This may be a controversial topic (and I hope this page gets indexed by Google)! However, I have the responsibility to write about this issue as a Make Money Online blogger because I have been sensing the risk of getting too dependent on Google when it comes to doing business online.
A lot of people believe that online business, in general, is a risk free and low investment get-rich-overnight option. Of course, I agree that in most cases it is a low investment business option but the chances of making it really big depends a great deal on certain factors and constraints most of which is enforced by Google.
Parameters that drive your online business success and risks involved
The following are some of the attributes that defines the success of your online business :-
#1 WWW Visibility
The visibility here means the search visibility. Unless you get good enough search traffic to your landing pages or blog, you may not be able to convert them into money. As a matter of fact, today most of the search traffic originates from Google and hence all the Search Engine Optimization tricks that you do is only towards impressing Google. I did not mean to say that SEO is bad – it can be considered as a campaign or propaganda that you anyway have to do for offline businesses as well. However, in most online cases it is biased and targeting Google alone.
#2 Monetization options
Most of the monetization (probably except email/social marketing) options available in the online business are highly linked to the page ranks and search ranks defined by Google. Be it paid reviews, text-link-ads or private ad sales, your advertisers will not pay you unless you have impressive page ranks in the books of Google.
And the leading PPC advertisement option – AdSense – is from Google and hence for many bloggers it’s like Google is the employer. Many of these AdSense subscribers, like my blogger friend Pradeep from the tech news blog, get banned from AdSense with no satisfactory explanation from the biggest search engine business on earth.
#3 Feed Subscription
Most of the blogs and websites use feed distribution services provided by Google Feedburner. Have you ever thought how life will be if this kind of free services discontinued? Would you like to miss your ‘3000 readers by Feedburner’ chicklet anytime?
#4 Online security
Most online business is vulnerable to hacking and phishing and hence your success depends on how good is your backup plan and risk mitigation.
#5 Social networks/media
Of late, the social media marketing is gathering momentum. Of course, Google’s own social network (Orkut) is not a big player here but Google can decide what sites to index or even whether to extend its advertising services to the competition. This may sound like extreme thinking but nothing impossible.
#6 Government policies
Of course, we know that the social networks and blogs do not have the same freedom and rights in all parts of the world. There are many countries that have banned several social networks and blog sites thereby putting those online entrepreneurs’ lives into misery.
#7 Email policies
If you are talking about Email marketing and campaigns your success will last only till the time somebody marks you a spammer and that gets picked by various Email filter software. With more and more open web patrolling (like OpenDNS) gathering momentum, the risk is increasing.
When you go online, many times you get to deal with unverified partners/vendors. I had a bitter experience earlier this year when an advertiser would not pay for the paid reviews I wrote for him. The case is the same with many services that you might offer online as well.
Over to you…
Now my questions are:
Will your online business still survive even if the Google services go down? Can you think of any alternative monetization instruments for your blog even though there are no search visitors?? How sustainable is your online business in general???
(God save beach bum who used to make $237,000 from Laptop before the recession hit!)