When Will Google Sunset Search?
One day the most important topic on the Internet was the demise of Google Reader. It was a popular tool to read and share content from blogs by subscribing to their so called feeds.
The side-effects of market domination
Indeed Google dominated the market for feed readers just like it dominates the market for search, analytics or online video.
Mostly geeks know what Reader was about and used it so average people probably didn’t notice. Still
Google Reader was a service millions of people used and even relied on. For them it was something of a shock.
Most former Google Reader users were frantically looking for alternatives and finding mostly other volatile online services.
Most people in the end flocked to Feedly. I also tried Feedly and use it successfully ever since. Over the years the service has added many advanced premium features for power users.
The reasoning to kill a software million of people use
Why did Google kill Reader? There is a lot of speculation. The official reason is that the interest in RSS and Google Reader is dwindling.
This is of course a self-fulfilling prophecy as Google has been abandoning the open RSS standard step by step over the years
Instead Google is focusing on its closed “walled garden” type of network – Google+.
Most of the sharing features from Google Reader have been moved over to Google+ a few months earlier effectively making it far less useful.
Even the man-power needed to maintain Reader was not there anymore. The engineers have been relocated to the Google+ team as well. Thus
the “declining” interest in Google Reader was part of a larger plan or strategy.
Google Reader was never making any money anyway. Google is an advertising company as economists say.
They make money by placing ads in front or around search results, on third party websites, on their own services like Google shopping search (where you have to pay to get included).
Grabbing markets and monopolizing them
For many lucrative industries like e-commerce or travel Google already dominates its own search results.
Google is replacing them almost completely in the visible area with ads and so called paid inclusion (hidden ads).
Search is declining these days as well, or maybe it’s juts stagnating or not growing. People spend ore time on social media instead.
The market is saturated and Google can’t earn much more by using conventional ads. Google attempts to open up new revenue sources where it can. They try to grab new markets. Google is into
you name it.
They establish monopolies wherever they can. Once they dominate a market they can start charging money for usage as people have no alternatives anymore.
- With each new search algorithm update millions of sites that previously did everything right in Google’s eyes get downgraded or downright penalized. They disappear into obscurity.
- In industries where Google enters the market the competition is doomed anyway.
- Even publishers all over the world have to fight Google because it robs them of revenue by making people go to to Google news instead.
It’s about time to cut out the middleman before he cuts you.
Your site might get penalized for no apparent reason any day. Google might take over your whole market by adding the same product you sell for free until all competition is bankrupt.
What if Google kills actual search?
Google might even discontinue search as we know it and offer paid results instead. Many people who click Google ads right now don’t even know these are ads and not real unpaid search results.
Or Google might decide to let you pay for their services. Either they will charge webmasters to get included in their index or they will ask users to pay them to use search.
Of course thy will call it something else, like a registration fee for Google Webmaster tools for example. Or they will offer you an ad free Google search version when you pay.
Google is a not a library. It’s a giant corporation out there to make money.
It’s not a question whether they will discontinue other services. The question is when will Google “sunset” search and move on to greener pastures?
Will you be prepared or shocked? I’m already training for the time after Google. Most people already buy their way up the “search results”.
More resources on the Google Reader death and its ramifications:
- Closing Google Reader Sucks For Me, But Is Dangerous For Google
- Killing Google Reader is like killing the bees: we’ll all be worse off
- Former Google Reader product manager confirms our suspicions: Its demise is all about Google+ – The Next Web
- Why is Google killing Google Reader?
- Why Google killed off Google Reader: It was self-defense
- Google Reader joins graveyard of dead Google products – Slate Magazine
- Building online assets that Google can’t take away – 3 Door Digital
- How Google Reader’s Overhaul Betrayed and Irked Its Most Passionate Users – ReadWrite
Last updated: May 16th, 2017. Added subheadings and other readability measures. Clarified the wording. Added some timeless context. Removed by now obsolete paragraph.
* Creative Commons image by Thomas Hawk