in many cases.

In my perspective, the fact that millions of companies can sell you tricks, features, services, official or not, with or without Google certification, that can improve your ranking into Google services is – in itself  – a proof of the current weakness of the search engine.

Indeed, when there are tricks and techniques that allow you, with cash and investments, to be well positioned in search results, we’re not into algorithmic search anymore. We are into a directory with paid visibility ….A directory exactly like Yahoo! was at the time.

In my perspective, all the recent announcement of Google of the past two years have been bringing sanctions to limit the abuse of SEO. From Panda to Pinguin, the zoo of algorithmic updates shows that Google is well aware of the problem that I am underlining now.

I think customers would also have expected that the search algorithm itself improve as much as a “Google Now” on Android phone, which seems to be the way forward. You would also expect deeper search that encompass the deep web. Finally, the search and discover function of YouTube are surprisingly weak, unrelevant and not updated (… subscribing to channel is not the way you find the long tail content you may be searching for). Well, there are things to do, but it is not there yet.

So in my perspective, SEO and in a lesser way, sponsored links, are the biggest money maker but also the biggest threat on Google search future. In the 2 to 3 years time frame, I would expect Google to be able to provide a “Google Now” types of experiences to desktop (maybe, connected TV) users, while fighting hard against a new group of competitors that used the room currently left by Google to enter the market !