Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Google Knows Music...Or Do They?

I might have really missed the train on this one, or maybe I am really observant and smart. Either way, this is powerful stuff for musicians and marketers to think about when working within Google and inside of keywords.

First, how I got there: I was writing an article on Girl Talk and Illegal Art Records for SkatterBand when I Google'd Girl Talk. Results below.

Girl Talk Google results
What was this I though. So I clicked through.

Girl Talk Google Landing PageWow. What information. Google sorted Girl Talk into their releases.

With the tabs on the left I could then:

  1. See all tracks from all albums.
  2. Buy "Unstoppable" on Rhapsody.
  3. Buy "Secret Diary" on Rhapsody or eMusic (Google is totally using an Affiliate link too)
  4. See all websites affiliated with Girl Talk (actually just links back to the initial Google search results)
  5. See the latest news on Girl Talk via Google News
  6. Get Girl Talk pics from Google Images
  7. Talk about Girl Talk in already formed Google Groups
Not bad. All this information on an indie artist from an indie label. And this was returned as more relevant than their official website, Myspace page, YouTube videos and so on.

What happens if you look for a "bigger" band?

I chose Blink-182 and Linkin Park for the experiment. Same results. More information. Both Google versions came before official sites that have been online and building deep links for years.

Blink-182 Google results
With Blink the initial results page was even divided into 3 sections. One with the Google Blink-182 landing page, the official site, Wikipedia and a YouTube clip, the second featured Blink lyrics, and the 3rd had more search results from that good 'ol Google algorithm. See the image below.

Blink-182 Google Search Results
One last observation was the terrible ads these landing pages displayed. Girl Talk had singles ads and Linkin Park had one for the official Lincoln car dealer site.

Linkin Park Google Landing page with irrelevant ads
Google step your ad displaying game up! This comes after I read an article on Google displaying terrible results inside of Myspace.

My initial thoughts:
  • They are making money from selling your music through affiliate links - not terrible but read number 2
  • They are taking clicks away from your website, Myspace page or whatever, where you are serving ads and selling your own products
  • They have created these pages with no confirmations from the bands themselves, obviously, but have missed albums from Girl Talk and I'm sure plenty of others
  • They are serving disastrous content based ads on these pages
Google, this may be great in theory, but let's work out the kinks before we go further with it.

What are your thoughts, concerns and opinions on Google taking over music search?

-Greg Rollett


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