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SEO: what's the fate?

  • Priceline.com warns: "Future is for those who pay”

We are slowly looking at the death of the organic search and at the birth of a world where the only ways to optimize Google placements will be payments “: with these simple, but clear words, Paul Hennessy, CEO of Priceline.com launches his precise accusation to the giant of Mountain View. The fault?To be the main responsible of the slow, but inexorable death of the organic search, in favour of paid advertisements, which gives always more importance to the available budget (placing in second position the quality of the announcements) and the sponsorship of Google products.

"By now, the only way to obtain visibility into Google is to pay large amounts of money”, continues Hennessy , in his witness of the 14 October at the Skift Global Forum in Brooklyn: "if you type Hotels in NY on Google, the purely organic results will be nearly impossible to see at the first sights’’.

His conviction is that, albeit slowly, SEO policies are dying.

These declarations have significantly shocked the world of the online travel, almost all considering that they come from the main representative of one of the biggest operators. According to Hennessy, in previous years Google made always more aggressive policies to favour sponsored products or its own ones, cutting space to organic search and to results that might potentially be more interesting for users.

These declarations have of course divided the operators, with Katz, CEO di Gogobot that make matters worse openly accusing  Google to use its spaces “like a monopolist”, transforming the search engine into its “personal garden”; also Johannes Thomas managing director of Trivago, says that "the importance of the SEO policies is strongly decreasing”. Declarations that are inevitably destined to spark controversies not only through the world of travel, but also, among the other sectors that operates with the digital world.

The general opinion, according to many operators, is that Google is taking advantage of its dominant position to sponsor products or announcements on which has interests, in the sectors it privileges (local search, travel, shopping). This fact, they say, is visible also on mobile devices, where organic ads occupy a position of secondary (if not tertiary) importance, at least on online travel. Evan Reece, CEO of Liftopia admits that, although is SEO is not dying, paid results are always more replacing the organic ones. This situation is worrying many operators, which has the fear to be cut off by the main results only for a budget question, despite the quality of their services.

Many managers have however a different opinion, affirming that Google is simply evolving towards a context that awards the brands that customers prefer, because once they become loyal, give always less importance to other results. These brands, according to Google’s supporters, obtain this position because are what users want, increasing their satisfaction. With regardless of who’s right or wrong, these are considerations that might make digital operators to seriously reflect. Will this policy of Google extent also to other sectors? SEO policies are really losing their importance in favour of sponsored results?

If really Google is evolving towards abandonment of the organic search, policies of positioning and visibility into the digital world have to be deeply change and rethought. Of course everything has to be done without forgetting that the main goal is not only to gain positions, but build customers’ loyalty to the brands, and that independently to the future of digital, they will be those who give the ultimate answer.

Without doubts, rely on specialized operators as E-Business Consulting, apart from Google policies, will have an increasing importance in the optimization of every online campaign.

E-Business Consulting is active since 2003 and is a leader society in digital communication and online advertising. Call us for a free estimate of our services, our experts are always at your disposal. 

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