Since its entry in 1998, Google has been a massive driving force in the world of technology. The thing is, Google has almost made all its money from ads, in a world where consumers hate ads! It has meant that Google’s main business model isn’t particularly friendly to innovation and that Google has missed a lot of opportunities along the way. Google was a booming, thriving business until one day it wasn’t. Innovation isn’t cheap, and when Google’s main income source began to run dry? Well, you end up with a huge crash. Before you can understand how Google will collapse, you must understand where it won.
Search: Google’s Big Win
As a search engine, Google was always on top compared to other sites and search was always its primary source of revenue. The main problem arose in 2010 when online advertising changed. Search was popular, but then discovery happened, Amazon pushed forward as somewhere people chose to go to look for products and Google began to crumble. Google did everything it could to protect the search market, which was already slowly dying, and then Facebook began to dominate online advertising instead. Facebook has been Google’s biggest competitor in online advertising, so with in-feed native display advertising, Facebook became more of a driving force than Google.
Ad Blockers Invented
Not that long ago, ad blockers were added to smartphones and tablets by Apple, who added this feature to appeal to customers. People didn’t want to see adverts pop up every time they scrolled a website or ran a search online, so opted for Apple products as this is the feature that they blocked. In doing this, Apple managed to deal a huge blow to the future of online advertising – the future that Google was relying on for their success. Did you know that smartphones and tablets that ran iOS helped Google with three-quarters of their yearly revenue from mobile search? Well, Apple certainly laid down the law there, especially when the internet went mobile.
By the end of 2016, the number of people blocking ads had grown over 100%. In the United States alone, 47% of Google’s revenue is accounted for, which means that for now 25% of people who were blocking adverts while browsing their devices, Google suffered. So, why are millennials taking the blame here?
- Millennials mostly fall into a camp of high earners, and they are the most valuable demographic for advertising online for Google.
- Millennials are bothered by adverts, and so they are the largest group of people to block them from interrupting their screens.
- Younger users are the future of technology, so this leaves a bitter taste for Google.
Following the research on which groups of people leave ads and which of those block them, Google panicked.
- In 2017, Google Chrome was going to have an ad blocker built in – to appease the masses.
- However, only ads that the Coalition For Better Ads says are unacceptable will be blocked.
- This means Google could further their own site with this move, which was questionable.
- It also showed that it’s not just pop-up adverts that people hated getting; it was all adverts.
Google + YouTube = Annoyance
In 2006, Google bought YouTube, and it turned into a vast platform where Google could advertise with banners during videos. There was a subscription service set up by YouTube to earn money and get around ad blockers, but not many were willing to subscribe to the service itself. People didn’t trust the banner adverts that were popping up, the ad placement controversies were turning businesses away from using YouTube at all, and 33% of users found banners and ads so annoying that they refused to use the site at all!
The Missed Mark
Google losing audiences, businesses to advertise and money hasn’t put it in the best position, but the worst thing is that there was a chance to jump ahead with technology, and Google missed its mark. In 2016, Sundar Pichai – the then-CEO of Google – said that the idea of a device would soon be obsolete, and instead, we will have intelligent assistants to help through the day. No more tapping away at Google searches and searching online when something else can do it for us.
- Amazon Echo: 2014 saw the dawn of such a virtual assistant in the Echo, which could answer your queries and search information for you without touching anything at all. The Echo is also linked to Amazon, a direct competitor for Google, meaning any product purchases would come directly from here.
- Google Home: 2016 saw the copycat product Google Home, but it was far too late to catch up by then!
- Android: Google built its virtual assistant idea into Android, but it didn’t take off as well as hoped, and there was no clear revenue stream for Google to rely on.
The ads that Google had always required screens to keep moving forward, but with a lack of screens in a virtual assistant, this wasn’t going to work. Consumers didn’t respond well to audio ads, which meant that it was less than a popular idea. Alexa was next, built into the Echo and allowing Amazon to beat out Google in the entire retail industry.
Will Google be a Falling Giant?
There was a huge loyal consumer base for Google when it was at its peak in the advertising industry. It didn’t take long for other companies to close in behind them and sending cracks through that advertising revenue. Missed opportunities, expensive innovation with no direction and an inability to keep up with the consumer demands, and Google is on its knees.
Of course, this is all written from the future in a world where Google truly has been conquered. How long will it take? Well, it remains to be seen; can Google keep up with Amazon and the innovations that are being developed? That’s a question that only time can truly answer.
At Bright Vessel, we can help you avoid future problems when dealing with Google searching. Contact us for more information about this issue. Our professionals are ready to guide you through this process.