Peter D thinks Google = web.
The basic web unit is no longer a site, or even a page. It's a piece of data. And that piece of data can appear anywhere.
Like in Google Base.
Or at least I chose to literally interpret his post that way.
If your sites don't have any of the following:
- access to a specialized database that is hard to compile or gain access too
- a strong brand
- tools that save people hundreds or thousands of hours a day
- a human voice
- original ideas
- a history of creating and sharing value
- a reason to visit your site or channel daily
and make your living off the web, you may want to read this post to see the trend, and look to quickly develop one or more of the above.
The trick for Google as they consume verticals is for them to find the balance of what they can take while fostering relevant efficient business models (ie: turning legacy publishing business models into always on web friendly models). Until legacy models are reformed or displaced Google will promote some trashy stuff as a casualty on the way to their end goal. Each new market Google creates will have holes that act as a marketing mechanism to market the marketplace.
Some articles highlight that content ads should have more value since they are around for more time than search, but the quicker you can solve my problems the more value you create. That is the point and power of search.
The problem with the traditional ad model is that most content ads are still a distraction. Yahoo! remains clueless on this front - optimizing ads for earnings instead of relevancy - which will only work until stupid advertisers stop overpaying for ads and calling it brand spend.
Most quality content is not produced to let ads become an important part of the content. Writers do not trust the ad networks well enough, and there is a long standing belief that ads and content need to be separate. Heaven forbid the ads are allowed to become actionable content. Advertisers are scared at the idea of integrating ads into active channels.
Think of Google as a market maker with search being at the top of the market, and most of their secondary goals and markets being based around making their primary goal better. With Google's cheap computer cycles and their ability to organize information they have the ability to make many markets far more efficient, then take a cut of the profits from the efficiency they created.
As consumers become engaged content creators they will become more educated about the world not being sustainable and will demand more corporate accountability. Many business models will shift from one time sales to recurring subscriptions based largely on relationships. Items, relationships and outcomes will become easier to track.
As more of the offline world goes online they will be the default inventory management system for many consumers, retailers and wholesales.
Think of Google as the ultimate CRM system. Sure my business is web only, but I have regularly used Google's search, email, chat (easy to use - free voice to anywhere), advertising, contextual, and tracking systems. That is pretty much everything but hosting, payment, packaging and order fulfillment. They also offer hosting via Blogspot and Google's page creator, and payment via Google Base. For electronic content they will also do order fulfillment. Given enough time they will probably create extensible hosting and operating systems that allow you to create and store ideas and software.
They don't take any money off the value add from many layers because they are not yet dominate enough in them and they want to take more value off search...and vertical search. Many of Google's other layers are about keeping competing models honest to keep business costs low.
I think that within 20 years they will become the default commodities trading platform worldwide. Not only do they tie historical performance to news, but they also have the largest database of intentions and allow anyone to look at historical performance or compare brand strength and trends at the keyword level. What sort of bets, spreads, and prices could Google offer compared to others when so many people are willing to share their dreams, desires, consumption habits, needs and fears with them.
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