27 Dec Q. SEO has of late been used for manipulating customers. Do you agree? I was reading a book where it was mentioned that there are serious privacy concerns with Google. With companies vying with each other for grabbing customer’s attention, what do you think about paid searches? Which do you prefer/ recommend – paid search options or organic search options ?
Very Interesting question with multiple angles. Marketing techniques and tactics are generally not aimed at manipulating customers. While 3-4 years back there emerged a slew of companies which were tried to game SEO, Google has constantly strived to keep them in check with multiple and regular changes to their algorithms- Case in point is their latest RankBrain release which is shifting the landscape again. That said, privacy concerns have always shrouded online marketing and this aspect will continue to gain prominence due to the inherent nature of marketing which strives to gain access to consumer data which conflicts with consumer’s interest to maintain privacy. On paid Vs organic question, I believe there is a power-tussle between digital behemoths and marketers, where any popular digital platform will try to monetize by giving prominence to paid ads, once they have gained confidence of consumers and marketers. According to me, digital marketing is going in a direction where marketers will have lesser choice between paid/organic and to be online they would prominently need to include paid advertising on each of their active platforms rather than only targeting organic reach. We would start seeing this power shift towards brands having to go for paid ads on major platforms more and more in coming times.