Once Google was the leader among the search engines and their future looked rosy. Hence them expanding, buying enterprises like YouTube. However, that was previously, and while Google started this year in good standings, Google is spiralling down fast, which even sources within the Google Corporation don’t deny. The company quite possibly will be following the history of other search engine giants like Yahoo! and AOL, which both are nowadays owned by Oath Inc., a subsidiary of Verizon Communications. Apart from that, both of them are technically not even their own search engines anymore, as both are powered by Microsoft’s Bing. The people over at Google may hope they will not follow the same path and will remain profitable enough to stay an independent company, but seeing the recent events concerning them, Google will need to improve fast, or they might not be able to climb the mountain again.
The rise of Google
While Google technically dates back to 1995, it was in 1997 when the Google.com domain was first registered, and September 1998 when they officially launched. At the end of the same year, they were already regarded better than their competitors like Lycos, AOL, MSN(predecessor of Bing), Yahoo!, HotBot(nowadays owned by Lycos), and go.com, primarily because of their minimalistic webpage, instead of the crowded web portals which their competitors used. And when they in 2000 started selling keywords, they started generating the revenue that has made them to what they are today. However, this is also one of the concepts that would lead to one of their problems today, Adsense, but I will come back to that later.
As said, not everything about Google has been good, and one of the clear starting points of Google’s downfall is clearly their failed projects. One of them is Google’s Knol project, which you likely never heard about. And don’t worry, most people haven’t heard about it, even though it should have been a competitor of Wikipedia. Also, it is only one of the many parts of Google that haven’t truly gained the attention of the general public. However, there is one clear failed project that should be named.
The Google Plus social media platform should have competed with the giants of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, VK, and others. However, instead, it has become a tiny social community. As it was used by some, including myself, most often because of it having that which all other social media platforms still lack today; close to no ads, the ability to write without restriction, a focus on actual subjects, true engagement, and close to no bots. And while it was already announced in 2014 on the Google Blog that it would be shutting down, it is still online today. That being said, another shutdown has been announced(Source). The reality behind Google+ is that if Google would have listened to its community, it would have been able to compete with names like Twitter and Facebook, as the many ideas that were submitted regarding Google+ have never seen the light of day.
Before even coming to any of Google’s other problems, Google caused another problem that would come to cost them greatly. As while the internet became more popular, people became also more aware of parts of the internet, like the tracking cookies a lot of websites used. Among them was and is Google. If you visited and visit any of Google’s websites, including their search engine, they would and will place a tracking cookie on your computer. And with it, they could track what you do all over the internet. And that’s exactly what they did and what people noticed, causing many people to stop using Google’s search engine. This is how examples like DuckDuckGo took over the search engine business and are busy pushing Google away from their starting business. This all is also part of how earlier this year the EU’s GDPR came into effect and the massive amount of problems related to that. However, about the GDPR I will blog more broadly another time.
And it was not just Google’s search engine and YouTube that caused controversies, as also Google Adsense is a major problem for Google, and in fact also among the reasons for YouTube’s downfall!
But unrelated to YouTube there is already a list of problems related to Adsense, one being their far too strict and discriminative policies. It isn’t without a reason that among bloggers there are only incredibly few that use Adsense, as even speaking 1 bad word about Google could get your Adsense account closed. Yes, that actually happened to me, I’m not liked by Google for my previous unreserved opinions voiced in articles about their YouTube failures. But the fact that I am banned forever from Adsense is also why I can freely write this article that many people have avoided doing. The Adsense policies have banned as many publishers that advertisers have even stopped investing in ads through Adsense, which can be noticed by the constant repeating advertisements of companies like Grammarly, making the ads ineffective and annoying. That is topped off with the fact that DoubleClick was merged into Adsense, a service which was very well-known for spreading malware through the websites they advertised on.
And related to the problems of Google Adsense is also YouTube, the main location of Adsense advertisements. While one of the controversies this past year was the fact that many people got de-monetized, which caused creators to be angry. There is also the problems from the other side of the experience, the visitors of YouTube. As while creators complained about there not being ads with their videos and not getting paid, the rest of the people were angry because of the advertisement hell YouTube has become. As while once, there was a 5 to a 30-second advertisement before and after a video, and some banner ads across the site. Today there is no longer a limit of how long an advertisement could be and they play at any moment of the video. This causes a lot of annoyances. A personal example I could give is when I was listening to one of the bands I like, Beast in Black, their song ‘Blind And Frozen‘ got cut midway for an advertisement, and not just any, the song ‘Frozen Throne’ by Kalidia started. A great song, without any doubt. However, the song takes about the same time and started midway a song I was listening! Obviously, I skipped it and turned on my adblocker again. And examples like these are common. A 10-minute video quite often has an ad every 2 minutes, completely pulling away from the video you were actually watching, but also making watching from a distance harder. I personally have a lap keyboard, the [eafl id=”39442″ name=”Roccat Sova” text=” Roccat Sova”], and a lot of people use YouTube on mobile devices, but if you don’t, you would be forced to choose between walking to your keyboard/mouse every 2 minutes or so, or installing an adblocker. It’s among Google’s and YouTube’s biggest problem today, them not caring for their consumer’s experience, but just about the money.
The possible future
While I could say a lot more, I won’t. As I believe the shortest of experiences about Google should say enough to most. Google is one of the major companies now, but the prospects of the future look bleak. As Google has 1 major problem that combines all, the lack of attention for their consumers. Whether someone is an advertiser, publisher, creator, visitor, users, or anything else, Google should keep them happy, that’s what the goal of a company should be, that’s eventually the true way to their money. But at this moment, Google has lost this understanding, and their downfall is ongoing, not only showing in their decreasing share price but much more shown by how there’s close to no positive message about Google remaining, it’s almost all negative.