Search engine giant Google controls how most people on Earth access information online; except in countries where it is censored like in China. For businesses, this fact can be frustrating / especially if you don’t plan on paying for any of the Google ads
In markets such as the U.S. where a big percentage of the population are constantly on their mobile devices and computers connected to the internet. Google tight grip on information flow on the internet means it control how businesses access customers online. Making it virtually impossible – particularly for small businesses to get noticed online if they don’t pay the search engine giants by buying their advertisement.
In Europe, Google is facing a lot of scrutinies and has even been slapped with several penalties. Politicians in the U.S. too have started focusing their lenses on the anti-competition behavior. Though in America, the tradition has always been no government regulation; they equate regulation as anti-business breeding less innovation, less competition, and high prices to end consumer.
To some extent, it remains true that regulations breeds inefficiency, less competition, and the end consumer often pays higher to consume products/services. However, when businesses are left completely unchecked, such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon among other big tech giants in the U.S. They can quickly use their financial and technology might to skew the market dynamics to their favor.
Google luck ran out in the European market, as it now faces tougher regulations there. Regulations meant to make it more accommodating to small upcoming businesses. It appears the same is going to happen in America with Presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren proposing breaking up Google from its parent company Alphabet Inc. She is reported to be also going after Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., saying they have become too powerful and are bulldozing competition.
The Freebies Consumers get
While it could be true that Google, Facebook, and Amazon have become giants in their spheres and they don’t play nice with the competition. It is also true that these tech giants have made the lives of billions of people a lot better; faster, efficient, and affordable communication. In fact, you don’t need to pay anything to use Gmail and other Google services. Unless you are using it fora corporate purpose; in which case using Google services help you stay ahead since it controls a lot of information shared on the internet.
Facebook too offers users free connection to family, friends, and brands they love. However, it does sell the users’ data to businesses looking to run highly targeted ads. It does that by collecting so much information on you and then use an advanced algorithm to preempt your desires and expectations.
Google has become Omni-present in all our lives. Whether you are on desktop or mobile; speaking of which the Android ecosystem has Google written all over it. The phones, tablets, and smart-cars monitors running Android comes with exclusively Google apps and services right out of the box. We talked more in depth about that in this article.
To be Seen on the Internet, you MUST Advertise with Google
Joey Levin, the CEO of IAC/InterActive Corp says that it is not possible to run a successful business these days with zero ads spend on Google. His company, which owns Tinder, Vimeo, and HomeAdvisor spend about $350 million each quarter on advertisements. Most of that money goes towards purchasing advertisements powered by Google.
The ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. spent at least $92.4 million on Google advertisement last year, and over double that amount in 2017.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission was once running an antitrust investigation against Google, but cosed those investigations in 2013. However, it might be forced to return to those investigations given the increasing political pressure in the U.S. everydaevery daying the downsizing of the company.
Google is perhaps most pervasive and potentially damaging to businesses when it comes to the esoteric market of ‘branded keywords.’ That is where Google makes most of its money; on the brand names.
Take, for instance, Lyft Inc. is reported to have bided for the word ‘Lyft’ and when someone searches that word online, Google will return results filled with the company’s websites and materials.
“You have to buy the ads every day,” lamented Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow Inc. that sells bedroom items over the internet. “Google gets a piece of every single MyPillow sold and it’s wrong. Why should someone be able to bid on your own brand words and why do you have to buy your own just so people can see you online? That’s wrong.”