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Google is punishing relevance on purpose?

Google is sacrificing relevance and its massive market share on purpose for

     
9:17 pm on Nov 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This is just a theory based on a handful of facts. I'm not claiming it's entirely right. I welcome your thoughts.

1. All advertising is growing 3% a year worldwide. There is only so much of it that Google can grab from other media companies before its own revenue growth rate begins to slow.

2. As a result, Google started taking back revenue it was sharing with its partners by distributing ads to them with lower CPCs and click potential and keeping more of the better-paying ones. The evidence of this comes from Google's financials that started to hide partner metrics several years ago.

3. Changes in privacy and the political environment put another squeeze on Googe revenue by restricting its ability to track users and personalize ads. The evidence: quite a few people have said that AdWords performance declined sharply earlier this year (myself included).

What's a Google to do?

1. Make ads more relevant than organic search results. The evidence of this is the massive 62% growth in ad clicks this year, far higher than any previous year.

2. "Soften" highly relevant organic search results in the rankings because they compete too much with ads. I've seen countless examples of it and read countless complaints about it.

3. Increase rankings for big brands that carry AdSense. They attract higher CPCs because of the breadth and depth of their content as well as offer much bigger audiences. Besides, if you are Google, you like thousands of big sites more than millions of small ones for efficiency's sake.

All of this means that Google is sacrificing organic relevance and its massive market share on purpose for the sake of maintaining its profit and stock price. Otherwise, they would both fall.

The evidence of this is my experience: As a long-time media manager for print and online, I've seen it done many times. Sacrificing market share for profit is a common strategy.

Sorry for the long post.
4:34 am on Nov 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Sorry for the long post.

Don't worry about that. We live for long posts. :)

Only quibble I have is "punishing" ... g is not getting punished. And that seems to be the thrust of your post!
3:46 am on Nov 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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One thing missing is this. YouTube is actually nothing more than another Google ad platform. When the YouTube app was recently announced for the Nintendo Switch I was thinking, this benefits who exactly and at what point does Google start paying companies like Nintendo to feature their ad platform (YouTube). One nugget also omitted is the reality that Google is able to monetize virtually everything for which they didn't have to supply. Think about this. YouTube? User driven. Search? User driven. It's rare to have a resource that you don't have to pay for yet can bottle it up and reap value (and then some) out of it. I digress a bit here, but my points fit in here somewhere with the reality of the situation. I'm not knocking the value of maps and other Google apps/services, but the reality is that they are all done for the purposes of being an ad platform. Google maps? Search Esso and you'll get that sense like it's search all over again. Like, I want Esso, not every other freaking gas station cluttering up the map. However, just like search, it's about grinding out ad revenue and by showing more that Esso, you bet there is money filtering Google. Like search, when you get BS organic results, again it's about the end game. Ad revenue or a piece of the action. I digress for a second time, but I have nothing better to do at the moment.