Google Wants Your Customer Sales Data
I know many of you think I'm a crazy SOB for saying that driving traffic to websites is a useless proposition. I get it. There's hundreds if not thousands of "experts" saying the exact opposite, so listening to a heavy metal listening, alcohol drinking, pumpkin pie hair-cutted freak doesn't make a lot of sense.
The reason I say what I say is because my revenue isn't tied to any single technology or tactic like website development, SEO or email marketing.
I'm free to say these things because my business is focused on marketing based on behaviors used today. As much as I hate trends, I live and breathe by them because it's how I make my living. It's what marketing is all about, and it's how you reach your intended audience.
SEO experts will always tell you SEO is important. Web Developers will tell you how important a blog is, and those email marketing folks will tell you how owning your list is the best thing ever.
But Search (SEO) is dying, people don't hangout on websites anymore, and we all have too much email. These are the realities that are being ignored by experts and entrepreneurs alike, because frankly, it's easy to SEO, but it's much harder to create a SnapChat strategy to reach customers.
I'll tell you SnapChat is the shit, and so is WhatsApp. That's today, in a year, or hell, even 6 months, that may change, and I'll tell you.
So, everyday I see evidence of what I'm simply calling the shift, and over the last couple of days, something pretty big came out that reinforces what I've been saying.
As you probably have heard, Google is launching buy buttons for mobile. I've seen a few G+ posts that say how cool this is, but....
1) As mobile dominates search results, this creates a pay to play environment in search. Those who advertise, get the top spots, and they'll get all the sales.
2) While I think Blogs are pointless, sending traffic to your site to make the transaction
is still important, and is really what your website is for these days. Google wants to take this away and handle this for you.
With the buy button, Google handles the transaction, not you. So, they get the customer data, not you. And, as an author who makes most of his sales on sites like Amazon and B&N, that sucks.
3) This is further evidence that Google Search is moving towards being a platform themselves, and not "page of 10 links". Your website, and SEO efforts, are slowly becoming null and void in the world of Google Search.
So lets recap the last couple of months in search - specifically mobile search, which accounts for majority of queries these days.
First, apps take center stage in organic results. Content w/ apps are prioritized and rather than the website, users are prompted to install the app to access the content. (Android only, however Android accounts for 2/3 of mobile traffic).
Second, we have this new pay to play scenario where e-commerce enabled ads dominate the top of search results, allowing people to buy from the "top spots" thru a trusted company - Google.
Organic results are being pushed further and further down the page, and with screens being as small as they are, that's not good news.
And, to further complicate things, as platforms like Facebook (including Messenger and WhatsApp) begin to keep people on their platform through "Instant Articles" and the ability to buy through messenger and soon WhatsApp, we'll all get comfortable just using these platforms to get recommendations and make purchases without leaving the platform we're on - bypassing search all together (which is already happening - and that's direct from Google).
As ads begin to dominate YouTube (that's where the money is, not search), it's entirely possible that we'll see Google become more aggressive in it's plans to be a platform for information and commerce, and not a place for off-site links to websites.
While the old methods are becoming extinct, I think this is a phenomenal time to be an entrepreneur. We have access to people and data we never had before. We can sell our wares that go beyond a store on our website (seriously, how cool is it that we can have a conversation on a messaging platform, and make a sale right there).
We no longer need to long sales cycle that include building trust through email newsletters and endless blog posts. We can make instant connections and enter the "funnel of trust" through personal communications using apps like SnapChat and WhatsApp.
It may be more difficult, but it's a hell of a lot more fun, and gaining something of value is never easy. #breakrules