Is Google Taking a Stab at Content Marketing?

Google, the search engine powerhouse, provides billions of search results each day to satisfy inquiring minds all over the world. We have come to rely upon and trust them through search but what about for content? Would we extend our trust in them if they provided content like Yahoo or AOL? While Google has thwarted any ideas that they are becoming a content provider, we can only wonder about the launch of Google Beat.

Google Beat Launch

Google Beat, a new video series that features Anne Espiritu, was launched last week that focuses on the most popular or as Google’s Emily Wood, Editor, Google Blog Team says “highlights some of the hottest searches on Google in the U.S.” The data is pulled from Google Trends, Google Insights for Search as well as some “additional sources” to give some insight into what was searched the previous week.The previous week? Really? Ok so the video is solely and exclusively search stats, right?

As you can see, there is a bit of content that has been added to the video that is providing news and not just indexing it. Ms. Espiritu discusses how the salmonella outbreak left hundreds of people sick. This is minor but is it really? If Google is only indexing searches then how did they know how many did take ill? People could have searched for “salmonella outbreak left hundreds sick” but she did not give stats for that search query. I may be taking this a bit far but the video is last week and with over 28,000 views we cannot ignore the fact that people are tuning in to see that Google has to say on Google Beat.

Google Beat, A Marketing Video

Google’s Gabriel Stricker , via the LA Times blog, described the new service as a “marketing video.” Marketing last weeks news? Marketing the Google products that we are using? Don’t get me wrong here, I like the video and look forward to seeing more of them as it is a reminder of what did happen last week. My friends say that once you hit 40, the warranty on your memory has lapsed so a reminder is welcomed. But Google is to smart for that. They are indexing pages a blink of an eye and provides real time search results but yet Google Beat is a marketing video that is a week old? Maybe I am being too harsh here but at the same time when they are launching new products, changing algorithms and ranking blogs to #1 quickly (I like that) I cannot help myself but think that there is more to this.

What do you think? Is Google entering the world of providing content and not just indexing it? Would you trust them?

  • Suzanne,

    As you say, do we honestly care about the hot trends of last week? The content is polished and professional, but to be honest doesn’t really give me much reason to go back and watch more episodes!

    I would like to see a real-time live video podcast from Google HQ talking about the here and now, about the latest tweets and Facebook updates shaping the discussions we’re all having. That would be something I’d tune in for.

  • I agree with you and Josh finding out of the past week searches might not be of much interest to many of the people I interact online (I thought that was what mainstream media did already). Just like Josh said if it was Real time it would make more sense.

    Either way I think as Google keeps on maturing they will be moving into areas where they still don’t dominate and reinventing themselves. Maybe this might be attractive for a crowd that is not reading blogs or still don’t want to give up the mainstream media way of informing people. On my side I hardly tap into physical newspapers, watching the evening news and other type of media which is a few or many steps behind of what is streaming online via social networks, microbloggin, or blogs.

    As for Trusting Google I have a good friends that always says:

    ” Trust No one, Love Everyone, and their are always exceptions to the rule (although few)”

    So I would not Trust Google Completely but I do love their products and their way of jumping into things even when they don’t succeed (ex. Google Wave).

  • Google certainly has the audience and access to information to release regular content, so this seems to make sense on a certain level. Only time will tell if Google Beat will stick and be a regular occurrence, or simply a side project. Perhaps last week is only a starting point and content will become more recent over time as traction is built?

  • Josh

    Great idea about the real time video podcast. I do not really get this at all as it is last week or whenever they post a vid news. As a business or consumer why do I care so much about what trended or was hot last week? Like I said, they are too smart for this so something is coming.

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I really appreciate it.

  • Raul

    I just think they are testing the waters here and seeing the reaction. It would be a good move for them to go into some content as they are indexing it so why not report on it? Seems like a good match to me but then again consistency would be key here for them to gain that trust.

  • I agree consistency is the key. Enjoy your weekend!