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Will Google close sales directly from Search?

Tom Amitay - Organic marketing & SEO expert
By Tom Amitay
Kirsty Macdougall - Editor for Entail
Edited by Kirsty Macdougall
Romi Hector
Fact-check by Romi Hector

Published June 13, 2024.

Will Google close sales directly from Search?

Key takeaways

  • Bard's (now Gemini) integration into Google will enhance Search accuracy and personalized shopping.
  • Google is moving closer to the point of purchase.
  • Businesses with a strong brand presence are likely to benefit.
  • Direct sales from Search may blur the lines between SEO and social media.
  • Google must carefully consider the long-term impacts of its decisions.

Google's latest integration, Gemini, promises to revolutionize the search experience. Its ability to understand more specific user intents will improve search results and personalized shopping experiences. This has the potential to transform e-commerce and redefine the sales funnel.

But the question remains: Will Google close sales directly from Search?

Gemini's integration into Search is set to drastically enhance the accuracy of search results and provide the most optimized content.

By understanding more specific user intents, Gemini can provide better results, opening up the possibility for more precise search queries.

For instance, instead of searching for "women's running shoes," users can now ask Gemini for running shoes suitable for a woman of a certain weight, height, place of residence, and fitness level. Gemini's responses can then be embedded with products and ads, making them more relevant and precise.

Screenshot of Google Bard results for transactional search

Google gave this explanation as to how the company makes money through advertising:

A quote from Google: Search ads only make money for Google if they are useful

This development presents a significant opportunity for Google to increase ad clicks and, consequently, ad revenue. Brands might lean towards using Google more due to better results, and there's also an opportunity for SEO to get products and content ranking within Gemini's answers more frequently.

Google stands to benefit significantly from this, as Google Search Ads account for 58% of their total revenue—which equated to a staggering $162 billion in 2022.

Breakdown of Google's total revenue in 2022

Google's move down the sales funnel

Google is delving deeper into the sales funnel. In the past, Google primarily provided informational search results directing users to external websites to purchase products. However, with the advanced capabilities of Gemini, users can now directly interact with Google by describing their product preferences.

As a result, Google can provide tailored recommendations within the search results themselves. This significant development brings Google much closer to the point of purchase, potentially disrupting the existing online shopping ecosystem.

Is this a move closer to monopolization?

This advancement also raises concerns about Google's potential monopolization of the market. Google already occupies over 92% of the search engine market share, so a move to control every aspect of the search and purchase process could be highly detrimental to its public image.

To avoid this, it might be beneficial for Google to allow other players in the market to continue making money. For instance, letting other platforms handle negotiations with suppliers would ensure a more diverse and competitive market.

With more precise control over the traffic, Google can potentially charge higher prices for advertising and other services, maximizing its revenue.

» Find out how ChatGPT will impact Google's revenue.

How will this affect businesses?

Screenshot of Google's Search Generative Experience

Google's new Search Generative Experience has the potential to benefit businesses that offer quality products and have a strong brand presence. With users able to ask more specific questions, companies may see an increase in sales, as customers can find products with the exact intent to purchase.

One advantage for businesses is improved accuracy in paid advertising targeting.

An expert quote: Click-through rates will improve thanks to Bard

Although paid advertising might improve, businesses must ensure they rank within Gemini's results and that their products fit within the search scope.

The future of SEO

Closing sales directly from Search could blur the lines between SEO and social media. Brands will need to focus on providing authentic and unique perspectives to rank well within Google's results.

Collaboration with influencers may become essential, and traditional publishers may need to adapt to the rise of alternative social media channels.

As user preferences shift towards authenticity and personal experiences, search algorithms may prioritize engaging content over topical authority. To thrive in the evolving landscape, businesses should embrace authenticity, unique perspectives, and compelling storytelling to achieve SEO success.

» Discover the impacts of AI on topical authority.

Screenshot of products in Google's search results from Google I/O 2023

This is the million-dollar question. While already powerful in sectors like hotels and flights, disrupting the ecosystem could have uncertain outcomes.

If Google starts controlling content creation and extracting more revenue from Search, brands may seek alternatives.

Platforms like TikTok are already positioning themselves as viable alternatives to Google. Brands are vital for Google's discovery-driven content, but exclusion may drive them to other platforms. Platforms like TikTok that provide engaging videos may prove to be a more viable option for certain brands.

Therefore, Google must carefully consider actions, experiment, and anticipate long-term effects. There are no guarantees, as people will shift to a better alternative if one emerges.

An expert quote: Google is seeking solutions to social media taking over search

Uncertainties and opportunities: What lies ahead for Google?

While the decision to close sales directly from Search remains uncertain, the e-commerce landscape is on the brink of significant transformations. Google must carefully navigate these challenges to maintain its position as a leading search engine while providing value to users and businesses alike.

In addition, companies must be prepared to adapt and embrace the opportunities that arise in response to unfolding developments.