Forget the Computer Age or the Internet Age, centuries from
now our current time will probably be referred to as the
Google Age. This assumption is not exactly a great leap
of faith; Google has quickly permeated into mainstream
culture to become an underlying factor of everyday life,
a tightly woven backdrop to our lives.

But never make the mistake of trying to define Google
as just a search engine or you will miss the true calling
of this little “Backrub”, which was the original name used
by its founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1996.

Google as we now know it debuted in 1998. The name Google
is a twist on the word Googol, a number represented as 1
followed by 100 zeros. After everything is said and done,
it will more than likely refer to Google’s net worth —
monetary or otherwise.

But forget search engine, for regardless of the founders’
intentions or company’s objectives, Google is and has always
been the ultimate marketing machine. A massive marketing
machine that is just now gearing up and aiming for more
and more lofty heights. These heights seem to increase
each day as Google quietly rolls out program after program.

All noble ambitions aside, Google is the perfect marketing
machine. Google has no equals, and it is very close to getting
a stranglehold on the real power behind all marketing, which
is information.

Marketing is information. Information is marketing.

Great marketing is supplying the right information at the
right time. Google more than any other entity on the web
or in the world, for that matter, fulfills this criterion
at its very core. Google is re-writing the book on how
products are marketed.

Google now has over 60% of the search traffic in the U.S.,
with a staggering 7.3 billion monthly searches. In some countries
Google’s search share is 80% or more. (Source: comScore) Those
webmasters who have number one keyword listings in all three
of the major search engines will know Google is the only game
worth playing because it delivers by far the most traffic.

While MSN and Yahoo! are still major players and are listed
in the top 5 traffic sites on the web, what most people don’t
realize is that (unlike the other two) almost all of Google’s
traffic is search traffic. From a marketing perspective this
is extremely important since search traffic can deliver the
highest conversions (sales) mainly because it lets you capture
the potential customer or client when they are in the right
mindset to buy or to perform an action.

Obviously the key to successful marketing is finding the
buyers and clients for your products and services. Google
has forged itself as the ultimate “middleman” as more and
more of the world’s business is performed in cyberspace.
And as everyone knows the “middleman” can reap huge profits
and hold enormous power.

Google, within its AdSense program, now offers CPA or Cost
Per Action where marketers can now receive larger returns
for displaying Google’s links on their webpages. As any
professional marketer will tell you, you can get 10 times
the revenue by promoting affiliate products rather than the
AdSense code on your sites. But by adding CPA and other
affiliate products within the AdSense program, Google has
made it more attractive to serious online marketers.

Another step in that same direction is Google’s acquisition
of DoubleClick, which includes the massive online affiliate
marketing network Performics. This means Google can now bring
any customer full-circle from initial search to checkout.

This may have dire consequences for large, lucrative third-party
affiliate networks like Commission Junction and LinkShare.
Online marketing and ecommerce is growing at a blistering rate,
and the company that controls the majority of these transactions
will wield enormous power. Will make the Medici look like paupers.

Those marketers who have managed to acquire number one listings
for their targeted keywords in Google’s organic search are
smiling all the way to the bank. Mainly because Google commands
enormous trust with the surfing/buying public and this is
demonstrated through higher conversion rates. Likewise,
those who have mastered the AdSense and AdWords programs
will know Google is an excellent source of online income.

Most of the complaints against Google stems from its PageRank
system, which is supposed to be Google’s version of online
democracy in action, a link is a vote for your page or content.
The higher the number of links, the higher your page will be
ranked in Google’s index or SERPs — Search Engine Results Pages.

So far Google has played fair, giving even the smallest webmaster
the opportunity to capture top Google listings if they produce
superior or popular content to the surfer. Some would even argue
Google’s recent crackdown on sites offering paid-links can be
seen as evening the playing field for the small webmaster or
marketer who obviously doesn’t have the economic clout or
resources to buy their way to the top of Google’s listings.

Keyword rankings may be the ultimate equalizer and determiner
of online wealth. Those who can reach the top positions for
their chosen profitable niche keywords will have companies
and service providers lining up to do business with them.
The fallout can prove extremely lucrative for both parties.

However, few marketers or webmasters forget who is really
holding the cards; Google controls all steps along this
marketing tunnel with its search listings, AdWords and
AdSense programs. The only dark spot on the horizon could
be monopoly issues, but Google probably has enough reservoirs
of public goodwill and deep enough corporate pockets to squash
any claims.

As Google’s dominance in the search market becomes greater,
Google will have control of all segments of the online
marketplace. Why should Google stop there, why not go into
Radio, TV… as the Internet gradually mutates into a
billion+ interactive TV channel universe (as many believe
it will) who do you think will be at control central
offering you a nice free remote?

Then there is also Google’s planned broadband 700 MHz bid;
one can only speculate on Google’s intentions. But Google
must find a way to transmit its information at no cost to
its users. Could it mean free wireless Internet for everyone
on free Google boxes or gadgets of some form, usable and
accessible anywhere in the world? Anything is possible because
the stakes are so astronomical and the marketing revenue so
vast, Google must get its information seamlessly and instantly
to the end user at all costs.

One can only guess at the enormity of the marketing power
Google will yield in coming years as the Internet slips
out of its teen years. But it won’t be just marketing,
the influence of Google on all aspects of our lives will
probably grow exponentially and that influence will be huge.

For the true power of Google is only just now beginning to
be glimpsed; only as more and more of the Google pieces
fall into place will we truly fathom what life will be
like in the Google Age. Google’s power, reverence and
respect will no doubt be so enormous it may lead some
to make comparisons to a higher power that has guided
most of the life on this planet so far. Which could also
lead one to muse, at least they got the first two letters