Do you still pay $3.00, $5.00, $10.00 per minute for international phone calls? Ever hear of Skype?

Of course if you were a business person who was paying $5.00/ minute for a phone call (if you still use the phone at all with email, SMS and your Blackberry in hand) you'd be working for the Government and have an unlimited budget. Oh wait, Governments are cutting back and getting smarter too...

So, I've been wondering how our Google is so much like the old AT&T (before the Break-Up), the old telephone monopoly which, to make a sale, to be in business, made you list in the yellow pages (EXPENSIVE), and pay the toll - the AT&T tax to use the phone.

Then, some brilliant Senator from Colorado (Timothy Worth actually) spoke to my University class way back in the early 80's about how AT&T was going to be broken up into the "Baby Bell's". How far we've come. I can't tell you the last time I've spent money on an overseas call for more than a few cents - or for free.

Today, the equivalent of getting your message out in the most expensive fashion possible is Google. I've heard it called the "Google Tax" that we small businesses are paying - in our business, we've been a big payer since 2000 of the Google Pay Per Click advertising - and you know what? It's gotten tougher, more expensive, and more difficult to deal with this equivalent of the old AT&T daily. What does a marketer do?

Books have been written (you know when a book is written to manage anything, PPC especially, or how to trade stocks, it's no longer an innovation) on how to manage this. Now, just last week, Microsoft and Yahoo announced a Joint Venture that's sure to challenge the Google dominated market.

Here are some frightening facts - did you know that:

  • AOL gets their ads served from Google Adwords
  • CNN & the Wall Street Journal are all part of the Google Network
  • MySpace is also part of the network (however this Rupert Murdock owned Company does have their own internal advertising as well - but it is much more expensive and required a much larger commitment than advertising as an individual on Myspace using Google).

That leaves some independents like:

  • Microsoft Bing
  • Yahoo - Now JV'd with Bing
  • Facebook
  • Craigslist
  • Twitter

Let's call these the "Baby Bell's" as an analogy and Google as a comparison to AT&T. What happens when Google "cuts you off" - it's like when AT&T severed your phone line in the '70's and '80's for business. If Google is all you've got, just like AT&T, you're out of business.

In 2007, there was a major change in the Google algorithm designed to "force" advertisers to use more AdWord placements and drive up revenues.

(Read the story (http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/012706.html - and the webmaster blog thread here http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3281124.htm ) or do your own search (best done on www.BING.com or www.Yahoo.com to find the stories)

It ruined many businesses - of course Google denied the tactic.

According to Harvard Business School Press - "It's time to stop going Google Ga-Ga..." - don't believe me? Just read the article.

As an internet business person - a professional responsible to help businesses succeed on the Net with their connection tools and marketing; and, as a former University Professor dating back to 1997, (today an invited key note speaker this year to Faculty of Business University Students); I have to voice my opinion, and my agreement with Bill Taylor's article published by Harvard. There is more to the world of technology, connections, search (yes search) and business marketing today than Google.

Don't get me wrong, there is a place for Google and AdWords - but it's not the only place. And in a tough market, if you as a business person are not looking for smarter solutions, well you may as well be paying $10.00 a minute for your international phone calls too.

Today, if you want to succeed, you need to stop just "Googling" and start "Connecting" smarter - it's time to enter The Connected Market Space. Reducing your costs and your risks of a "dead phone line".

Here is what "Google" is doing to drive shareholder profits - after a 50% stock drop and unprecidented lay-offs:

"Google hired a new vice president of financial planning and analysis, Francois Delepine, who sought to standardize and more tightly manage the budget process. Finance teams started allocating more new hires to groups that generated the most revenue per head, say people familiar with the matter. To better predict revenue, the company implemented quotas for ad-sales representatives and tied the pay of more employees to performance, these people said. Different departments were required to budget the same amount for the same item, whether it was a server computer or a business-class ticket to Europe."

The question is - do you want your business to be on the receiving end of higher costs and cram downed credit terms (if you have them) - with Google's drive for profits?

The problem you face is that Google has made it so easy to use just Google (just like picking up that phone line and knowing it would always give you a dial tone - right?). The other problem is that Google is just another big company with big company drivers and challenges. The real catch for Google is how they will "do no evil..." as their founders started out saying. Unfortunately, today's economy does not support their original philosophy, nor does their business practice. And that is a risk (which we've seen from our clients perspective) that we are trying to help with. Just cramming down does not build a better business - innovations made Google. With Bing, Yahoo and Facebook - and with our ability at our company to Connect our business clients with the Connected Market Space - innovation will again be a driver rather than basic business profit models at the expense of all else - namely relationships that built Google in the first place. Those relationships are all of us - small business people.

At CMAEON, we're working hard to bring the ease of getting your business connected into the entire web - which is what competition is all about. Connected advertising back where you can afford to market and "syndicate" your message across the entire web.

The good news is that with The Connected Market Space - Google may not like it - but we are committed to connecting markets - so we've launched the Connected Market Space PPV engine starting with our Realestock domain - and we can do it for any business. I encourage you to pit us against your AdWord campaign and see what the power of Connections can return in leads, prospects and customers for your business.

I came up with this little saying that I just have to include: Just to Google - Isn't Frugal! "The Connected Market Space is everywhere you (and your customers) want to be..." (Oops! I think that's taken...)

Tim

PS: We do take American Express ... J