Google recently made a deal with twitter to show twitter content in the Google SERPs. Bing was actually first on this so Google isn’t the innovator here. I’m going to try to keep my tinfoil hat off so bear with me. I believe this signals the possibility of either a total buyout of twitter or a Google based replacement that will soon run competition with Twitter.
I know there are a lot of people that would disagree with the competition thing. I only say this because anything Google wants that Google doesn’t buy outright Google will eventually compete with. Google seems to be displaying the “use them and lose them” mindset in dealing with business partners quite often recently. Some examples then…
Google Adwords and Affiliates
I believe a massive portion of Adwords success was due to affiliates. Larger affiliates easily dumped several million a month into the Adwords system. I know that Adwords and the clean simplicity of the Google search interface is what really drew me into Google so long ago. I am an affiliate marketer and, while I spent nowhere near several million a month in Adwords(or 10 years for that matter), I allowed myself to become an active Google marketing tool through word of mouth. My friends and family have all used Google for years and I was among the first.
Recently Google began cracking down on affiliates. Not just the shady one’s either…read “Are there any types of websites that merit low landing page quality scores?” and note “affiliate sites”.
Read “Google Shuts Down $Million Affiliate Account” to find cases where seeming quality affiliates are getting thrashed.
At the same time Google begins testing its new CPA service which effectively turns Google into a giant affiliate. Google pushes its CPA service above Adwords results (making its Adwords advertisers compete more bitterly for the top spots and thus spend more per click) and even gives itself images and other niceties to further trounce its Adwords advertisers. Read “Is Google About to Become the World’s Biggest Super Affiliate”.
Is this all coincidence?
Google and Firefox
Google gave much to Mozilla but it was a two way street. The agreement was Google would pay if Firefox would use Google as the default. The added advantage for Google is that it could build extra market in search while undermining Microsoft’s hold on the browser market.
Now we have Google chrome and Mozilla finds itself with solid competition from yet another company with unlimited resources. Chrome has a much easier time breaking into the market due to better branding (in part because of Firefox as it gained browser share) and Microsoft’s not so iron grip on the browser market anymore. This looks to me like Google maneuvered Mozilla into running interference with Microsoft until markets lined up to give Google the opportunity for dominance. Interesting to note that a portion of Microsoft’s operating system domination a few years ago was based on Internet Explorer as well. Google is now moving into the operating system arena.
Is this all coincidence? Are the Google business moguls really this smart?
Google Android and Cell Phones
Google released Android to much fanfare and linked up with many phone manufacturers and providers. Many companies bit on the opportunity and, as a result, enjoyed great popularity with their Android based phones. It hasn’t really been that long and Google is releasing it’s own Android based phone as well…turning many of it’s partners into competitors. Read “Google Phone May Rankle Android Partners” for more info on this.
Is this all coincidence as well? How long does it take to plan and execute entering into the cell phone market? Could this have been on Google’s map all along?
What Am I Getting at Anway?
It looks to me like business partnerships with Google tend to result in more competition and severe disadvantage. I wouldn’t be surprised if, while Google is wheeling and dealing to add Twitter to it’s search results, Google has a hoard of engineers and experts working on a piece of software to one up Twitter.
I know it’s just business but in the long run practices like this will hurt innovation. The innovator is going to get tired of getting ripped off by the faceless corporation. Companies with practically endless cash flow can rip off an idea and put unlimited resources into it. I think Twitter will either sell out or get burned.
What do you think?