Google is synonymous with search, and due to its overwhelming dominance, nearly everything a search engine optimising professional does is to ensure we comply with best practice, and avoid the penalties.

One such best practice is the use of structured markup – using tags to define the context of content – which helps Google (and other search engines) understand products, events, people, etc, which helps them to deliver more relevant search results.

But a problem is looming. Google doesn’t want to just serve up relevant search results in order to drive visitors to the right website. Google wants to display that relevant information whilst keeping visitors to themselves.

Try a search for “credit cards” and the number one search result (behind the paid adverts of course – Google doesn’t want to bite the hands of those who pay it money), is an entry to “Compare credit cards with Google”. How long before searchers get the option to “Compare low power MCUs with Google”?

This is an example of an “informational search” where the intent is purely research. What about transactional searches, where the intent is to buy?


Search for a Cortex M3 and Google provides a list of brand options, prices, and sellers. On its shopping tab, Google presents search results using the same model as used for AdWords, merchandisers have to pay to play.

Based on this scenario, Google has the ability to help the users choose between chips provided by various manufacturers, then provide the user with purchasing options.

So electronics distributors have a problem. Battling with direct competitors for number one spot in Google entails giving Google everything it needs to keep potential customers away from them.

Think it can’t happen with the electronics industry? Think again. Giant companies have a habit of diversifying, and trying to tap into the riches of unrelated industries. Amazon have already encroached into the industrial engineering markets with Amazon MRO.

Google itself has a long diverse history of ploughing resources into unfamiliar territories, and buying companies that it believes will provide competitive advantage. Sometimes these are in directly related fields, but other times the link is less obvious – such as their acquisition of robotics companies, artificial intelligence, and home automation systems.

Is big brother watching you? Not just watching, but learning too. Then serving up a personalised advert that follows you through cyberspace, provides you with a plethora of buying options, and delivers your purchase through an autonomous army of quadcopters*.

* Disclaimer: pure conjecture.