Google is no longer the biggest name in digital technology – that title will now go to Alphabet, the newly formed parent company set up by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. So, while Google Search won’t be going anywhere, it’s now officially one of many smaller parts of the much larger Alphabet umbrella company.
Needless to say, the announcement, which came on Monday, has become the biggest talking point in all things tech and Google shares have soared over the last couple of days. But what will Google (sorry Alphabet’s) new “operating structure” mean for us little old marketers and business owners?
Google gets smaller (but also bigger at the same time)
In the words of Larry Page himself, “Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google.” At least this will be the case for now, while the firm’s internet products remain the largest focus of its business plans.
Page tells us that Google as we know it has been “slimmed down” to focus on these internet technologies, while the company’s ventures outside of the web will come under the larger Alphabet collection.
So Google is getting smaller, or at least more focused, but the reorganisation under a parent company has precisely the opposite goal in mind. Google had already expanded far beyond the online world into a range of new technologies, science and research – something that will only continue – and Alphabet gives the firm a free reign to expand as it likes.
The impact on search, marketing and online advertising
Google’s main source of revenue is still online advertising and, as the biggest company under Alphabet, it’s hard to imagine any drastic changes overnight – at least for us marketers and business owners.
The slimmed down Google will maintain all of its ad-driven services: Google Search, AdWords, Maps, YouTube, Android and so on. After all, this is where the money that funds other ventures all comes from and this won’t change in a hurry.
Google does have a new CEO in the form of Sundar Pichai though, as Larry Page moves on up to fill the same role under Alphabet. But it’s a conservative choice at best, with Pichai having been groomed for the role by Page for a number of years.
The biggest changes will be away from search
Google has grown beyond the realms of search and within a few days of announcing Alphabet the firm’s Life Sciences group signed a deal with Dexcom to create devices for people with diabetes. Life Sciences is one of the major Google expansions beyond search and the reorganisation under Alphabet gives it the freedom to fully explore such avenues.
So the biggest changes will be away from search, which will presumably carry on the same course. What will be interesting to see is how far Google’s online ad income can fund the expanding Alphabet. Because, if the conglomerate can’t find or develop another source of income, we’ll be facing an online world even more dominated by ads and self-promotional content from Google, .