Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Here's How Google Closes The Gates On Microsoft

Here’s how Google closes the Gates on Microsoft.

It is becoming obvious that trademark owners and brands do not like Google and search engines generating revenues from their names. The recent lawsuits, Geico, American Blind, Le Meridien, in my opinion, are just the start of a plethora of trademark suits. The keyword, pay per click revenue model will have to change.

It’s ironic that Le Meridien suit is the loss I think changes the search engine revenue model. Le Meridien is defined as “the act or process of stating a precise meaning or significance”.

This represents a significant threat to the revenues for all search engines. Trademark owners argue that the appearance of keyword ads with search results creates “initial interest confusion” on the part of the person doing the search.

According to a recent survey done by The Pew Internet and American Life Project, only one in six users of internet search engines can tell the difference between unbiased search results and paid advertisements. This is NOT what search engines want to hear with these lawsuits out there.

I would say “initial interest confusion” applies here.

Google and search engines are directing a searcher to a site based on a query using a TM and getting paid for it. The TM owner is justified in their suits because if a searcher is using a TM in the query, it is obvious they know what they want, but don’t know how to get there.

This can be solved very easily. It will also create the killer app search engine. This will solve both parties concerns and create the killer app platform of the future. By now working with trademark owners, the smart search engine that recognizes this will be the launching pad for mobile search.

Just like you have different domains for the Internet, .com, .net, and .org, there’s a registry coming that by providing a couple of identifiers will provide a number of ways (both PC or mobile) for the user thru many devices (barcode, RFID tag) to get to a specific site.

Just like Verisign and the EPC will create a registry for every RFID tag, there is a registry coming that will register every bar code, finger print, word, number. Every bar code, word, fingerprint, number will now have a targeted website by registering it.

How much is it worth for every search engine to have the power to access this database?

Here’s an example. Coke decides to register the word Coke in this registry. By registering the word Coke, Coke will now have the spoken word coke, every bar code on every can of coke and a special 2-d code created for Coke to promote traffic to www.coke.com. Each identifier offers a hyperlink to that site. This is Coke’s trademark; they own it and now have a few ways to market advertising to www.coke.com.

The bar codes are easy. By registering all of the coke barcodes, every time a bar code on any can of coke is scanned via a camera phone, or the number is typed in (PC or mobile), the user will be directed to www.coke.com (or whatever Coke is promoting that hour, day, week). The word Coke, in many “physical” forms, becomes a physical world hyperlink and a way to direct connect to the desired site. So if I’m coke I can now reach my target audience via TV, print, Internet and now mobile.

By combining the barcodes on every can of coke, a special 2-d code and the word Coke, Coke can now advertise and allow a unique direct connect to the specified website bypassing all search engines (both PC and mobile).

This poses a threat to all search engines.

The words Coke, and all trademarks, are not just simple keywords anymore. They are now a direct link from millions/billions of items in the physical world (and online) to a directed website.

Items can be advertised and linked directly to a targeted website, avoiding the search engine completely.

Once TM owners, brands have a way to direct the user to their targeted site, what will search engines do then? Search engines must tap into this direct connect ability and work in conjunction with this unique registry.

Here’s what I would do if I was a search engine. Instead of spending the next few years in court defending the way I used TM as keywords, I would use this conflict as a launching pad for many killer apps.

I’m Google, I have a great website that provides a great service. There really is no barrier to entry, no monopoly to my business. I generate revenue from brands and companies that advertise through me. So I want to make these companies happy and give the user the desired search results. I also know that Internet traffic is going mobile.

I know that when this unique registry gets implemented, brands will be able to advertise and bypass my search engine completely both on the PC and mobile.

So what would I do if I was Google?

Would I continue to auction off keywords and realize this business is going to get transformed, or would I want to own a business that sells keywords outright.

Would I limit my revenue abilities to the PC, or would I realize that in order to continue my advertising in the mobile space, I must be a part of this unique registry.

I would somehow incorporate this registry into my search window. I would offer on my search site, the ability to go directly to the TM targeted site in addition to the other search listing suggestions. This would be a unique search window. Google could share in the fees that TM pays to register and turn on all of their barcodes.

The brand /TM will be able to direct traffic thru Google’s site. This is ultimately what the TM suits are about. Google keeps the ability to generate revenues by putting sponsored links along side the search results. The sponsored link has to agree to put this unique Google search window somewhere on their site.

With advertisers agreeing to put this unique search window on their site (and they will), Google has now created a self-replicating search universe. This is a ubiquitous search engine. The Google search window will be put on millions of websites; there will never be a reason to leave.

TM owners get what they want, a direct connect feature on Google (or any search engine) site. Searchers get the ability to go to a targeted site. Sponsored link sites still get the ability to be placed on TM site searches.

What does Google get in return? Lots.

Google gets relief from upcoming trademark suits.

Google gets a cut of the registration fees generated every year from registering TM’s and other words. There are 3 billion unique barcodes, 3 million TM’s, and endless word phrases just waiting to be “turned on”.

Combine barcodes, TM’s and word phrases and the concept of bidding on these words are no longer an issue. You can BUY them. Granted, the TM Coke would only be for sale to the Coca Cola Corporation, but a word like soda or cola can now be purchased annually. The budget for your search engine advertising is fixed based on the words you buy.

Because you’re buying the words “Chicago pizza delivery”, you know what your advertising budget will be for the year AND you will be able to promote a direct connect to your website through many vehicles and identifiers with those three words.

When brands and small companies start registering these words, what will they in turn do? They will direct traffic to the search platform that allows these words to come alive.

Wouldn’t any search engine want this traffic?

Google gets Procter Gamble, Unilever, Coke and all the other brands to pay to promote traffic through your site. Hundreds of brand managers will direct traffic through your site.

The Google enhanced search window gets put on millions of websites, keeping the Google link intact. (Better than the Google toolbar service in my opinion. No need to download anything).

Imagine a Google search window on every website. The revenue deals could be huge here. The Google search window becomes ubiquitous.

Search traffic gets directed thru Google via brand advertising, which allows Google to keep being the premier search engine and charge higher rates for other keywords.

And best of all, Google will now get traction for their entrance into the mobile space. By typing, texting, snapping a pic, saying a word, Google will have the “navigation engine” for the mobile space.

Google has to realize that Internet traffic volume will be shifting to mobile devices and must be able to penetrate this.

Once someone clicks on a barcode, or types in a desired word, they wont have to go through a search engine to get to targeted site. What do search engines do then?

Going this route, Google won’t need a mobile OS to achieve the dominance in the mobile world.

By implementing and licensing this technology, Google can now dominate the Phase 2 of the Internet. This is where the physical world gets connected. Phase 2 is connecting every physical item to the Internet.

Think of what happens next.

Once these hyperlinks get turned on, the brand can bypass the search engine completely.

Every item in the physical world now becomes a hyperlink and offers endless marketing and commerce opportunities for Google if they participate in this unique registry. Google could create the killer app platform for both PC and Mobile.

Advertising is the golden goose for search. It will take on a completely different role once Internet traffic goes mobile (very soon).

There wont be 4 billion monthly searches done on a cell phone like there is on a PC. So how will search engines generate revenues from the lil screen for if it won’t be search? Brands are now taking a direct approach to reach their consumer.

Mobile marketing through SMS bypasses the search engine completely. Once a brand gets a users cell phone number and permission to market to them, they won’t need to spend endless dollars on buying keywords from a search engine.

So if I’m a search engine, I would try to somehow get involved with the brands and jointly promote this new registry. I would find a way to implement this platform and get on board.

Once Internet traffic truly goes mobile and all these physical world hyperlinks are turned on, the killer apps that get created are endless.

Those endless killer apps that get created, they are called M-commerce. Here’s your chance to dominate that space Google.

And all of this traffic could run though Google servers. Could this be why they have interest in dark fiber?

Think of the database that gets created from all of this traffic running through your servers and what Google could do with that. Those Google servers could be the Nielsen or Arbitron of the physical world traffic. What is that worth?

Google could now tell Coke how many people clicked on a can of Coke, from what location and what their cell phone number is. How many people clicked on an Elton John CD to hear his latest songs. The data that these physical world hyperlinks generate is enormous and invaluable.

To know the data of who, when, what and where of every cell phone user is the Golden Goose for mobile marketing. Google could have all of this by incorporating this unique registry into their search window.

Would Google like to be THE web analytics company for Phase 2 of the Internet?

In my opinion this information would be bigger than the revenues they generate from advertising. Mobile advertising is what’s coming next, and having this type of info will play a key role.

Google, here’s your chance to close the Gates on Microsoft once and for all. Microsoft execs and engineers have even called this technology “the next killer app” but are muddled in their own problems.

The killer app comes from implementing the killer platform. The killer platform is when every device has the ability to link every physical item to the net

It won’t matter if you’re using a Dell, Nokia, Samsung, Kyocera or Treo. It won’t matter if you’re operating Windows XP, Linux, Apple, Symbian, Palm or Windows CE.

When you realize that the database of Phase 2 of the Internet is 1000 times greater than Phase 1, then you will know the applications that come with it will be endless and much, much more lucrative than advertising with a search engine.

The company that discovers this “platform” first will have the operating system for Phase 2 of the Internet.

Who wants to have the Windows for Phase 2 of the Internet?

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