For Google the Bell Tolls
Has the search giant’s dominance come to an end?
Towards the end of the year, while we were all busy enjoying the holidays, a potentially transformative agreement was penned between two Internet stalwarts. With the stroke of a pen, Yahoo became the default search engine for the Firefox browser. The implications of this deal have already become apparent, with Yahoo’s share of Firefox search results jumping from 9.6 percent to 29.4 percent almost overnight. Perhaps equally important, Google’s share has dropped 20 percentage points, to around 63 percent.
Ceatus clients have an advantage in this new environment, because Ceatus has always been focused on generating significant traffic for its clients from ALL of the search engines, including Yahoo. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Search Advertising: A Blessing or a Curse?
Google is still generating $3 billion per quarter — that’s not a typo — and it still dominates the search market. The search giant owns the top smartphone platform in Android, as well as the top video site, YouTube. But deals like the one cut between Firefox and Yahoo could be a harbinger of things to come,
and could portend a steady decline in Google’s overall dominance.
First and foremost, though it rakes in gobs of money from search advertising, Google is far too dependent on this revenue stream. The vast majority of Google’s overall revenue comes from search ads. This becomes a massive problem if competitors begin to chip away at its search dominance — as has occurred with deals such as the one recently signed by Yahoo and Firefox.
Death by a Thousand Cuts
And there is little reason to believe that it will end with Yahoo and Firefox. Apple could decide to bail on Google, and Facebook already has its own internal news feed search that has the potential to supplant many of Google’s search queries. In other countries, search engines such as Baidu (China) are making inroads. And Amazon is increasingly becoming the go-to engine for product searches. To add to Google’s woes, mobile users now spend upwards of 80 percent of their time using apps. This bodes well for companies like Yelp, but poorly for ones that depend on search, especially Google.
There are problems in other areas as well. Though Android is the dominant smartphone platform, not everyone is using it to Google’s advantage. Many companies have circumvented Google’s strategies in ways that negatively affect Google’s ad revenue. In the battle over cloud storage, Google ranks a lowly fourth place, after Amazon, Microsoft and IBM. What’s more, European legislators are making life extremely difficult for Google in ways that may discourage the search giant from pushing forward with ambitious innovations to its main product: its search engine.
Social media is also eating into Google’s dominance — and herein lie some important implications for surgeons, because with social media we’re talking about word of mouth; something that obviously affects surgical practices directly. As you know, people are much more likely to trust recommendations from friends and family (read: Facebook) than from some unknown surgeon’s website that comes up high in Google’s search results. Facebook has taken full advantage of this situation by building search mechanisms into its news feed. And Google’s attempt to fight back, in the form of Google+, has not been the success they hoped for.
What does all this mean for your practice? That, if you haven’t already, it’s time to diversify your online marketing strategy. Make sure your marketing company markets you to all the search engines; expand your brand through real citations (i.e. be other places on the Web besides your website); and last but not least, ensure that you have a social media presence.
Ask the experts
Q I already have a Facebook Page. Do I really need a Google Plus page?
A Yes! Social media has become an increasingly important factor in search engine ranking algorithms. This means that the strength of your social presence now affects your website’s visibility in local search results. While the key player in this arena is still Facebook, not surprisingly, Google places significant value in its own social networking site, Google+. So, even with the recent changes seen in the world of search (see main article), Google still has 63% market share. The bottom line: Google+ is a good addition to your social media strategy.
Maximize Your Internet Strategy
Come by the Ceatus booth for a FREE website evaluation!
San Juan, Puerto Rico
February 6-10, 2015
Bring your Internet strategy into focus and meet the Ceatus team at booth 7 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Also, Ceatus CEO David Evans, PhD, will be speaking on a panel discussion focusing on the importance of SEO, reviews and testimonials, and ROI from Internet marketing. So don’t miss it!
Practice Makes Perfect
“Maximizing Online Strategies for Patient Acquisition”
Sunday, February 8, 2015
8:00 AM – 8:15 AM
February 26-28, 2015
Give your Internet strategy a smile makeover. Visit the Ceatus team at Booth 805 to learn how to increase your conversion and start bringing new patients to your door!
CEATUS Internet Marketing Tip of the Month
If Potential Patients Snooze, You Lose!
Compelling content is the key to converting a website visitor into a new patient.
Ask yourself these simple questions to determine if your website content is delivering patients to your office or driving them to your competitor:
- Is my content unique?
- Is my content in-depth?
- Is my content engaging and compelling?
If you answered, “no” to any of these questions, it’s time to wake up your content.
Contact us today to find out how we can help!
Go Go Gadgets!
The top gear picks of the year from renowned tech trade show CES 2015
A picture is worth a thousand words…so turn your smartphone into a 21st century photo lab with Prynt. By docking your smartphone and/or using the Bluetooth connection, you can print any photo instantly. This should give Polaroid a run for their money.
Goldilocks will never think it’s too cold or too hot again, thanks to Honeywell Lyric. This smart thermostat lets you monitor and control your home’s temperature from your smartphone as well as receive alerts when your filters need to be changed. Honeywell Lyric was voted Time Magazine’s favorite gadget from CES 2015.
Imagine having your favorite sounds streaming out of your cooler. Wait…what? Yes, you read that right. It’s a camper/tailgater/picnic enthusiast’s dream! The Kube is a 33-quart waterproof ice chest that doubles as a powerful wireless sound system. The system is built to run 20 hours on a charge and can stream music from Bluetooth devices, including cell phones. Pass me a cold one!
Price: $3,500 – $6,000 (for currently available canvases)
If only pictures could talk… Now they can with Soundwall art pieces, which have built-in speakers. The art selection varies from historic photographs to original art and includes unique audio additions from a range of artists. If you’d rather it just play music, it turns into a wireless Bluetooth speaker that’s compatible with Rhapsody, Spotify, Pandora, etc. Hear art come alive!
5. Pet Cube
The Cat’s away, but will the mice play? Petcube is a video/app monitoring device that lets you stay connected to your pets when you’re not at home. You can stream video from the room the Petcube is in and, from the Petcube app, you can activate the built-in laser and play with your pets as they follow the light around. Also, if your pets are getting into mischief, the app allows you to talk to them and tell them to cut it out. How purr-fect!