Not satisfied with Google.com or the Chrome browser, Google is now hoping to control the OS.
The campaign started with the phone OS (Android), and while Android hasn't shown particular promise in unseating the other major players in the phone OS market, Google isn't deterred from trying to lock in users for life on one OS or another. This week, Google announced its plans to launch Chrome OS, a new operating system for netbooks that Google hopes to launch within a year.
There are many benefits here for Google. One of the chief of them is the potential boost for Google's oldest cash cow: paid search. Chrome OS is geared to operate from with computing cloud, which is to say from the Internet; expect ubiquitous Google search bars across Chrome OS applications that let you jump easily from computing activity to Google search.
While it may seem early to consider your paid search campaign, the topic is still worth a moment's thought.
After all, the best paid search campaigns take into account which traffic arrives from what traffic source. Who searches from Yahoo or Google, for instance, and what kind of search traffic arrives from Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari. It then serves up unique landing pages, ad copy, and other campaign components to each market segment. And if the operating system will become a new major source of paid search traffic, it's helpful for marketers to start thinking now about who would arrive via the Google OS.
Again, Chrome OS will be designed to operate on netbooks, computers with small screens and full keyboards, halfway between some recent cell phones and a small laptop. According to Jim Wong, president of IT products global operation for Acer Inc., one of the first manufacturers to feature the OS preinstalled, "Netbooks are designed to be compact in size and easy to connect to the Internet wherever you go." So one of the best ways to understand where the Chrome OS will have an impact on search is to understand a related issue: where netbooks stand to gain the most market penetration.
Here are a few key sectors, with some comments on the search advertisers who may want to reach them:
Some markets won't be impacted by the rise of netbooks anytime soon. The corporate desktop won't change soon, for instance. Meanwhile, on-the-go-executives tend to rely on iPhones and BlackBerrys for communications, and because of the importance of virtual private network (VPN) connectivity, mobile executives won't swarm to Chrome netbooks until the links to their corporate messaging systems have been forged.
But as netbooks continue to penetrate the market, Google Chrome OS will have a greater opportunity to increase its user base. Search marketers should be prepared.
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Kevin Lee, Didit cofounder and executive chairman, has been an acknowledged search engine marketing expert since 1995. His years of SEM expertise provide the foundation for Didit's proprietary Maestro search campaign technology. The company's unparalleled results, custom strategies, and client growth have earned it recognition not only among marketers but also as part of the 2007 Inc 500 (No. 137) as well as three-time Deloitte's Fast 500 placement. Kevin's latest book, "Search Engine Advertising" has been widely praised.
Industry leadership includes being a founding board member of SEMPO and its first elected chairman. "The Wall St. Journal," "BusinessWeek," "The New York Times," Bloomberg, CNET, "USA Today," "San Jose Mercury News," and other press quote Kevin regularly. Kevin lectures at leading industry conferences, plus New York, Columbia, Fordham, and Pace universities. Kevin earned his MBA from the Yale School of Management in 1992 and lives in Manhattan with his wife, a New York psychologist and children.