I have been asking clients and friends about how they use search engines today. The question is couched in the post-COVID revelations that Big Tech in general has skewed (censored) what we see online, and in light of the recent announcement that the Department of Justice is reportedly preparing to sue Alphabet Inc.’s Google in an antitrust lawsuit over its alleged monopoly on the digital advertising market.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly preparing to sue Alphabet Inc.’s Google in an antitrust lawsuit over its alleged monopoly on the digital advertising market.Bloomberg
I’ve experienced it myself right here, with this website. I say too many “controversial” things about Google…and like that, I’m not in search results. Just find a post, copy the headline into the search box. (sometimes a new post sneaks through into Google SERPs, but rarely and not for long) Whatever. I never have blogged in pursuit of business acquisition. This website is more of a message board for clients to reference. However, everyone else in this business is a Google cheerleader – they know the punishment for not being a cheerleader.
Back to the results of my inquiries with clients and friends; I was surprised by one comment in particular. They said, “I usually don’t find what I want on the first page anymore (on Google SERPs). I usually find more relevant results are now on the 2nd or 3rd page (of SERPs). WOW! Further, several people have said something to the effect that “the first page is just ads, so they dont even look closely at the first page anymore.”
Really! Google became the 900lbs gorilla in the search marketing business specifically because people (then) said, (paraphrasing) “I find what I need on Google’s SERPs, so I don’t use any other search engine.” We remember those days well. You could usually find what you wanted in the #1 spot every time. And it is true that Bing and Yahoo! were/are still providing mediocre SERPs.
No surprise to those of us who know that Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo rely on Google’s index. As they say in Chinatown, “Same, Same, Different.” The problem is (not for Google) that there is still no better alternative search engine. Whether or not the DOJ does anything… (sound and furry signifying nothing happening in Washington DC).
As I write, this story can be followed at Zerohedge as it develops https://www.zerohedge.com/political/doj-prepares-slap-google-antitrust-suit-over-ad-monopoly
However the point of this post is that it might be worth considering how the population seems to be developing new behaviors with regards to (politically correct) SERPs, and how that affects ad strategies and ROI.