One big trend that I really don’t like is happening in Google’s SERPs. Namely, the diminishing need to leave the SERPs.
On the surface, the products and technologies that Google is pushing out the door seem OK – AMPs speed up the delivery of web content, rich snippets offer a smoother UX, and killing the idea of a longhand URL seems innovative. But the more I see of these changes, the more I realize that the end result is a search economy that leaves users (searchers and content publishers alike) stripped of their power to choose the sources they’ll trust.
I’ve had several conversations with other marketers about the decreasing value and increasing complexity of content publishing – particularly when it comes to websites. My observation is that every innovation coming from Google right now is designed to make it easier to kill the idea of having a standalone website, and marketers are so preoccupied with keeping up that they don’t seem to care where Google is trying to take the web.
While I would much prefer a decentralized web, it doesn’t look like I have much power to offer any alternative to marketers or businesses. We’re left with simply doing what Google requires. Asking a question and getting an answer sounds simple and efficient, but soon we may miss the days where that process of finding answers was an exercise in freedom of thought.