- Case Studies
Google vs Amazon: What’s the Beef?
Yes, it’s true—Google and Amazon are not BFFs. In fact, they are rivals, fighting for the top spot in all the things that matter in the virtual world: authority, web real estate, traffic, conversions…each mega-machine wants it all.
You would think that they wouldn’t be fighting for the same piece of the pie; after all, Google is a search engine and Amazon is a big store, right? The thing is, Amazon is cutting into Google’s search dominance and Google is cutting into Amazon’s retail dominance.
Searching = Shopping = Searching = Shopping
Type a search into Google—something like “blenders.” An Amazon link should appear as one of your top search results. And if you’re thinking about buying a blender but aren’t sure what kind to get, Amazon makes it very easy for you to compare models. When you decide on one, you can get it from Amazon really quickly—with free two-day shipping if you’re a prime member and possibly even the same day if you’re in a big metro area and you’re willing to pay an additional $5.99. Knowing all this, a lot of people bypass Google altogether and go straight to Amazon to search, buy, and ship their blenders—and boots, birthday presents, balalaikas, binders, and booster seats.
For a long time, Amazon has dominated this kind of find-click-get service. But Google has officially stepped on their turf with their new service, Google Express.
Google Express is a same-day delivery service available in Manhattan, San Francisco, West Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC. For either $4.99 per delivery, $10 a month, or $95 a year, you can get groceries, books, soap, dog food, and tons of other stuff delivered to you via Google. Amazon has a similar same-day service for groceries and a lot of its other products. Why has Google, a search engine, decided to compete with Amazon, a retailer? Because of that whole “skip Google and go straight to Amazon” phenomenon I mentioned earlier.
Stay Just a Little Bit Longer—and Click on Our Ads
If you don’t search on Google, you don’t see Google’s ads—and those ads are Google’s bread and butter (both of which, incidentally, you can get delivered to you by either Google or Amazon…but I digress). Google wants you to stay. Stay so you can see their ads and hopefully click on them. Google Express is a valiant attempt to give searchers the same instant gratification they get from Amazon.
Unfortunately, Google Express depends on its partnerships with brick-and-mortar stores. If the Barnes & Noble in your neighborhood doesn’t have a copy of The Great Game of Business that you told your boss you were going to read, Google can’t deliver it to you—but you can bet Amazon has it and can get it to you ASAP. And while you’re on Amazon ordering what you want, you’re seeing paid ads that correspond directly to your most recent Amazon searches (sound familiar?)…and if you’re a Prime member, you get free streaming movies, TV shows, and more. Considering all the benefits Amazon offers, it’s no wonder Google considers the retail behemoth its number one rival.
The Search Rumble in the Jungle
Amazon knows it’s got it good, but that hasn’t stopped it from hitting Google where it hurts. It’s getting ready to launch Amazon Travel, a service that (surprise) brings you exclusive low rates on hotel rooms and trips. Yep, another way to bypass Google.
So will this beef ever end? Doubtful. Expect more one-ups, acquisitions, product offerings, free stuff for subscribers, and other strategic moves as the fight for the hearts, minds, and clicks of searchers heats up.
*Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only. Do not attempt to navigate the search domination game without the services of trained SEO professionals.
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