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What a Google Pullback Might Look Like

If Google started losing money in PPC and search

7:00 pm on Aug 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I am trying to imagine what early signs we might see if Google started to struggle with their search engine revenue.

1. People are using mobile devices more, and they are not clicking enough ads
2. People are going directly to sites like Amazon, Wikipedia, Facebook, and other big sites. They don't rely on search as much.
3. In additional to traditional competition like Bing and Yahoo, larger websites have solid search platforms of their own.
4. With other large properties, the advertising platforms are getting quite mature. There are increasingly more good platforms for display ads and PPC that are easy to use and less bloated than Adwords.

So then what might we start to see from Google...

1. Smaller payouts from Adsense to maximize PPC earnings
2. Use of auto searches to increase the impressions on search for investor data
3. There is an increase in so called "anti spam" measures, but the reality is this is an attempt to push traffic to more profitable clicks.
4. More real estate taken up on their results pages by ads, and other Google links to maximize the traffic/PPC they are getting.
5. Moving heavily into other areas like cloud storage, youtube syndication and cell phones in hopes they can find another revenue stream as good as PPC
6. Hide search queries from analytics data so it is more difficult discern the quality and quantity of Google traffic data.

On the investment side...

1. Another quarter is looming, and it is getting harder to show PPC is growing, and maybe even a pull back is happening
2. Co-Founder, Larry Page, still has powerful guidance of the corporation's future, but his future as the head of the company is at stake, as the Board of Directors could just vote him out.
3. Larry Page has already gone in and closed a number of programs, but the Board of Directors may next start talking about closing bigger parts of the company and laying off people so they can report a profit to shareholders
1:15 am on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Eventually Google may hit a plateau in the search industry (assuming they can't find a way to regain Yahoo's search contract) but I doubt that is going to cause Google to pullback. They have deep cash reserves and are already working on the next step.

What could a pullback look like?

It might look like a push into the auto sector with self driving cars
or a push into telecom services
or a push into mobile devices powered with android
or one of the many other projects they are developing.

I don't see why Google would take any poisonous short term actions that would risk scaring away consumers when they have good cash reserves and a significant R&D pipeline.
4:17 pm on Sept 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

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Adsense on 3rd party sites may be phased out since this is not as profitable as eyes and clicks on your own pages. When the ad dollar is thinned out you want it spent on your own pages without having to share revenue with publishers. There is a reason both Yahoo and MSN did this and that reason wasn't entirely Google competition.

Self driving cars are the current big push, there are even campaigns going on in Canada to get on board within 4 years. Personally I don't see people so voluntarily giving up their ability to drive but when the price of fuel is astronomical and self driving vehicles become state owned property you can see people getting picked up and force carpooled with others. A computer controlled grid of vehicles so to speak will move people instead.

How will you know that's happening? Fear mongering will be the order of the day in government but green happy thoughts will be in TV commercials at the same time. Taking away your options, or rather making you think you have some when you really don't, is always the ideal tool in being controlled.
7:58 pm on Sept 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Adsense on 3rd party sites may be phased out since this is not as profitable as eyes and clicks on your own pages.

Yeah, I agree, but...one of the major reasons Google started the AdSense program (besides having purchased some nifty technology) was to encourage people to publish content so other people could come to it's search engine and search for the content that people published because Google was paying them to publish content.

So, AdSense might not go away as long as Google has a voracious appetite for other peoples' content.

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