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Google is launching the Google Page Speed Service (http://code.google.com/speed/pss/index.html). As a media based website with lots of content, this seems like a no-brainer to me.

Have you ever thought, "Boy, if search engines could just find my content, land it on the front page of a search, and make it discoverable, I'd be making much more sales or ad revenue." It seems like this could be a step in the right direction for making that content more discoverable by Google.

If Google is processing your web pages for you, I can't imagine they wouldn't also be adding this rich source of content to their search indexes as well. Why wouldn't they? Today they are crawling websites to find your content, but unless you're an SEO master, and you've made your website extremely easy for spiders to understand, how much content are search engines missing out on because you've hidden that content behind some form or AJAXy type of request?

At Zillow, we had (have) millions of homes that you can see, if you know the zpid. This was a unique number that refers to a specific property in Zillow's database. Unless that entire URL was easily discoverable, perhaps because it was posted on a blog somewhere, it would be unlikely that Google, Bing, et al. would be able to find it. While I was there, we spent a lot of energy and resources making our content as discoverable to people, as well as search engines. Money that almost certainly could have been spent elsewhere if Google simply knew where to look for it already.

If your users added the Google search bar, then that page may be something that was crawled, but that has limited exposure. With something like this, the potential is there for every viewed page to now be discoverable; and Google would be a fool not to take advantage of this treasure trove of newly discoverable content.

In the long term, this will give Google a huge edge against the likes of other search engines. Today, all the search giants are in the same boat, trying to improve their search algorithms and crawler processing capabilities. This strike here tips things decidingly in Google's favor. If I don't have to exert as much energy to have my content discovered by Google, I'm certainly less inclined to make other efforts to make it as easily discoverable by the other search leaders... and my pages will load faster?!?

Even if there wasn't an improvement in how quickly content was displayed, or even if this somehow made things slower, there is a huge advantage in having your content processed by the current search engine leader. My page views went up by how much? CPM doesn't care how you found a page, just that you click on the ad when you get there.


Can you imagine the impact this will have on Google Analytics? Omniture may not feel it now, but this is going to be disruptive to them as well. Instead of adding all sorts of syntactical content to a webpage to have a 3rd party like Omniture track users, Google can just ride along for free.

This in turn creates a wealth of knowledge for advertising as well. As Google's source of income, that's going to be lucrative information for them even if someone isn't already using Ad Sense.

I can also see how Google can use this in the future, perhaps as an opt in service, as a way of easily injecting additional content to web sites. The +1 button doesn't go far enough when you consider that there might be a painless way for web owners to add Google+ content directly to a page. Let's say you have a page of cat tchotchkes, other Google+ users could then chime in on how much THEY love cat tchotchkes too. Now something that was a static page has taken on a life of its own. Of course there have been services and things like this in the past, but tying that into the existing infrastructure of a social service that has 20+ million users would provide an instant social aspect.

Why use Disqus when this could just come along for the ride.

Of course all of that content then becomes something Google can read and track. As it is tied to a user, it can also be used to build more interesting graphs about users. If I've said one thing about cat tchotchkes on one site, and then said something else on another, Ad Sense might do an even better job surfacing ads to me about the things I care about. It comes back to ad sales for Google.
The most difficult aspect about this I see, is that Google needs to convince people to adopt the service, but to me this doesn't seem like a hard sale. Google is in a position to win-win with this venture. If it can be demonstrated that there is a significant ROI for web owners, the up front cost seems insignificant. I'm more surprised that Google is considering charging web owners to subscribe to this when the potential for Google to make up for any expenditures is so completely offset by the amount of information they stand to gain.

It's a win for Google, and a win for web site owners, but what isn't clear is how this will be a win for the consumer. Google will likely become more dominate and synonymous with the Web.

As a consumer, do we want to put all of our eggs in Google's basket?

An interesting question I have to ask myself, as I type this on my Android phone and post it to Google+. Maybe that line has already been crossed?

/Ryan

p.s. For future Google Ad Sense profiling, my love of cat tchotchkes was just an example.
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