Insurance and Real Estate Markets to Get More Competitive

Google plans to announce today that they are partnering with state governments to help make their public records more accessible:

J.L. Needham, who manages Google's public-sector content partnerships, said at least 70 percent of visitors to government Web sites get there by using commercial search engines. But too often, he said, Web searches do not turn up the information people are looking for simply because government computer systems aren't programmed in a way that allows commercial search engines to access their databases.

As more of this content comes online, industries such as real estate and insurance will get uglier as commercial players are forced out of the SERP and into buying AdWords. But on the upside, if you gain editorial access to one of these trusted websites it should be quite easy to rank for virtually anything.

Published: April 30, 2007 by Aaron Wall in google


April 30, 2007 - 2:31pm

Thats just awesome freaking Google "Do No Evil" haha. I love how they keep finding ways to pretend like they are helping make search better when all they are doing is making it more useless to small business and start racking up bills for small mom and pop websites.

Go Google Go :-P

April 30, 2007 - 3:23pm

Wow. Aaron, glad I skim your blog everyday. Seeing as how I work as part webmaster/SEO for a national real estate website, this news is scary!

Google just REALLY needs to get their hands into everything huh? Can't leave nothing for the little guys. I'm wondering just how much 'information' and what kind of info will become available once government sites are more "accessible".

Maybe I'm just having an off day, but I'm not exactly sure what you mean by gaining editorial access to one of the trusted websites...could you elaborate a bit on that?

A bit off topic, but thanks for all the helpful info I've gained from being a regular on your site over the past couple months!

April 30, 2007 - 7:05pm

Hey Aaron,

So true! Things in the next year are going to get very interesting. As more larger government/corporate type players enter the market it's really going to put the squeeze on the small players out there. It's also going to hurt the affiliate type players (which might be a good thing).

Google will really need to figure out how to handle this becuase it creates several user relevance issues. If in the future all you see is corporate / government results it doesn't fair well. Either people will need to learn how to be more efficient searchers, they will need to find other search engines that focus more on the small business, or get used to the fact that the only results they will find are the big dogs that can afford to show up on page 1.

Should be an interesting next year or so.

My two cents:

isearch Media

May 1, 2007 - 3:58am

o/t - looks like Google just refreshed tool bar - most pages seemed to have dipped a point. Whatever a "point" really signifies.

May 1, 2007 - 7:05am

Really makes me wonder about what the "End Game" is here. The amount of information that Google could process and 'share' or leak with any Gov agency of any kind just scares me. I am in the insurance industry and as Aaron said, it would just get uglier. Is Google just eventually going to make it so that every mom and pop shop has to use PPC? Makes Yahoo and MSN look better and better to me.

Fervor Singles
May 2, 2007 - 3:29am

Hey Aaron,

Today is a great day! Google update Page Rank and I have gone from PR0 (new domain) to PR4 in 3 months. Thanks mainly to you! And a lot of hard work :)

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