In a surprising admission this week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told popular website TechCrunch this week that some big changs are coming to the way we see search results. "Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance."
Schmidt is talking about Google's latest tool to help fight online spam - Author Rank. Soon all content creators such as bloggers, business owners and reporters - really anyone who creates new online content - can now claim that content as their own.
The steps to claiming the content are laid out in Google's own Terms of Service. One of the most important and interesting parts of the process is the integration of Google Plus. People have compared Google Plus to Facebook, some even calling it a 'Facebook killer'. While most people don't believe that will ever be the case, it should be noted that Google Plus is rapidly growing and is quikly gaining ground on its rival.
Will Hanke, the Amazon bestselling author of "How to Add Google Authorship to Your Wordpress Website" says this is just another in Google's arsenal of tricks to get business owners to use their system. "Telling business owners that if they don't utilize Google Authorship is a low move," Hanke says. "They are pretty much forced to do it or their business will suffer."
And suffer they will. Google currently holds over 70% of the US market share for search. With their other properties - Google Plus and YouTube for example - Google has business owners at their mercy.
"If you rely on the Internet for revenue, without Google you're sunk," says STLBeds owner Doug Belleville. "Play by their rules and they'll send you traffic. Don't, and it's bye bye business."