A day without Google! Can brands survive?

"Google Network is like Hotel California," said a marketer, explaining it is a one-stop destination. So what will happen to brands if Google decides to take a break for a day?

e4m by Priyanka Nair
Updated: Jul 24, 2013 8:03 AM
A day without Google! Can brands survive?

Back in 1989, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the then Ph.D. students from Stanford University, began their research project. Little did they know that they would end up inventing Google. Started primarily as search engine, Google got its name because of a typo!

Today Google is synonymous with Internet. Year after year, Google has developed enough online applications for internet users to be able to do everything possible with just a click.
Google today has a search engine, online email service, operating system for mobile and tablets, IM service, blogging platform, video publishing platform, photo and video sharing applications, online word processor, encyclopaedia, website creator, online directory, internet browser...the list is endless!

Above all this, Google has an edge over many other digital platforms because of its pay-per-click advertising system, which is the pillar of its revenue. According to various media reports, 96 per cent of Google’s revenue comes from advertising. The number says it all.
Google had drastically changed the digital marketing space, especially with the kind of exposure and transparency that it provides to brands. Today, Google gives the control of advertising model in the hands of brands. Also, Google Ad Sense has helped a large number of websites monetise the traffic that they are able to build on their site. The marketing models used by most of the other platforms are similar to the one pioneered by Google.

We at exchange4media pondered on what will happen to our dear brands if Google decides to relax for a day. We asked few experts this quirky question. Here is what the day might look like without Google...

Life will be unusual
No search, no digital ad films, no hangouts, and no blogging – a brand will not be able to use all these features under one roof if Google decides to take a break. It will be an uneasy situation.

“Google Network is like Hotel California – once you go there, you get everything and do not feel like coming out of it. Branding value gets enhanced through Google networking sites,” said Rajeeb Dash, Head – Marketing, Tata Housing.

“It would not be life as usual. Googling has become part and parcel of brand management, whether it is brand promotion or competition intelligence. So without Google, one would go back to the days of working hard and following up 4 Ps of marketing. That means really working out an online plan that can replace Google.”

According, Puneet Johar, Managing Director, To The New, if such a thing happens, a brand might lose a huge amount of audience. “Well, brands will definitely have alternative marketing plans to sustain themselves on internet, but Google today being the pillar in the internet space, it will create a different feeling altogether.”

If there is no Google, there is always Facebook
According to a study by The Economist, Google and Facebook account for more than half of the advertising revenue spent online in Asia. Well, this is clear indicator that Facebook will be around for brands looking for alternative channels in the online space for communication.

Dinesh Swamy, Digital Creative Leader, BBDO Proximity stated, “Survival is the most basic human instinct and it’s the same with any medium – Brands will quickly switch to other media. Facebook looks very promising with Graph Search, advertising opinion and other targeting features. However, for other services, I doubt any other product can come closer to Google – especially with a single sign in.”

However, Dinesh doesn’t deny the massive power that Google has given to brands today, “Google has revolutionised the space to something no one ever thought of. Google today is the basic backbone of most of digital marketing. There will be surely an impact,” he said.

Bhavit Sheth, Co-Founder and Director, Red Digital shared an interesting observation. He said, “With respect to digital marketing, with social media gaining prominence by the day, this is definitely one of the platforms brands will prefer. That being said, search marketing is not something that can be ignored and here the search engine that emerges as the ‘Google replacement’ in terms of traffic and transparency will be the one that brands will align towards, whether it is Bing or Yahoo or some other site. Other than digital marketing, Google offers services such as online document collaboration, email service for businesses, helping businesses set up websites for free – the list goes on and on. There will be a huge opportunity for someone to provide the entire gamut of services through one dashboard.”

So are brands ready to give up all these services and live a day without Google? Well, we are sure it will almost never happen, but if it does, you know how it might look.

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