A few interesting bits & pieces have been doing the rounds recently. First the rumour, already going since May, that Google is thinking of offering a content management system to media companies that would combine editorial and advertising functionality in one platform:
Beginning in 2013 Google started talks with some big publishers about offering software to help manage content and advertising in a holistic way, multiple sources said.
This content management system would make it much easier for media companies – news websites et al – to combine management of various different features that are essential to their online business currently handled by different platforms:
If and when the CMS becomes reality, the product would tie in to Google’s publisher-facing ad stack including its DoubleClick for Publishers ad-management tools and its yield management capabilities acquired via AdMeld, now housed within DoubleClick Ad Exchange. Other likely functions include integrated paywall support, commerce features, content recommendation links and plugins to ad sales-management tools.
Obviously Google is not happy to just let news websites enjoy all the traffic they’re getting, especially that juicy ad revenue they’re earning off the back of that traffic. Google wants a share of that pie too, as its own monopolistic stranglehold on web search is insufficient to satisfy the eternal hunger for shareholder profit growth.
Also, a Google-developed CMS would of course ensure that all content published through this CMS is perfectly indexable and understandable for Google, so that it can repurpose that content for its own benefit – such as in-SERP answers, ensuring users stay on Google’s own properties and give Google more user behaviour data and earn them more ad revenue.
If I ran a content publishing website, I would be very hesitant to run it off of a Google-powered CMS. One of the key mantras of effective digital marketing is diversification – i.e. don’t put all your eggs in to one basket.
By building a website on Google’s platform, you are essentially enslaving your entire business’s success to Google’s fickle whims. And with Google’s history of pulling the plug on popular services, this would be a very risky move indeed – aside even from the questionable decision to give Google full back-end access to your editorial content and advertising systems.
Such a level of control could very easily be abused for the purposes of, say, a Filter Bubble.
News websites are only a small slice of the web nowadays – smaller and smaller as Google continues stealing their traffic – so a CMS focused on media companies would not suffice for Google’s quest to total World Wide Web domination.
Enter Google Domains, a new domain registration service from Google currently in private beta.
Google Domains is basically a domain registration service sprinkled with Google’s magic brand power fairy dust. It offers the same functionality as most registrars, including email, redirection, subdomains, etc.
Of course all this will run on Google’s own computing infrastructure, ensuring you will have state of the art technology powering your web presence! As a side benefit, Google will get access to all four layers of your online presence. Small price to pay for such superb service, right?
Google Domains will also connect to a number of content management systems to run your website on, including Shopify, Weebly, and Wix. Expect more platforms to be added to that list (maybe even Google’s own CMS?) as Google Domains grows in popularity and everyone wants to get on board the unstoppable Google World Wide Web Domination train.
These are all just more small pieces of the big puzzle Google is building. Not content with being synonymous with online search, Google fully intends to become synonymous with the web in its entirety.
Welcome to the future. Welcome to the Google-Shaped Web.