Death of the Website?
Google is at it again. Just when you thought it had done it all (or most of it at least) it has gone a step further. The giant now wants to completely isolate the so called middlemen – the websites, from the entire content ecosystem. So what has Google done now, you ask? Well, for starters, they have built a web based interface through which content posts can be formatted and uploaded directly on to its systems. That there is an option to share content via FB, Twitter or email, is just another cherry served on top of the whipped cream. As a publisher put it aptly, “that sound you heard was another publisher rushing to book an appointment with its shrink!”
In the past, Google “tweaking” its algorithm was nothing short of the proverbial apocalypse. Company after harrowed company spent hours trying to game the system. Enter the dragon – Facebook.
Facebook is now the company that is the harbinger of all things social and media. Facebook uptake defines how stories are written, shared and packaged. What’s even more interesting is that it is beating Google at its own game – a game of unparalleled secrecy sprinkled with zero accountability. Consider this – Facebook recently launched its Instant Articles feature to allow publishers to post content directly, without the pain of navigating to websites. Paid advertisements and revenue shares are only a few of the techniques it employs. So what is the true benefit to Facebook? As clear as mud, as they say. They get to keep their audience in-house. The result? Expectancy resulting from this model have driven Facebook revenues skywards. Being the firm that Google is, it had to do something besides warming the bench. Not just Google, a host of others have also striven to follow suite. All the biggies – Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook are in the race to have their content leapfrog website experiences.
What this means to the media world is hazy at best. Nobody can say with surety. One thing is amply clear though, websites that seek to game the Google algorithm may be a thing of the past, that is, if you want to stay ahead of the internet game!