The Google Hotspot: Simple Cluttering or Money Making Ploy?

25 09 2008

While wandernig through Blogstorm and their post about the Google Hotspot, something hit me: this could be Google turning evil.

Lets begin at the start. The newly-dubbed ‘Google Hostspot’ is the product of Google Universal Search, the combination of elements like YouTube, Google Image Search, Google News and Google Checkout into your search results. The ‘Hotspot’ comes from the organic search result being framed by news, shopping and Adwords. Creating a nice spotlight for the top 3 results. However, this then relegates the other 7 to a scroll down the monitor, as shown in the this screenshot [taken from Blogstorm]:

Google Hotspot

Whilst Blogstorm are analysing this move with interest, justgoogleit are concerned that Google are moving away from their unofficial ‘don’t be evil’ motto.

Could it be that Google are limiting the impact of appearing in the organic top 10 and putting more emphasis on the top 3? Why would they do this I hear you ask. Well, they do not make money from people’s SEO endevours. Not one penny. Yet, their advertising platform, including Adwords, raked in $16.4bn of Google’s $16.6bn revenue for 2007 [image from Zdnet]:

Google Revenue 2007

In this current worldwide economic crisis, have Google seen a way to keep the money rolling in? Are businesses being forced to turn to Adwords in hope of getting prominent frontpage expsoure?

Maybe we’re just being cynical, but Google maybe turning…

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