Why We Were Pushed Into Mobilization

by nmwf
31 replies
A while ago, there was discussion about Google's push toward making sites mobile friendly. Google put the statistic out there that half of its searches are through mobile phones or something like that. I earlier learned that they now want app developers to code their apps so that they can be indexed, displayed, and perhaps even used through Google's search engine!

I couldn't figure out why though. Then someone here reminded me of Google's Knowledge Graph. So then I thought, Okay - Google wants to keep everyone on it's search engine.

Was I right?

Nope.

I found this today: Google continues to make money thanks to mobile and YouTube

Google's profits from --> mobile content <-- specifically -- are in the Billions. And every video on YouTube and every website in its mobile search engine is its product -- even though those things actually belong to the people who created them.

It's the classic "we are the product" business model, only I guess here, it's "our content is the product."

Does that bother anyone? The fact that Google's making billions off your website or video content?

And should it?
#mobilization #pushed
  • Profile picture of the author @tjr
    They filled a need, and adjust how they fill that need to maximize their profit. How could I hate on that?
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    • Profile picture of the author nmwf
      Originally Posted by @tjr View Post

      They filled a need, and adjust how they fill that need to maximize their profit. How could I hate on that?
      Yeah, but how do we know they didn't create that need? As far as I've read, creating a need has always been a business strategy. I just wonder how people feel about being part of that creation. Or better yet, manipulated into believing that need existed, fulfilling the need's requirements, and perpetuating the need's future by complying with it's "new rules."

      I honestly feel a little weird about it.
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      • Profile picture of the author @tjr
        Originally Posted by nmwf View Post

        Yeah, but how do we know they didn't create that need? As far as I've read, creating a need has always been a business strategy. I just wonder how people feel about being part of that creation. Or better yet, manipulated into believing that need existed, fulfilling the need's requirements, and perpetuating the need's future by complying with it's "new rules."

        I honestly feel a little weird about it.
        It may be a need that some didn't realize we had, but it has always existed. We strive for access to information. Google has put in the work to make it stupid simple to get information on just about everything. They get props from me.

        And if I ever got to the point I didn't like it? I'd stop using it or make something better. Free market, yo.
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    This has always been Google's model.

    That is why they are always on the war path for high quality content that "provides value" and they hate thin affiliate and MFA sites.

    If people have a good experience using Google they will keep using Google and Google can keep raking in cash from advertisers.

    Ultimately Google wants to scrape as much content as possible and present it right in the search results so people never have to leave google.

    They do this with language translations, conversions and calculations already.

    Try these Google searches:

    Hello in Spanish
    10 dollars canadian in us dollars
    76 degrees fahrenheit to celsius
    33+27*10

    The results and options to change the variables appear right on top of the SERPs.

    No reason to click off to a site where a non-google someone has built a bunch of calculators monetized with AdSense...
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    • Profile picture of the author nmwf
      Originally Posted by onSubie View Post

      This has always been Google's model.

      -- respectfully snipped --
      Sooo..........

      What do/can we do? Anything? Shut up and let it happen? Raise a fuss? SO MUCH of this is just wrong, especially after considering what you said about them wanting "quality" content. Yes, it's about value. Unfortunately, it's the value of the dollar. And I'm not getting paid!

      Is there an offline business model that does this kind of thing? I know cable companies pay for their content, magazines pay for their articles, and radio stations pay for their entertainment. Or is the Internet the only place where a company can profit from material they haven't paid for??

      I suppose the only reason this struck a chord with me today is the fact that Reddit is coming under fire for the same thing. Tech blogs have gone on a rampage about Reddit's monetization of its user's contributions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I think it's a good idea to get a mobile version of your site done. There are alot of people clicking to your site(s) from their smartphone, and you probably don't even know the large number of people that are doing it.

    As an internet marketing, it's your job to adapt to the changes in the way you market your product and services. Going mobile is one of those great changes and adaptations.
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    • Profile picture of the author nmwf
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      I think it's a good idea to get a mobile version of your site done.
      I'm not complaining about that, per se. I think I'm upset that I can't see a viable option out of any of this. If I block my content from Google, Facebook, and whatever website out there that's making "billions" from free, external sources, who's going to visit my site? They won't find it!

      See the problem?

      I'm f*ked.

      And so is everyone else.
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    First, your site is only penalized in the mobile results (according to Google) so people searching with a mobile device will not find your page but people searching with a PC or laptop will still see your site.

    It's not like they are deindexing you altogether.

    And if you want that mobile traffic then it only makes sense to have a mobile optimized site. If you don't care about mobile traffic than don't worry about the "penalty".

    The way most marketers "fight" Google is to bypass them. Rather than relying on the uncertain and ever changing Google, they build autoresponder lists, facebook followers, twitter, pinterest, YouTube and other channels that drive traffic without relying on Google SERPs rankings.

    Many governments, judicial and consumer bodies are concerned about Google's power in controlling e-commerce.

    There have been many lawsuits and rulings to try and curb Google's power. None have been very effective as far as I've seen.

    Edit: You could also "join" them instead of "fight". Jump through all their hoops, use all their tools, follow all their advice and buy adwords traffic... LOL
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    • Profile picture of the author nmwf
      Originally Posted by onSubie View Post

      The way most marketers "fight" Google is to bypass them. Rather than relying on the uncertain and ever changing Google, they build autoresponder lists, facebook followers, twitter, pinterest, YouTube and other channels that drive traffic without relying on Google SERPs rankings.
      I've heard all this before. And for the first time, I'm going to make it a priority. I can't abandon Google altogether because I can hear the remarks already: "Uh... Are you legit? I couldn't find you in Google."

      ::sigh::

      But it's a pre-Google mindset, nonetheless. Back to 1995, eh? I can dig it!!

      I hope it works. And really I hope I can remain committed.

      Originally Posted by onSubie View Post

      Edit: You could also "join" them instead of "fight". Jump through all their hoops, use all their tools, follow all their advice and buy adwords traffic... LOL
      No thanks. I used to believe that and even said it here on this forum. That was before AdWords kept increasing the cost of a single ad each time I logged in, though. And before I figured out the motivation behind their mobilization push.
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      • Profile picture of the author @tjr
        Originally Posted by nmwf View Post

        That was before AdWords kept increasing the cost of a single ad each time I logged in, though.
        The price of milk has gone up. Have you boycotted that as well?

        Seriously though, that's more the free market at work than inflation. More people are willing to pay more money to have their ad shown over yours. Google should just turn down that money?
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        • Profile picture of the author nmwf
          Originally Posted by @tjr View Post

          The price of milk has gone up. Have you boycotted that as well?

          Seriously though, that's more the free market at work than inflation. More people are willing to pay more money to have their ad shown over yours. Google should just turn down that money?
          Every friggin HOUR, TJR?!?! Come on, man! Be serious! I believe that's extortion!
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          • Profile picture of the author @tjr
            Originally Posted by nmwf View Post

            Every friggin HOUR, TJR?!?! Come on, man! Be serious! I believe that's extortion!
            Prices change on a minute to minute basis. That's the internet age.
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    If you don't like Google's business model you can always de-optimize your site and attempt to stop them from crawling your site in the first place. You could password protect it. There are other things you could do. If you don't want Google to present your content to web searchers they will oblige you.

    If you do want them to send you traffic shouldn't they make a profit from that? You can't have it both ways. You and Google work with each other for mutual benefit or you find other ways to advertise.

    The same business model is used by Bing and every other search engine that I am aware of.
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    • Profile picture of the author nmwf
      Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post

      If you do want them to send you traffic shouldn't they make a profit from that?
      I understand what you're saying... but Billions? That's just crazy. And unfair, considering the company started out as a volunteer service. Anybody remember that? They were all like, "Hey, we love the Internet so much, we want to show the world your website."

      Now, it's like, "Mobilize your website or suffer the consequences."

      That original spirit is gone. And I feel used.

      Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post

      You can't have it both ways.
      Yup. I know. And I think that's playing a role in my reaction to all of this! LoL
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      • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
        Originally Posted by nmwf View Post

        And unfair, considering the company started out as a volunteer service. Anybody remember that? They were all like, "Hey, we love the Internet so much, we want to show the world your website."
        Just how long have you been doing this?

        I find it odd that you didn't recognize a "lead magnet" from day one.
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        • Profile picture of the author nmwf
          Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

          Just how long have you been doing this?

          I find it odd that you didn't recognize a "lead magnet" from day one.
          I think this goes far beyond a lead magnet, Sid.

          ::::: opening tab to verify I know what a lead magnet is before I embarrass myself

          ::::: and WHOOMP there it is.
          ::::: didn't even need to visit a website
          ::::: Google defined it for me right in the search
          ::::: sorry other websites...
          ::::: i couldn't load your CPM ads
          ::::: well, i guess i could have...
          ::::: but that would have been silly

          So yeah. At least with those, you know you're being solicited. Marketers are generally up-front about it, and lead magnets don't take years (decades) to turn into something else.
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          • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
            Maybe Google gave you a different set of results than what I got...

            Originally Posted by nmwf View Post

            I think this goes far beyond a lead magnet, Sid.
            Or maybe you just don't think outside the box enough to apply what you're reading in a broader context.

            The first definition I get is from Digital Marketer (you know... that guy Ryan Deiss)
            __________________________________________________ __________________
            "Jul 9, 2014 - Lead Magnet – noun – an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information. The goal of the Lead Magnet is to maximize the number of targeted leads you are getting for an offer."
            __________________________________________________ __________________

            Google just gives much more than an ebook, and they extract much more than a simple opt-in

            Broaden your horizons a little and you'll see that they are exactly the same thing.

            Offline, they often call it a "loss leader".

            This is not new stuff. Your naivete is showing, but now that your eyes have been opened to the real world, perhaps you can grow from this experience.
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      • Profile picture of the author dburk
        Originally Posted by nmwf View Post

        I understand what you're saying... but Billions? That's just crazy. And unfair, considering the company started out as a volunteer service. Anybody remember that? They were all like, "Hey, we love the Internet so much, we want to show the world your website."

        Now, it's like, "Mobilize your website or suffer the consequences."

        That original spirit is gone. And I feel used.



        Yup. I know. And I think that's playing a role in my reaction to all of this! LoL
        Hi nmwf,

        I don't get your point.

        95% of everything Google provides is made available to users for FREE, who does that anymore?

        Google has made billions for sure, but they earned it all very legitimately, who does that anymore?

        Google has provided jobs for millions of people, some directly, some by their very valuable service offerings. Those sound like really good things, things to celebrate, an example for all enterprising Americans to follow. Why in the world would you talk about their exceptional, and outstandingly good behavior as if it were something bad?


        Originally Posted by nmwf View Post

        That was before AdWords kept increasing the cost of a single ad each time I logged in, though. And before I figured out the motivation behind their mobilization push.
        AdWords does not set the prices of your ads, your competitors do. Ad slots are sold off in a real-time auction to ensure that every advertiser has an equal opportunity to get their ads online. Their ad auction is a textbook example of a free and fair market.

        And finally, your whole premise for starting this thread seems disingenuous to me. Google didn't create the demand for mobile devices, they just saw a need and filled it.

        Google was generous enough to share data with advertisers showing a trend of users moving rapidly toward mobile and away from desktops. You should be thanking them for that because they didn't put it into a paid report or behind a paywall. They shared it freely and without any cost or obligation, It puzzles my why anyone would complain about such generous behavior.

        I do believe there are many things that you could find at Google to legitimately complain about, but the things you have chosen to complain about don't even make sense, those are all wonderfully good things that Google did, so why act like it's bad?

        If you want to complain about Google, that is your prerogative, but at least do us all the decency of picking actual bad things to complain about. Pointing to really good things and complaining just sounds like belligerence to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
    While it's your content...

    It's their traffic.

    Why should they be obligated to send it to you?

    Life IS fair.

    You get to decide whether you want what they have bad enough to play by their rules to get it.
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    • Profile picture of the author nmwf
      Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

      While it's your content...

      It's their traffic.

      Why should they be obligated to send it to you?
      Well, cause they said they'd send it! That's what their search engine was for.
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  • Profile picture of the author ZephyrIon
    Originally Posted by nmwf View Post

    A while ago, there was discussion about Google's push toward making sites mobile friendly. Google put the statistic out there that half of its searches are through mobile phones or something like that. I earlier learned that they now want app developers to code their apps so that they can be indexed, displayed, and perhaps even used through Google's search engine!

    I couldn't figure out why though. Then someone here reminded me of Google's Knowledge Graph. So then I thought, Okay - Google wants to keep everyone on it's search engine.

    Was I right?

    Nope.

    I found this today: Google continues to make money thanks to mobile and YouTube

    Google's profits from --> mobile content <-- specifically -- are in the Billions. And every video on YouTube and every website in its mobile search engine is its product -- even though those things actually belong to the people who created them.

    It's the classic "we are the product" business model, only I guess here, it's "our content is the product."

    Does that bother anyone? The fact that Google's making billions off your website or video content?

    And should it?
    you get a cut with adsense though?
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    • Profile picture of the author nmwf
      Originally Posted by ZephyrIon View Post

      you get a cut with adsense though?
      No, not personally. But good point!
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    One more point... (Google's profit motive aside.)

    When I am searching on my tablet or smart phone I want Bing and Google to show mobile friendly sites in their top results. As a searcher Google is attempting to give me what I want.
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  • Profile picture of the author O0o0O
    Sure, it's our content, but we're using their online real estate to display that content. And since we're using their land, they can do whatever they want with that land, i.e. advertise, make money, and scoot our stuff aside and stick ads and more Google stuff in there that people can use.
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    • Profile picture of the author nmwf
      Originally Posted by O0o0O View Post

      Sure, it's our content, but we're using their online real estate to display that content. And since we're using their land, they can do whatever they want with that land, i.e. advertise, make money, and scoot our stuff aside and stick ads and more Google stuff in there that people can use.
      Do you think Comcast could get away with that business strategy? Where instead of paying for programming, they get it for free? Do you think a network would go for that?
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      • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
        Originally Posted by nmwf View Post

        Do you think Comcast could get away with that business strategy? Where instead of paying for programming, they get it for free?
        You're right... they couldn't!
        But don't think for a second that they wouldn't - if they could.

        Do you think a network would go for that?
        Absolutely not!
        But webmasters DO, and you can't change that.
        Google allows you to "opt out" so to speak. They don't need any one web site, and will be happy to de-list yours, if you would like - but your absence won't be felt.
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        • Profile picture of the author Joan Altz
          I guess you missed this part of the article you're referencing:

          "He said YouTube is great for content creators too, as the number of channels making six figures is up by 50 percent from this time last year"

          It's a reciprocal benefit. Always has been.

          Personally, I think Google should have pushed everyone into mobilization starting a couple of years ago.

          Currently, there are still too many people who are scared to make purchases with their phones, and surfing to slow-loading, non-mobilized sites, doesn't help. It just frustrates people, and frustrated people don't buy squat, because they think the buying experience will also be frustrating.
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  • What bothers me is the site display on the search engine results. As you said, they are trying to keep people on their search engine and depriving site owners of click thrus to their site and costing site owners money from lost sales, ad revenue etc.. I hope a class action lawsuit ensues over this.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrdeflation
    responsive theme menus suck imo... been losing money as my niche can't seem to learn to click on that "menu" hamburger sandwich thing..

    I absolutely need to find some wordpress theme without a flyout menu and that displays all navigation even on mobile
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    • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
      Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

      responsive theme menus suck imo... been losing money as my niche can't seem to learn to click on that "menu" hamburger sandwich thing..

      I absolutely need to find some wordpress theme without a flyout menu and that displays all navigation even on mobile
      Your niche will learn if they continue to use mobile to access the web - as the "menu" hamburger sandwich thing (navicon) has become a defacto standard.

      I wouldn't recommend it, but you could change that... or even opt NOT to have your menu collapsed into an icon. Unfortunately, your menu would then probably take up most of the screenspace on a mobile device, and once somebody clicked on one of your menu items to get to a page... how would they get back to your menu?

      Do yourself a favor, and adapt.
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  • Profile picture of the author arojilla
    Don't want them to make money with your content? Tell -or force- Google not to browse/index your sites or block their crawlers, and don't upload videos to YouTube. There, problem solved. They won't make more money from your content.

    (neither will you probably)
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