Their growth may explain Google’s willingness to roll out a new search update with a visual new design. But will the unfamiliar and more cluttered look cause surfers to try a competitor?
Bloomberg TV is currently reporting that Yahoo and Bing both gained search market share in April, and this might help explain Google’s recent search income declines as well as their willingness to unveil a drastically modified search page. While there is still no sign of any major changes in the actual search algorithm, many people have commented on how much different the results page looks and suggested that it may influence their future searching decisions.
In fact, there have been some big threads around Digg and Reddit complaining that the traditionally simple and minimalist look of Google is gone. Many people commented that although Google once had a huge lead in link quality and relevancy, Yahoo & Bing have caught up dramatically or possibly even surpassed the dominant search engine. For these surfers, Google’s seemed almost… nostalgic. Or at least it was before the “old look” was done away with.
Hey, Look at that Sidebar!
Another common observation was that this move could have been done in part to combat the growing phenomenon of ad blindness, something that is practically innate to all web surfers in the millennial generation.
Click through rates have been falling for just about everyone in the content network, and Google’s 1Q results suggested that they’re starting to feel that ad blind effect on their own search page sponsored results clicks. Short of blatantly encouraging clicks, they would have something to gain if they could train searches to start paying a bit more attention to the content and options available in the sidebars. By breaking up the hot zones a little bit, they might actually generate a higher click rate for some extra time before the crowd adapts to the new look.
Growth after Monopoly
If you thought that was far-fetched, consider this convoluted plot to continue growing despite the pressure about claims of Google acting like a monopoly. If Google loses some more market share, they can quiet some of their critics while actually growing their total business volume in new markets.
But they would never do that right? I mean, its not like they’re throwing around some half-assed reorganization of their pre-existing search options while focusing most of their advertising efforts on smart phones! Oh wait, Bloomberg TV is also reporting that Google is starting talks to build a new tablet PC.
Whether or not is an intentional strategy, its still a good path to take based on the situation they’re in. Its doubtful that they’d ever tank their search dominance on purpose, but its not nearly so far fetched to imagine that they’re moving personnel away from that and on to other projects. Toward the long run, its probably going to allow them to grow their business while receiving even less criticism and political attention.
Yahoo & Bing are almost significant for SEO
And if the current trend continues, the importance of non-Google search engine optimization will be an important consideration for anyone looking to maximize their organic traffic. Of course, organic search traffic is probably the best money-maker, so those links and SEO tricks are always in high demand. Almost unexpectedly, this means a growing relative value for most nofollow links – since Yahoo & Bing don’t really seem to pay any attention to that nofollow link relationship.
Yet even if Google lost half of its search traffic, they would probably still figure out a way to increase their revenues from quarter to quarter and year to year. Unfortunately for stock holders though, that might not be good enough for investors who really were hoping for a monopoly.