Everything that happened on Day 1 of Google I/O. Google’s search dominance could hurt small businesses

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Well, as we expected, Google finally announced its new measures to handle cookie tracking. They also announced a whole lot of updates for several products. Although, there are concerns that it’s using its search dominance to limit small businesses.

Updates from Google I/O

Several new features have been released on the 1st day of the Google I/O developer conference.

We’ve picked some of them that are more relevant for marketers such as updates around top stories, images, Google Lens and more.

Let’s have a quick look at them.

Chrome’s new cookie handling: As we discussed yesterday, Google officially announced new Chrome tools for users to block or clear third-party cookies more easily. Also, a new browser extension that will show more information about everyone involved in ad transactions and tracking.

Browser Fingerprints: It announced new measures to restrict browser fingerprinting methods that are used as workarounds to keep tracking in place when users opt out of third-party cookies.

Incognito Mode in Maps: Like Incognito mode in a browser, the new Incognito mode in Google Maps will prevent your destination searches/routes from being saved to your Google account history.

Google 3D objects and AR: Augmented reality features are being added which will bring 3D objects into the search results. You will be able to view and interact with these 3D objects right there in the search results.

Google Lens: The ability to translate more than 100 languages, ability to read text out loud and the ability to highlight popular items on a restaurant menu.

Google Assistant: Google is bringing its AI-powered customer service tool Duplex to the web to help you with various tasks such as renting a car or buying movie tickets. A simple “Hey Google, let’s drive” will now shift Assistant into driving mode.

Google News: The top stories section from Google news will not just contain the most authoritative stories on the topics you searched about, but also the entire story timeline around the topic including playable podcasts. You will also be able to search within audio podcasts.

There are a bunch of other product launches and tech updates that you can read in detail here.

For more details about Chrome cookie handling and browser fingerprinting, check out this detailed article here.

Google’s attempt to fight Amazon e-com dominance could kill some affiliates

Doomsday? Not quite. Another clear sign that the only constant is change? Yes, pretty much.

It should come as no surprise that Google is always looking to use its search engine dominance, and that is becoming even more clear now that its advertising business is growing in strength.

Their latest experiment is one where publishers who rely on SEO and affiliate links could see their business model disappear.

Here’s what’s going on!

When searching for products, Google is experimenting with linking to a recommended shopping section where they feature products from smaller retailers. This move is mostly to fight Amazon because Google searches are still bringing up many Amazon results.

By taking this approach, Google wants to give smaller e-com sites a chance (and more rev for Big G itself, of course).

Sounds good, right? Well, not so much for Amazon affiliate sites relying on SEO, who could see themselves caught in the crossfire as their links get hit.

Let’s say you build a great review site for kitchen gadgets, and some of the best search traffic comes to you. All the products you review are from Amazon. When people search for product reviews, they come to your website before heading off to Amazon to buy the products via your links.

Well, if Google’s experiment becomes the norm, your results will get demoted in the search results to make room for direct sellers. Less traffic, less clicks, less revenue…

Google I/O. Google’s search dominance could hurt small businesses

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