Just last week we wrote about the escalating situation between Google (and Facebook) and the Australian government, labelling the government’s moves as a clear threat to the way Australians use the internet every day.
Far from presenting a risk to just small media businesses, Google restricting search in Australia could spell death for hundreds (if not thousands) of Australian businesses small, medium and maybe even large.
Google is one of the largest – if not the largest – lead generators for business in the digital age, and there’s some 2.3 million Australian businesses relying (in part) on Google search to bring organic traffic through their virtual doors.
Adam Boote, Director of Digital and Growth at LocalSearch, says that Google received just over 91% of all online searches last month (December 2020), with the remaining 9% divided between Bing, Yahoo!, Baidu, YANDEX and others. While some marketing specialists optimise for Bing and other platforms, the vast majority optimise for Google, and for obvious reasons.
If Google were to remove Google Search from Australia – as it has threatened to do – then Australian business is going to have to re-learn how to position itself for search relevance. On top of this, there will be a scramble as local users choose between remaining local search providers, but it seems likely that Bing would probably be the likely major beneficiary of Google leaving.
Why is it so important that Google remain?
Organic Google searches is one of the only online platforms where even the smallest business can compete with the big corporations. Small business owners don’t even need financial investment on their part if they upskill themselves on the intricacies of organic ranking.
If you are a newer business, this could be the make or break for your business.
Now, imagine you don’t have the money to invest in paid marketing just yet, so you’re relying on building your organic — and then the organic methods are taken away.
Where are you left standing?
The short answer will be in a very unpleasant place, as leads dry up, further money needs to be invested in search optimisation and lead development, and smaller businesses without the buffer will simply wither and fail.
Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that.