Google News! End of an era for Market Research companies?

Single word answer – No!

Remember those good old days when market research companies discovered the untapped potential of Google News? Just publish a PR and ‘bam!’ it’s there on Google News index within seconds. 5-10 minutes after posting there was a tonne of traffic and easy leads. The sales team occupied round the clock in 3 shifts covering APAC, EMEA and Americas. The SEO and digital marketing teams turned into robots slamming 1000s of PRs on WordPress backends 24×7. Automated php based systems churning out PRs by just replacing keywords. Templates being stolen from other companies and posted, reposted, rewritten, and reposted. Good old core digital marketing and SEO gone down the drain. The bosses buying high-end cars, going on foreign trips, yearly company award functions and what not.

PR companies popping up here and there to provide easy access to Google News sites. While the leaders in the PR business charged a premium, many small-time players charged few cents to publish a single PR. Investments of as little as USD 1000 per month yielded 10-fold returns in a jiffy.

Life was good! It was like a tunnel of easy money with no end in sight. Salaries were not an issue. Employee poaching a routine thing. New companies rising on every nook and corner.

In this buzz of lead flow, negotiations, loads of sales and bank account full of USD everyone forgot that at the end of the day Google rules them all.

Come December 2019 and the gates of hell started to open. The old-styled Google News approvals stopped. Warnings were given but not heeded to. The Covid-19 pandemic added fuel to the fire. Employees were let go – not the robots – but the content teams that added some sanity to this “keyboard slamming” teams. With content teams gone or reduced in size, content repetition took over big time.

Cry for help from market research companies were listened to by PR providers. Prices reduce further and PRs were flowing freely on the web. Google algorithms working overtime across the world to weed out spamming sites. Thousands of sites removed in a matter of few weeks. So, who’s to blame?

Google? The Market Research Companies? The PR companies? Covid-19?

Take your pick, but the blame game isn’t going to solve your problems. Content will!

Evolve or get dissolved!

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