Journalists have raised questions about the actual definition of what Google considered "evil". What is the motivation to keep a website going if less people visit because they find everything they need in only search results?
While developing websites and undertaking search engine optimization work I have come to realize that gaining awareness through search results is only directly related to how Google friendly your page is.
That is, how easily that Google machine can extract content from your site and re-display it to users in their own Google search results pages.
Yes this saves time for all of us using search by delivering relevant information (after only a few keystrokes).
But consider this... if the information is conveniently delivered via Googles proprietary search result pages, then why even bother to visit the destination page?
The fear is that destination websites can miss visitors and the opportunity to share what they have to offer. Meanwhile, while Google gets to earn revenue with advertisers who bid (at a proposed market value) higher and higher to feature on their search pages. Profit motivation. Financial benefit in favor of the giant.
Q: If there's less reason to visit the destination page, then will the site traffic diminish? What is the motivation to keep a website going if there are less people visiting?
Or perhaps we just forget about designing and developing our own websites and enter all our structured rich snippet data directly into the Google machine?
Google is improving these search results constantly with:
- Google Knowledge Panel
- Site Link Search Box
- Social Profile Links
- Local 3-Packs
- Rich Result features for news articles, books, music, events etc
These tools ask you to structure or reference your data 'rich snippets markup' so it can be extracted directly into Google search page. Check out movie reviews? See below, it's all in Google search results - no need to visit Rotten Tomatoes at all!
Here's Google's own words:
An organised search experience. As users' devices and context evolve beyond the desktop into the world of mobile devices and everyday tasks, Google Search is also evolving by providing rich search results that support users beyond the desktop: from making a reservation, to calling your business’s customer service number, to selecting the perfect chocolate cake recipe while at the grocery store. Through the Google App, we deliver information to users even before they query, helping them to re- engage with your content in moments that matter.
Source: Google Search Guidelines
The fear is, destination websites beyond Google won't get seen. The design, culture and style of what people are propogating in their own websites will be spliced, diced and extracted by Google before anything. Already this impetice is well established in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry - just search for 'SEO Expert' and you will see how many devoted folks are out there willing to do Googles work for them.
I hope there is a co-operative balance in the search eco-system that Google is monitoring. If too many people stop clicking through the final destination, then the whole of the web will just be Google - no flavour, no culture, a Google mono-world of boring data orientated perspective.
Don't be evil
Journalists have raised questions about the actual definition of what Google considered "evil". "What Is 'Evil' to Google?" with regard to their "Don't be evil." mantra.
Again this is up for discussion. At the time of writing this article, Google Brand Value estimated at $101.8 Billion.