Google Bombing & MarketingI’ve noticed a disturbing trend in display advertising and movie trailers recently: more and more advertising has the phrase “Google <search term here>” as part fo their packet.

Most recently was a trailer for the movie ‘2012’, which if you search for the term, will show a bunch of results for the olympics – however, since the film is very much still in pre-release stages, I’m assuming the marketing team behind the film hasn’t had time to set up the SEO (this is, if youdon’t already know – called Google Bombing).

There is sense in the manouvre – and it’s application leads to some disturbing conclusions. Firstly, the fact that advertisers are now chosing to display a keyword search through google instead of a web address suggests (very accurately, in my opinion) that viewers and readers are more likely to remember a keyword than an address proepr, no matter how simple it is.

However, this also implies that these agencies will actively subvert search results for that phrase during the marketing phase of the product – which is against Google’s terms of agreement, and should  get them sandboxed.

The idea that Google is a marketing medium as far as organic results are concerned and in part complicit in the matter leaves me wondering how trustworthy our search engines are regarding accurate representation of data. Further, Google’s dominance as far as their brand has become representative, if not synonymous with ‘The Internet’ cuold be leading to a most dreaded place.

Which brings me to my last point – how aware are consumers that the internet is more than just Google? The fact the brand name is a verb and 99% of the time the splash page for most users is the google search box gets me wondering whether there is wider understanding out there about what the internet actually is.

It’s a disturbing deduction – as Google’s brand becomes more prominent (and, for that matter, other portals – such as Live and Yahoo – if they could clean up their act), how far are we away from closed third-tier access to the net where the world wide web is so abstracted from it’s actual usage that we only browse the net through closed platforms (remember CompuServe & AOL)?

This has always been a concern for the mobile market – where browsers and portals are proprietary – but the application of this kind of thinking to search engines implies that it could spill out onto our desktops, where a freedom of choice has always (to an extent) existed.

Call me paranoid – but the idea that the www will split into factioning user-bases that are all cushioned by portalesque services makes me shudder, particularly since net neutrality is such a big issue at the moment.