Google Ends PR and Starts OpenSocial,

Over the past two weeks there have been some significant changes that as internet based marketers we can’t ignore.

Pulling the facts and the rumours together it would look like Google just put itself at the hub of Web 2.0 just after making some sweeping PR rank changes that will lead to quite a few website models to suffering financially.

On the flip side those web based businesses based on solid content and principles look set to prosper even more!

Here’s what I know that you need to keep an eye on. Peter Kafka of Silicon Alley Insider reported earlier that Myspace was joining the Google OpenSocial movement. If you haven’t come across that yet read his post on how OpenSocial looks set to flatten Facebook . As it was so nicely put over at techcrunch. Checkmate? MySpace … “Suddenly, within just the last couple of days, the entire social networking world has announced that they are ganging up to take on Facebook, and Google is their Quarterback in the big game.”

This really struck me as something powerful but I didn’t twig just how important this was until a post by Seth Godin explained it. It allows users to take their social graph with them from one site to another. – Now that does open up some marketing opportunities.

So how might this relate to PR Changes.

The waters are a little muddy still and there are lots of thoughts and rumours doing the rounds. Some folk are pulling thier hair out as they have lost page rank. Wow.

With some notable exceptions, whatever changes Google made look to have been targeted at paid link sites and link farms. It’s not unexpected as far as I’m concerned as it is probably a continuation of Googles stated aim to improve search result quality.
<Side Note> I’m going to draw my line in the sand here regarding the use of duplicate content … on any type of site. While the search bots may find and list your content initially, as more data comes in and the numbers get crunched your visibility will decrease. Try thinking further ahead than 3 months.

What did catch my eye was a rumour that Google will be doing away with PR altogether at some point in November. This will of course have some SEO folks running round in circles crying blue murder but it will apparently be replaced with an alternative called VR or visitor rating. If all of this is bang on the money then your PR toolbar will be reset to zero and phased out to be replaced with a VR toolbar. (someone start writing a book on how to 🙂 ).

Then as if that wasn’t enough to contend with, in the same article I find that Google are going to make sweeping changes to the adsense model that’s going to have millions of plain adsense site owners income slashed to almost nothing. Or not?

Here’s the principle (and don’t forget this is still a rumour at the moment). Instead of getting paid when your adsense ad is clicked once … now that person will have to click TWICE. {Click: – [box with message says] = HEY you’re clicking an advert! Do you really want to do that? Yes or No?}

That’s going to make people think isn’t it?

At first glance this looks like it’s going to rip the market and income will suffer and to start with some sites may see a decrease. However, people are funny creatures and we soon get used to change. The other argument is that because this will reduce click fraud the actual amount Google would be able to pay may actually go up.

By combining their dominance of Web 2 with improved adsense/adwords algorithms and introducing visitor generated page ranking in favour of link ranking. I can see you will end up paying more per valid click through from user valued sites.

The future looks very interesting for certain website income models. What do you think?

Kevin Polley has been involved with computers and the internet since 1997. Apart from being an accomplished ecommerce consultant he is also highly experienced in Organic Search Engine Optimization techniques.

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