Google is poised to completely alter how websites market themselves over the next year. While easing users into changing search results pages, Google has also designed a new method for websites to structure data so that its crawler can better pull information. This is a tremendous strategy. Google doesn’t need to own all of the information in the world, but does own the methods of accessing that information — as well as the ability to advertise to people who use that access.Search results will include more direct information. Early in 2012, Google will expand how it incorporates data into its search results. For search queries that are direct questions, it will no longer be necessary to click through to a website. In Google’s parlance, it’s like getting both the search results and the immediate result of the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button at once. It’s not hard to see how this is better for the average Google user. Questions will be answered faster and more simply. No parsing of information will be required. This change, however, will take value away from marketers who rely on visitors clicking through to deeper pages.
Google is looking to collect more data by providing ways for website owners to structure their information so that it can be easily read by a computer. Google’s plans revolve around metadata (literally, special data encoded in the page) that will allow it to access more rich data about a topic, including hours of business, names of products, and virtually anything else that you can think of. Marketers will see better search rankings if they document information using this new format
Google’s activity in the second half of 2011 represents just the beginning of the changes that it will be pushing throughout 2012 as it establishes even stronger relationships with its partners, affiliates, and advertisers. While this happens, every marketer on the web will need to carefully consider and revisit how they are positioned with the search giant and its interests. Google Will Change Web Marketing in 2012 by Brian Whalley