Do You Realize That Google Is Every Offline Consultant's DIRECT COMPETITION?

19 replies
I was browsing another forum, and I noticed this disturbing ad:



This is just the ad for Texas, but do you realize what this means?

  • Google owns several datacenters, which means that hosting is not an issue for them.
  • Google is officially a domain registrar, which means that allocating domains to customers is not an issue for them.
  • Google already owns YouTube, which is the largest video sharing website in the world, hence they have a hold on the video market.
  • Google is in the beta launch of it's own social networking platform that has already attracted a ton of attention and their goal is to overtake Facebook. They also have Google Buzz, which is rival to Twitter. Trying to get a good hold on social media, too?
  • Google owns the world's largest and most relied upon search engine, which means that they can manipulate client results as necessary to keep them happy. Can you say "pay for results?"

I don't know if anyone else sees it, but Google is positioning itself as the "go-to" for everything business and Internet. I wouldn't be surprised if the search engines became exclusive to "paying" advertisers, and I'm not talking about Adwords.

Oh, and I almost forgot about mobile marketing. Google has their hands pretty deep in it as well: Mobile search engine; mobile sites; NFC bar codes; and even their own mobile ad network.

It's been said over the past few years that the Internet was on the road to becoming privatized, and I think we're slowly seeing it come to fruition. Does anybody else see what's happening? Are you worried about the effect it could have on your business? Do you think your business will even be around 12 months from now?
#competition #consultant #direct #google #offline #realize
  • Profile picture of the author Colm Whelan
    I honestly don't see this as competition at all. Have you seen what you get with this?
    This is a combination of PR excercise (see we help small business - we're not evil) and push to get more small, local businesses online (to make results more relevant to the growing local search market) - thus selling more adwords campaigns.

    And Google Buzz isn't a rival to anything especially Twitter. Can you say flop?

    Plus isn't rivalling anything just yet either although it looks better than Buzz.

    Once Google starts accepting money for results - at least in the underhand way that you're suggesting - they will lose trust and search will move to Bing or whoever else comes along.

    So, no, I'm not worried about this. In fact in a year to 18 months time you'll have thousands of pissed off small biz owners whose cheap-ass Google sites don't even feature in the local search results. A hot market if I ever saw one.
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    • Profile picture of the author attorneydavid
      yeah, I see this more as google creating customers. They tend to do everything so badly they create entire industries (ppc management) to help people use whatever services they offer.
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  • Profile picture of the author SubUrbanHype
    I'm not surprised. Google has been working on taking over the world since 2002.
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  • Profile picture of the author bigmopap
    I agree with you SubUrbanHype
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    • Profile picture of the author webpageguru
      Actually this is no different to every other industry out there. There has always been the "category killer" like Coca Cola, but that has not prevented smaller, more niched beverage makers creating great businesses for themselves.

      How would this go down... "Hello is that Google?...Aaah...I'm a small business owner and I'm using your freebie mobile website....but I need someone to come over and sit with me to help me to get it working better"...you can just see Google running out the door to go help this guy. NOT.

      I agree with Colm who said that this will create a lot more business for us offliners.
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      • Profile picture of the author S3Ware
        I just met with a business owner yesterday who told me she spent $1000 on an adwords campaign. Her google employee campaign manager (read: small business consultant) kept telling her, "look how great you are doing! You have gotten so many clicks!" But at the end of the day, she got exactly ZERO new sales.

        I explained to her the components of a successful adwords campaign ... keywords, ad copy, landing page, call-to-action, split testing, etc. -- none of which her google guru gave her any advice on. All she cared about was how many clicks the campaign was generating. Bottom line: $1000 out the window for a small business that can ill-afford it in this economy (or any economy for that matter).

        If this is an indication on the big G's small business focus, I say bring it on! Every small business that works directly with google is a perfect prospect for those of us who really give a damn about helping them grow their business.
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        • Profile picture of the author Vrs
          Originally Posted by baib21 View Post

          I just met with a business owner yesterday who told me she spent $1000 on an adwords campaign. Her google employee campaign manager (read: small business consultant) kept telling her, "look how great you are doing! You have gotten so many clicks!" But at the end of the day, she got exactly ZERO new sales.

          I explained to her the components of a successful adwords campaign ... keywords, ad copy, landing page, call-to-action, split testing, etc. -- none of which her google guru gave her any advice on. All she cared about was how many clicks the campaign was generating. Bottom line: $1000 out the window for a small business that can ill-afford it in this economy (or any economy for that matter).

          If this is an indication on the big G's small business focus, I say bring it on! Every small business that works directly with google is a perfect prospect for those of us who really give a damn about helping them grow their business.
          Excellent point(s) - thanks!
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        • Profile picture of the author Colm Whelan
          Originally Posted by baib21 View Post

          I just met with a business owner yesterday who told me she spent $1000 on an adwords campaign. Her google employee campaign manager (read: small business consultant) kept telling her, "look how great you are doing! You have gotten so many clicks!" But at the end of the day, she got exactly ZERO new sales.

          I explained to her the components of a successful adwords campaign ... keywords, ad copy, landing page, call-to-action, split testing, etc. -- none of which her google guru gave her any advice on. All she cared about was how many clicks the campaign was generating. Bottom line: $1000 out the window for a small business that can ill-afford it in this economy (or any economy for that matter).

          If this is an indication on the big G's small business focus, I say bring it on! Every small business that works directly with google is a perfect prospect for those of us who really give a damn about helping them grow their business.
          Thanks for this. I had the same thing yesterday with a Yellow Pages rep for another offline buisness I own. He asked me if I wanted to renew. I asked him for figures. He told me how many people "saw" my entry but I know exactly where every one of my customers come from and it's not from YP! So no sale. Last year I was ignorant but not now.
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  • Profile picture of the author redlegrich
    Um, these "websites" are Google Places Pages, not actual standalone websites. Yeah, Google is sort of competing with you but as baib21 ably points out the Google sales/consultant staff doesn't know s**t about helping a small business. They want to sell clicks, that's 97% of their revenue!

    Also, Google Buzz is dead. Plus is getting some good Buzz (yes this pun was intended) but with only 20 million users it's not much to speak of yet.

    Google is doing you a favor by highlighting these "sites". You can come in and show them how to REALLY take advantage of this and make some money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    The OP failed to mention that Google is advertising web sites but its actually Intuit that's providing the hosting, domain registration, and the web sites.

    This will just be another venture that will end up being investigated for anti-trust down the road. = )
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyscott
    Google introduced this last year in the UK. As a test, I set up a basic site for a local financial services company using a keyword rich domain name.

    It doesn't rank in google for the exact match industry/town search phrase and this is a v.low competition keyword because of the size of the town.

    More of a sales aid than competition.

    Tony
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  • Profile picture of the author Jimian
    Hmmm..and here's the video..

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    • Profile picture of the author TJ Kazunga
      I don't know if anyone else sees it, but Google is positioning itself as the "go-to" for everything business and Internet. I wouldn't be surprised if the search engines became exclusive to "paying" advertisers, and I'm not talking about Adwords.
      LOL - of course they are, that's what Google (feel free to substitute Facebook, Bing, Twitter etc in place of) would love to do, apart from putting search behind a paywall. THAT would be nuts vis a vis their golden goose called Adwords...

      But direct competition, no way - unless that is you're thinking of launching your own social network or PPC platform...

      Google's initiative is a clever branding exercise that has worked pretty well here in the UK, but companies are still paying me to build their websites...
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Originally Posted by truly_gifted View Post

    • Google owns the world's largest and most relied upon search engine, which means that they can manipulate client results as necessary to keep them happy. Can you say "pay for results?"

    I don't know if anyone else sees it, but Google is positioning itself as the "go-to" for everything business and Internet. I wouldn't be surprised if the search engines became exclusive to "paying" advertisers, and I'm not talking about Adwords.....

    The minute that happens Google will no longer be a Search Engine, but just another paid advertising option.. I can't imagine them doing that - ever.
    _____
    Bruce
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  • Profile picture of the author merereilly
    Google is obviously every online marketer's direct competition...

    They are not just involved with Search as they once were... they have gradually broken into every facet of online marketing, with social being the most recent venture

    If you don't consider Google your direct competitor you need to re-evaluate your competition lol
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  • Profile picture of the author rsteadm2
    Another consideration is that not every small business in the world will want to work with the largest internet based company in the world.

    I've always worked for smaller companies competing against national giants and some will want to business with the Goliath, but some will want to work with David as well.

    Plus, how much personal service can a global giant give to the local restaurant, bar, dentist, etc..

    They will get their share but, there is still plenty of business to get in this industry for a long time IF, you provide the value customers will come to you for your services.

    Business owners want results. If you provide the results you will get the business.
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  • Profile picture of the author try_hard_samurai
    Great points made.

    My take is that Google -do to their size- can't take care of small businesses like local consultants can.

    Also, many business owners won't want to do it anyway. No matter how simple and easy Google makes it out to be.
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  • Profile picture of the author n_touch
    I actually don't see them as a competitor to what we do. I actually think that all of their advertising is helpful in getting me more business. I am in Texas and have already talked to some potential customers that are being spurred by the new Google campaign. Even though it seems great that you can get your own website and domain free of charge, many business owners don't have the time to do so. They become intrigued by the ads, take a look, and eventually find someone else to do it for them. I think that many of the things that Google does only helps us in the long run. Earlier someone spoke about the Adwords, I am working with a client now that was 500+ dollars into a campaign and not seeing the results. He is not the first and
    I am sure not the last that any of us will see that goes directly with Google first and then realizes that they can't take it on and seek out one of us that can.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bennette
      I think if you're meeting customers face to face, this is great leverage for you. All you have to do is paint a picture in the customers mind by asking if they have a simple question or need help would they rather pick up a phone or go post in a forum or Google's help center for an answer?

      From my experience business owners will pay to have someone that they can reach and will respond in a timely fashion without them jumping through hoops.

      This is why dealing with someone local and having a customer support system in place is priceless.
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