Google TV: One More Way Google Changes Search

By Janet Driscoll Miller | May 20, 2010
More Articles by Janet


In recent months, Google’s been radically changing the game of search engine optimization, launching Android on phones, and now launching Google TV. Essentially, Google is applying the idea that you should be able to perform a search to find anything on any device, in much the same way as it applied that philosophy to the Android mobile operating system on cell phones.

Google TV also will bring the Internet to your TV. It will also run web applications and Android applications. In other words, you may never need to leave your couch again!

What It Means for SEO

I expect that the web search will work primarily the same, although there are few details available yet. However, based on my experience with my Android phone and Google searches, the search results are the same as I receive from my desktop today when logged in.

What It Means for PPC

For PPC advertisers, this opens up all sorts of new opportunities for advertising, depending on what type of information Google will allow advertisers to target. For years I’ve complained that Google could be collecting much more demographic information about users for the advertiser’s benefit. One area that truly lacks in Google AdWords is demographic targeting. By asking users two simple questions: 1) gender and 2) birthdate, Google could easily allow advertisers to demographically target similar to Facebook. For instance, I once had a client that wanted to target young adults (ages 14-24) who wanted to discuss social issues amongst their peer group. However, young adults search for the same terms as an elderly person might to learn or discuss “global warming”. Try as you might in ad copy to desuade others from clicking on these ads, inevitably, those not in your target demographic will click.

Perhaps the TV information and viewing habits, if collected could help advertisers further target an age group or demographic. For instance, if Google knows I watch “Dora the Explorer” or “Sesame Street” often, it can likely assume I am a mom with young kids in my house and allow AdWords marketers to target me demographically in that way.

Would that make me mad? Not at all. Why? I get so tired of ads I’m not interested in being pushed in my face. Take NBC Nightly News, which I watch religiously. Every night I watch it, the ads are all for bladder control, heart problems, or some other sort of age-related malady. None of those apply to me or anyone in my house watching the news. I’d much rather see ads about how some amazing new invention can make all moms lives better.

Is It Going Too Far?

I confess. I bought a Motorola Droid back in November, and I love it. But I do often question if I’m giving one corporation too much information about myself. With my one gmail account, Google knows where I am, what I’m searching, what I’m buying, and more. And now, Google will know what TV shows I like too. It can associate all of that with my Google login — isn’t there a danger in that? I think there is. Will I get one anyways? I probably will.

For more information…

Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land covered the unveiling today. You can read his full recap of Google TV here.

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