Google’s Netflix Moment?

Everyone remembers the moment when Netflix got a little too big for their britches.

“Hey everyone! We’re jacking up your rates. Now give us some love!”

Then they followed it up with this epic announcement:

“Hey guys, sorry about that rate thing. We really didn’t have a choice because the cost of content is skyrocketing. But check out this new Qwickster thing!”

If you’ve watched the stock price over the past several months and the disappearance of their profits you know they have certainly paid a price for their stupidity. As I watch Google’s recent decisions it’s as if I’m watching a slow moving freight-train headed for a cliff. It’s a Netflix moment, but in super-slow-mo.

I recently commented that Google was getting an little too big for their britches. Here is more proof: Google is now going after sites with too many ads above the folds of their web pages by penalizing their search rankings. You’d think before such an announcement they’d at least take a look in the mirror:

Google SERP - Above the Fold

On your standard, run-of-the-mill SERP page, there are ads everywhere. Even in the non-ad area, half the links above the fold are to Place pages which are Google product. You can even see blue markers in the map at the top-right of the page that are ads. Don’t get me wrong, I hate ad-heavy sites as well. And increasingly, I’m disliking Google’s ad-too-heavy search engine result pages. Of the 73 things I counted that you can click on, only 17 were either not ads or not links to other Google products or pages. That’s less than 25% of non-Google content on a SERP. That, my friends, is the only reason Google’s stock price has increased over the past several years.

Google, it’s time you looked at yourself in the mirror. If you don’t you’re going to end up like Netflix. It was the techy, early-adopters that made you. When they move on to the next shiny new object, it’ll be the same group that unmakes you.

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