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What Does May Google Antitrust Suit mean for Your Private Business?
Google has been the go-to search engine for years whenever someone needs information from the Internet. But is that because they are the best or because they used some shady practices to get there? In a recent antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, the plaintiffs allege that Google has used improper, exclusive contracts to help make their way to the top. Further, the suit states that Google has exclusive agreements with cell phone manufacturers to make Google the default search engine on their mobile devices – much to the downfall of Google’s competitors.
So, what does this suit really mean for you and your business? Depending on the outcome, it could open more search options on mobile devices and perhaps even change the way that Google displays results to its searchers. Keep reading to learn how you might be affected and what you can do to keep your business’s digital presence ahead of the curve.
Diversify Your SEO
Let’s face it – most businesses today rely on SEO and Google search results to drive traffic to their website, and in turn, cash into their business. Google controls over 30% of the digital ad spend in the U.S. which made the monolith just under $42 billion in 2019.
However, not all users are happy with the results Google serves them. Therefore, it seems likely that at least part of consumers would embrace alternative search engines if those are easily accessible on their devices. The supply is there with Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines — once the free demand is unleashed, their usage might rise rather sharply.
This means that your business needs to make sure it is appearing in the search results of these other engines as well. Ranking on the first page of Google is where you want to be today, but it will not do you any good if people begin to use other search engines. Go ahead and start working on your SEO today to ensure that your site is ranking on other platforms as well so that your traffic does not decline as searches move to other sites.
Organic Becomes More Important
Today, Google displays many ads for some topics before you ever reach a single organic result. That might be changing. They are alleging that Google cares more about profits than returning the best results, hence why they display a page full of ads in some cases before any organic results appear.
At the same time, your business may be paying today to easily show up on the first page of Google. If that option stops being available, then organic search results will become even more important. Showing up in the organic results takes time and a strategic plan to get there, so you should start working on this today! Review your SEO, ensure your name and location are consistent and prominently mentioned on the site, and sharpen your positioning and messaging. If some of the paid ads go away, your site will be sitting pretty atop the organic results, and business will continue uninterrupted due to your top spot in the rankings.
Create Content Outside Google
Another practice that Google is known for is keeping someone within the Google suite as long as possible. This includes YouTube and Maps results. The longer they can keep you there, the more data they can gather on their audience. More data leads to better targeting, which leads to more money in their pockets through the targeted apps they serve you.
However, this may change as a result of this antitrust suit. If all your content is on YouTube and reviews in Google Maps, then your business may no longer appear in search results for your keywords. Make sure that you start creating content on other industry site listings so that your content still appears even without your Maps listing or YouTube videos. The likelihood of this scenario happening is quite low, but it never hurts to be prepared just in case. Search results can change at a moment’s notice, and you will not want your business to be left out in the cold if they do.
Google has been the king of the search engines for years, but the recent antitrust suit could put a small chink in their armor if the government is successful. Making sure that your business is prepared for any potential fallout from the suit will ensure that you continue to get traffic and stay profitable even as Internet search algorithms potentially change. There are the main three steps to be prepared to whatever comes next:
- Make sure that your site is appearing on other search engines
- Start creating content and getting backlinks on a wide variety of additional sites
- Diversify your promotional budget if it is heavily consolidated in the Google Ad Network.
While there does not seem to be anything imminent to worry about, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on the outcome to determine your best digital strategy going forward. And if you need expert advice on your users’ web and mobile experiences, 3nom’s experts are just a call away 24/7, 365 days per year.