I've been considering and reading about all the changes in the data-eating industry that Google, Facebook, et al are enacting and one big theme is starting to arise in my head: Search and search engine optimization are virtually worthless now. (That's gonna piss some people off.)
It used to be that people kept their browser start-up page on Google because they went on the interweb tubes to look for stuff; sometimes with a purpose but most of the time just to do it. That's not the case anymore. I know very few people that fire up their laptops, tablets and smart phones and immediately go to the browser. now they got to Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Flipboard or any other application that allows them to get input from their social circle. I know I'm one of them. My browers (I use several) are set to open on publication sites like The Economist, SFGate and Electronic Products. That, too, is not unsual as I see many people reading news sites of traditional media like the NY Times and the WSJ. You don't need to go to a search engine site to get started because every browser has a little search window.
Why do we do this now? Because the information we get from the apps, social circles and specific publications are trustworthy. You can't trust what you find on Google or Yahoo or even Bing because you know that he who spends the most money on SEO gets to the top of those lists, so you find places you can trust. SEO doesn't do that. You may not agree with me but there are some very big players that do. One of them is Google.
Google+ is the next big thing for Google and they are all in on this concept. They know if they don't make this work they will be nothing in 20 years. They know that the audiences don't trust the information they get from the vaunted Google search engine but the audience has ways of getting around the high-paid subterfuge of corporate SEO addicts. They are using social media platforms that are eating into the Google influence sphere like a swarm of locusts through a wheat field. Google+ says, "We know you don't trust us, so let us listen in as you talk to people you do trust. Maybe we can figure something out."
This is a revolutionary moment in media that will drive us back to a time when media actually held the trust of the public. And I'll explain that next week.