The SEOs Were Right
As Google makes changes within their search algorithm, such as the recent Hummingbird algorithm and changing keyword traffic to 100% (Not Provided), conspiracy theorists emerge with explanations. I can admit that, at least part of the time, I’m one of them. The changes that Google makes can easily turn anyone in the search optimization industry into an SEO Nostradamus. In this article we will look at some of the top Google conspiracy theories from the past and its surprising to see them coming true.
2005 – Google is creating an alternate internet
In this post in 2005 by Robert X. Cringely he claims that Google is headed to take over the internet completely by creating a parallel internet to the one we all currently use. Or in other words, Google is taking over the internet by seducing us into giving it to them. In his article he believes that Google would start buying companies and making products to cover every facet of our online lives. (Maybe you’ve heard of YouTube, Android, Google TV, Google Docs, Google Books and Google Maps to name just a few.)
Robert talked about a rumor of Google working on an operating system to compete with Microsoft, but that would be just crazy wouldn’t it? (Maybe you’ve heard of Google Chrome and Android.)
Take a look at the variation of companies that Google has purchased or acquired over the years, it’s pretty interesting to see.
2007 – Minority Report Ad Invasion
This Google conspiracy theory was posted in 2007 (6 years ago) in a post by Gawker.com on the Top Four Google Conspiracy Theories. It talks about how, in the future, Google will be delivering contextual and personalized ads targeted to each individual based on many different factors like search and online purchases. (Hmmm, I think we’re almost there.)
While we are not there yet with Billboard advertising targeted to individuals driving by, it’s not the craziest thing I’ve ever heard and I can see something similar happening in the future.
2011 – Google wants to get rid of Natural search results
In a blog posted by Gareth Owen in 2011, he states that “I am becoming increasingly convinced that Google wants rid of natural search results.” He questions whether or not Google will eventually move to an entirely paid model based on user intent and will not tell anyone about it until they’ve strangled off all natural search results. (Too bad Google hasn’t created an algorithm that determines a highly defined user intent… Wait, what was this Hummingbird algorithm all about?)
I doubt that Google would want to strangle off all natural search results. (Wait, 100% of keywords are now (Not Provided) unless you are on Google AdWords… Interesting)
2011 – Google world domination
Yes, Google is a big company, bigger than we even realize. In this article they focus on the huge list of things Google owns as proof that Google is moving to world domination. In 2011, Google had approximately 900,000 servers and it is estimated at over a million today. Google Energy started in 2007 to produce green energy and reduce the costs of powering its data centers. In 2010, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Google the authorization to buy and sell energy at market rates.
With so many different irons in the fire, it’s easy to theorize how Google is attempting to take over the world. Google’s total revenue reached over 50 billion in 2012 and they employ more than 44,000 people. Maybe Robert X. Cringley was more correct than he even realized when he wrote his article 8 years ago. As SEO’s, we what Google is doing every day in regards to search optimization, to theorize about why they make the changes they do. Maybe we need to start looking at some of the bigger, more important pieces.