Very few companies in the tech space have achieved the same level of success and power as Google has. The company, launched by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, had its humble beginnings in the duo’s Stanford hostel room and became a $27 billion titan within six years.
Within no time, Google became the undisputed champion of Silicon Valley. The tech giant took on popular search engines of its time while sweeping aside all other competitors in its path. For a while, it seemed like Google could actually do no wrong.
However, with Google’s rapid growth, the company has also started seeing new challenges, even ones that weren’t necessarily prepared for. Fierce competition surrounds the company on all fronts, with some of their products suffering low profitability in recent years.
You might not know this, but Google had close to 3,000 different algorithm updates in the last year. Each tiny update was specifically designed to provide the best and most relatable answer to a user’s search query.
But it looks like, despite its best intentions, Google’s best days might finally be coming to an end, with darker pastures looming in the near future. Here are the reasons:
Future Algorithm Updates Will Be Google-centric
Google first started making major changes in its long-existing algorithm in 2012, when it came up with the Penguin update. With each subsequent algorithm update, the company focused on key areas like building links, improving content, or technical SEO aspects.
But recently, Google has started paying more attention to the way it displays its search results, i.e., the UI/UX. And this sole factor has cost multiple websites the entirety of their business, if not more.
While Google had a 20% volume of advertisements on its SERPS before, Google-owned features now tend to occupy almost 80% of the page. In most search results, the first fold is completely taken over by features like Google ads, a Google Maps pack, or Google Shopping ads.
This is an alarming update since businesses can no longer rely on the ranking metrics as well as the Google SERP factors to guarantee higher CTRs. Google is slowly making businesses understand its trajectory where it drives traffic to its own entities, which sure looks like a disaster waiting to happen.
Gradual Shift From Content Distributor To Content Curator
While Yahoo started as a web directory, Google decided to use algorithms to store data for the future. Thankfully, Google realized that their model was going to be excellent for generating aggressive ROIs in the coming years.
As is evident from Google’s current SERP pages, the tech giant has now evolved from being a search engine to a content curator as well. But going forward, Google is set on emerging as the biggest content curator, with the help of its learning algorithm.
With Google self-curating most of the information on its SERPs, businesses can expect more information in the future. It’s interesting to note that even the graphics used in these search results are courtesy of Google itself, which is a critical indicator of how structured data will be presented in the coming years.
Google’s Becoming Increasingly Needy and Greedy
With its new algorithm update, Google is cleverly showing businesses how it is going to clandestinely scatter ads all over its SERPs to direct more traffic to its promoted/sponsored content.
In its own needy way, Google is basically taking all the information it requires from trusted websites (like yours) and using it for its own Knowledge Graph, with no further attribution required. Therefore, even though you have all the best possible information to offer on a particular topic or theme, Google will still beat you by using your own content against you.
The company is also portraying its greedy stance by getting monetary benefits on such self-curated content with the help of Google ads, which can easily be seen as a desperate move on the search engine giant’s part.
No-follow And UGC Links To Pass Link Juice
For years, Google was happy with its two primary sets of links: the do-follow and the no-follow links. However, in 2019, the tech giant added two new attributes to its existing links in the form of UGC and sponsored links.
Google’s primary reason for introducing two new link attributes was that most websites that currently exist in the web world use no-follow as the default attribute for external links.
As for promoted links, Google is planning to completely stop passing the link juice altogether. This is only an assumption at this point since the company would find it as a conflict of interest to promote any kind of sponsored content that hasn’t been generated by them.
However, the new algorithm update has made it imperative for businesses to start using these attributes as early as possible, as they are scheduled to become part of Google’s Ranking Factors in March 2020.
When these two attributes are introduced, there is a high chance that the days of comment and forum spamming may return. What made Google stand out from other search engines was its ability to understand link authority. The new changes in the way it understands links within a site may result in mediocre search results that may distance users from using the popular search engine.
With Google’s current roadmap displayed for anyone who can understand it, it’s clear that the search engine giant is out to make a bigger name and increase profits for itself. With new algorithm updates every few months, Google is slowly changing the way people see results for their search queries.
In the future, businesses can even expect complete indifference to their CTRs through SERP rankings, as Google launches more and more of its own features to cater directly to consumers without requiring any external attribution.
The only way out for your business to continue shining in such trying times is to transform into a brand instead of simply being an online business. A good example to follow would be Amazon, a website that people directly search for instead of looking for its offerings on a search results page first.
Future companies should start optimizing themselves as a brand instead of a product/service provider and completely bypass the Google SERP results if they wish to make profits and continue surviving in the web jungle.
About the Author: Dileep Thekkethil, who was formerly with a US-based online magazine, is the SEO content and guest posting service specialist at Stan Ventures. He is a frequent blogger who keeps a tab on the latest updates in the SEO and technology arena. You can reach him at Mail | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn