The Future of Google Search in Australia
By now, many people would have heard about Google’s threat to pull their search engine from Australia.
But in short, Australia’s news networks and media channels wants Google to pay to link to a news site. Yes just to show the link in search.
The question remains as to what will happen and what will Google decide to do?
There are quite a few options available to Google and a few things to consider.
Cons for Google
- Pulling out Search also means no Google Ads – so that’s about a $3.4 Billion dollars in spending a year in Australia
- Potential impact in neighbouring countries that boycott Google Search, although this is unlikely
- Loss of internet market share with Australians having to go to Bing or Ecosia (plant a tree!)
What Google Can do
- The biggest thing that comes to mind for us is simply to make page 1 of Google Ads and Maps listings only.
- A simpler one would be to relegate any links to News into a News Category that is only accessible there and charge users to access it (and use those funds to pay for the links)
- Never show news links. Ever for Australian sites. That is a simple line or two of code to filter them out of the search.
- Pulling in Search altogether from Australia – no one really wants that now do we?
- Increase the cost of Ads in Australia to offset the cost of links to news sites
What this means for us as small businesses
Ultimately, no matter what Google decides to do here, it is likely we, the small business owners, will suffer in some way.
If Search is removed, we will have to rely on and move to things link Bing and Ecosia or Duck Duck Go or other such sites. The shake up will be enormous, SEO will suffer for a few months, maybe a year or more as no one will know exactly where people are searching.
Increasing visibility and activity on Social Media would be essential to keep a float and looking after your existing customers would be very cost effective.
A potential positive though, despite COVID and all that, is that many people might opt to going in store to find what they want. That could be a win for shopping centres and brick and mortar stores who have not yet or do not have a full digital transformation strategy in place.
We will keep an eye on this as close as possible, but no matter what happens, We will be here to help grow your legacy in the best way possible.