The introduction of Google Drive Google’s free Cloud Storage service should have little to do with business and marketing. Storage is like a tool, no different than say a spanner, and when was the last time you saw the launch of a new spanner bringing into question the marketing strategy of the car repair business?
Yet, this is exactly what is happening here. The reason for this is that the launch of GDrive is the clearest signal yet that Google has transitioned from a company which used to make great products we all loved to use to a company that is building an ecosystem we are all being herded into.
Now vertical ecosystems are nothing new. Apples is one, Facebook another and Amazon yet a third. There is some overlap amongst them and some competition but each is geared to do specific things and do them well. Google is unusual in that it’s creating a vertical which is as wide and deep as the web itself. The Google environment different because Google links everything to search.
Google Drive, for instance, allows businesses to enjoy true Cloud portability with on-the-go device synching totally free. The 5GB storage can easily be increased for a competitive monthly fee, GDrive integrates instantly with Google Docs and unlike any other Cloud storage solution to date this becomes a truly Personal Cloud one by allowing selective collaboration of anything in it.
From a business point of view this is great. Google’s computing power coupled to free or very low costs makes for a proposition that is truly hard to resist and that is exactly the problem. Unlike any other ecosystem out there, Google’s environment is search and website ranking sensitive. As Google collects information its different services cross-reference it in ways which they didn’t a month or so ago before the company changes its privacy rules and this is now leading to the building of internal authority rankings for users much the same way that websites had a PageRank.
Provided all is rainbows and unicorns there is no issue but the moment you have an infraction of sorts, say a question about copyrighted material in YouTube, a name issue in Google Plus or an SEO penalty on your website, this begins to escalate within the Google environment . In typical Google fashion the escalation is automated, driven by systems instead of machines and, conceivably, you may find yourself dropping out of search, incapable of leveraging G+ for marketing and sans a YouTube channel to market from.
Improbable? No. I have already come across examples where each of these has happened. As Google completes weaving its web of connections the possibilities that an infraction in one ‘isolated’ service may have on your ability to operate and market your business online increase.
We are, of course, at the very start of the Cloud and likely to see it fine-tuned much further. Business 101 says of course that you never put all your eggs in one basket. In Google’s case the choices narrow somewhat as it is the only viable basket there is, which is why businesses need to start preparing for the option of something going awry as early as possible.