Lets take a second and talk about aggressive monetization. We live in a world where Mark Zuckerburg is hell bent on taking over every site on the web while increasing profitability (and doing a great job at it). This means systematically cherrypicking profitable features from other platforms and integrating it into Facebook. So, why is their platform about to stomp out Google? Here are my thoughts:
Ad Network Battles.
Yes. This one is obvious. When you have 1 Billion monthly active users, you better be serving them ads. Or, at least be ok with losing fistfuls of money every second. As we know, ad networks are the bread and butter of large websites and practically the only reason ‘free’ utilities like Google and Facebook exist. But, there are only so many dollars to go around and Facebook is about to start dipping into Google’s profits. So, the only way for Google to fight back is by dipping other sites profits (wikipedia, amazon, expedia). This turns into a race to the bottom where large companies keep fighting for more time in an endless battle to keep revenues increasing. But, this all comes at the expense of the smaller platforms.
Don’t Let Them Leave!
The best way to increase page views (available ad inventory) is to keep users from leaving your site. . . so, these two behemoths are creating embedded sites so you can get all the content you need without switching URL’s. Facebook has taken over whole sites and apps by creating Canvas integration, and Google has done the same by creating ‘Rich Answer Results’ which answers 20% of search questions without having a user leave their pages. At this point, Google is dipping into the ads revenue of Wikipedia, Amazon, Booking Agents, Weather Sites and practically every other utility based site on the web.
Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Worse… but it still will make money.
Since video ad revenues are the large bearers of profit, Facebook has begun its siege on Youtube starting early last year with the implementation of a makeshift video network. With the lack of content ID systems and nonexistent revenue sharing, they gained an unfair advantage by releasing an ill equipped product made solely to rack up views through algorithms that heavily weighted video content. The current system has run amuck with ripped videos from youtube with absolutely no repercussions to page owners. If that wasn’t enough of a slap in the face to YouTube, they boosted the videos to a point where they overtook YouTube’s daily video view count on desktop! Google couldn’t even respond to that blow after failing miserably with G+, so they are back to optimizing search results to skim more money from their withering desktop base.
Sergey, These Are Not the Profits You Are Looking For!
Here’s where it all falls apart for Google. Facebook beat them in video, is undefeated as a social network, is growing an insane ad network, is a huge app platform AND just has begun tweaking their search algorithm. All this is happening at the expense of Google, who already is getting less and less search volume every quarter and is making some erratic decisions to cover the future losses.
If you see don’t see the writing on the wall, you might need some glasses, because giant changes are on the horizon and there aren’t enough letters in the Alphabet to save Google.