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As many of you have heard, Google is undergoing some big organizational changes, which it announced on its official blog on Monday. In summary, Google will be a subsidiary of the newly founded Alphabet, Inc., which will also include Calico, Google Ventures, Google Capital, Google X, and other subsidiaries that will be segmented mainly based on product. Google itself will appoint Sundar Pichai as CEO and focus on the more technical products, such as Chrome, YouTube, Android, and of course, Search. In other words… holy smokes.
So what does this mean for those of us who live and breathe digital marketing?
Firstly, it means to expect a few more changes in the interim. What do I mean by more changes? Larry Page stated, “We’ve long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes. But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.” So yes, more changes.
A big organizational shift like this no doubt means lots of shifting sands and rippling consequences, the first of which we’re all thinking: what about Search Engine Marketing? What would be the future of Search? As quoted from Larry Page’s post: “This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main Internet products contained in Alphabet instead.” From an objective standpoint, it seems Google itself will be devoted to maintaining the user base and functionality of Google’s core products (Search, Android, and YouTube) while Larry and Sergey will continue to innovate with new products at Google X, which will be another subsidiary of Alphabet. Search, in other words, is secure and stable at the present, and there shouldn’t be a sudden shift in the market dynamic. However, it is possible that perhaps sometime in the future, Alphabet could shift the focus away from search engines and devoting more dollars to creating new products.
Secondly, it means to expect some eventual improvements to come in the long-term. After all, this organizational shuffle is aimed at improving accountability and streamlining technological innovation. Each product will have its own leadership, which arguably serves for greater efficiency and efficacy. This will make Google more responsive and more adaptive, as each team will be specialized to its product, and each company will operate with greater independence. Sundar Pachai has demonstrated a good track record running these core products in the past, in focusing on improving user experience. The same could be said for many of the newly appointed leaders of Alphabet’s subsidiary companies. This means that more resources can be dedicated to keeping us digital marketers happy.
Last but not least, it means this is no reason to fear for your job. After all, Search has been identified as a core focus for Google and is the naming inspiration for Alphabet. It is a reaffirmation of sorts, of the importance of search over side-projects, such as the Google self-driving car. Overall, the market has responded positively to Google’s announcement, causing Google’s shares to jump 4% in the hour immediately following the release of the blog post. If these figures are any indication, the future outlook for digital marketing seems just as positive as before, if not more so.