Google has found it exceedingly difficult to attract established B&M small business advertisers. Google AdSense, while simple to guys like us, is not necessarily easy, and operating an advertising program well takes time and attention. These are stumbling blocks for most small business owners.
The advantage for newspapers in selling low-cost, low-touch advertising are local relationships.
But Google isn’t going to give up, and Greg Sterling observes that Google Apps may be the gateway into SMB hearts.
Google isnâ€™t going to be able to convert the majority of those SMB Apps users into advertisers but it will acquire some of them. And as it grows the overall base of Apps users, Google will likely gain new SMB advertisers accordingly. This is the secondary benefit for Google of beefing up the productivity suite. Further, it reinforces Googleâ€™s brand and usage as well as creating more ad inventory in selected cases. And it could prove, over time, to be a reasonable and cost-effective way to more deeply penetrate the SMB market.
Are you ready to trust Google with all your proprietary business data? Apparently, a lot of businesses are.
Google’s motto is famously, “don’t be evil,” and for the time being, I personally believe that Google is largely not evil and as well intentioned as any for-profit business. I believe Sergey and Larry genuinely want to be both helpful and profitable. That said, Google won’t be growth juggernaut into infinity. Eventually, the growth engine slows and investors become restive. What then? What pressures will Google executives face to better leverage all of the data in its stores?
Just a thought …