Google Is Doing More Than Indexing The Web, They’re Making Their Own ~ Encyclopedia - Online Marketing With Google Yahoo MSN

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Google Is Doing More Than Indexing The Web, They’re Making Their Own

While I pretty constantly feel I’m in a constant grappling match with Google and their engineers, I really do respect them on so many levels. But perhaps most of all, is their general “business plan”, and how they implemented it. They are no longer indexing the internet. They are making one of their own.

The True Genius Of It
When Google started, even if they had the resources they do now, they could not have created what they have now. When Google started, search engines, and especially caching content, were dubious at best. As time went on, they were allowed more and more leeway with the information they gathered from websites(out-out, of course). They no longer just linked to dictionary sites, they added the “define:” command. They no longer just linked to local businesses, they gave them a section above the search results themselves. Things like this would not have been ok before; Google waited until popular opinion and the almost (dare I say it?) omnipotence of Google was firmly established in the global consciousness.

Essentially, they invalidate the largest websites and niches using their information and market share. Whenever some (non-viagra) niche is doing too well, they replace it.

Breaking Down Their “Tools”, and Their Purpose

  1. E-Commerce
    1. Google Checkout - There is no business that makes money like the money business. Stepping into Paypal’s shoes, this service is not massive…yet. I have an odd feeling the plans for this are future-based
    2. Froogle - An invasion upon the various comparison shopping websites(remember when MySimon was huge?).
    3. Google Base - Call it CraigsList2.0. It even has personal ads.
    4. Music Search - Try Searching for “The Decemberists Album”. You’ll see yet another top bar ahead of the search results. This is their way of driving traffic to Google Base. But it once again shows that they’re gaining some decent AI about product searches. Not only searching information, but understanding it.
    5. Google Pages - Google’s free hosting setup. Why is this under e-commerce? Read the next section and you’ll understand…
  2. Information Centralization
    1. Google Reader - A central location to access all websites you would not normally have to search for. Takes the place of (well, other RSS readers), but also type in traffic and bookmarks.
    2. Local Search - Invalidates the need for a small business website(in the eyes of many). At the top of any search result, it shows business addresses, phone numbers, and busienss names.
    3. Knols - Brings the information of Wikipedia into the “Google” fold. With the information they have organized and indexed, it’s easy to bring it together. Ties in lovely with the define: Function
    4. Question and Answer - Everyone, open a new tab, and search for “What is the population of China?”, or “What time is it in Dayton, Ohio?”. Surprised? Yeahhhh. By having users go straight to them for this information, once again, increased marketshare, no webmaster participation involved.
    5. Define:keyword Search - Perhaps the first sign that Google was doing more than just indexing information. They were organizing it, extracting meaning from it. It’s the first step necessary to being able re-create information.
    6. GMail - You’ll notice this little gem(and it is a gem by the way) got introduced when a significant portion of the middle-aged adults were getting more acquainted with the internet. This particular group has a tendency towards e-mail; it’s safe and requires no credit card number. Not only did it cut into Hotmails market share, but in doing so the people not overly familar with the internet became familiar with Google, and became potential crossovers from the default search.
    7. Google Print - Google’s project aiming to scan as many books as possible into their database. Using OCR, they’re text-searchable. Click one, and surprise surprise, we see a familiar bar at the left allowing us to purchase this book from a variety of sources…once again, read the next section to realize the implications here.

How They’re Going To Bringing This Together To Establish Their Own “Internet”
Note: This section is speculation, but I believe it is firmly supported by their actions thus far.
Let’s take a look at what Google has here from an e-commerce prospectiong. They currently have a freehost, payment processing company, and a tremendous knowledge of various products that are sold(all categorized, of course). I suspect in the near future, we’re going to see that “free host” (google pages) turn into a “Yahoo Store” like thing, that gives you a top panel above all the searches, like searches for music already do. Imagine them combining this with their book search and Google base/Froogle? That would actually have the potential to be a “amazon killer”, cutting into the profits of everyone.

Also as they get better and better at not only indexing the information, but understanding it, we will be seeing more and more top panels that make the rankings of sites less and less relevant. With the introduction of knols, much of the information previously available on other sites will be available right there, making them increasingly irrelevant as well.

It appears Google found an odd answer to Search Engine abuse; simply control all the ranking websites. Their information centralization services have already deeply cut into many other services, and give them more than enough data to make this possible. And judging by their most recent additions to the search engine(detailed above), this is definitely the direction they’re heading in.


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