Google Has The Web, Facebook Has The App, Apple Has the Device. How Will This Affect Small Businesses?

Google, Facebook, Apple - playing cardsOn the web where information is abundance, people just want to get their contents seen. With the many people using the web, the internet has become a crowded space where everyone is competing for attention.

The reason for this is because on the web, website visitors' attention is valuable.

Advertisements on the web has started when people realized its potential. Since then, countless of publishers are relying on their marketing strategy to promote their products and/or services to the increasing number of internet surfers.

As online advertisements grow, they're literally everywhere, aiming to take more and more of visitors' attention, decreasing the value of the web contents themselves. Then came ad blockers that were created to radically improve web experience by blocking a huge chunk of the web from loading.

The huge chunks that are prevented to load are ads, the thing that most people on the web dislike.

When everything seems to be going well, then comes the catch.

Money For Competition

Online ads keyboard

When people first open their web browsers, what they mostly want is to see what they want: the bare web, the internet without ads. They want contents, hot contents, and everything that can satisfy their hunger for information.

Unfortunately, the web isn't like that at all. Advertisements, no matter how people disliked them, they are the ones that pay for all those contents: they're the lube that greases the cogs of the internet.

The cost of media production and the prices people are willing to pay has existed since people knew about its existence. Media has always compromised user experience for advertising. This is the reason why there is less to no entities in the media industry that isn't powered by ads.

Because your attention is indeed valuable, especially when people are competing in the same space, media companies are rallying to put advertising in the path of your attention.

War of the Three

Online advertisements in the modern internet are mostly powered by high profile Silicon Valley tech companies, one of which is Google. Its ad network is so huge that if you're seeing and advertising on the web, there is a real chance that it's served by Google.

These native ads are indeed ads to the bone. But they're programmable and customizable, just to make sure that people see ads they really want, increasing their engagement. Since serving ads is basically Google's entire business, the company wants to search the entire internet from corner to corner, helping more media companies seen so it can get their contents, and make the web profitable.

As people's attention is shifting from desktop browsers to mobile browsers, Google has yet to manage all its power to get more influence on mobile. This has made the search giant struggle to get its advertisements seen, especially when Apple products and its Safari mobile browser dominates the mobile usage statistics.

Read: The Declining Number Of Mobile Browser Users In General, Is Hurting Web Searches And The Media Industry

Apple is one of the tech companies that is a close competitor to Google. Not to get the same attention because Apple is not depending on ads like Google. Apple just want people to buy its devices, ranging from the Mac desktop, iPhones, iPads and more.

But with its dominance on the mobile industry, Apple is having the most power to control what is shown on the web. As a result, most of Google's revenue from mobile is increasingly under the control of its major rival.

With its iOS 9 that came out on September 16th, 2015, Apple is trying to radically improve mobile web experience by "eliminating" Google from the equation.

The mobile operating system by Apple includes a refined search that auto-suggests content and that can search inside apps, pulling contents away from Google and users away from the web, it allows users to block ads. As a replacement, it offers publishers Apple News which the company can proudly show ads with lower price.

From Apple's perspective, the company may not get as much money from ads, not even close to Google. But as long as the advertisement money is not going to Google, it's a win for Apple.

Then comes Facebook. With its app that is downloaded over a billion times on mobile operating systems, having more than a billion users and have the power to influence more people because of its high engagement, Facebook is also looking into the pool of ads. Facebook is powered by ads, and with the power to own most of the people on the web, Facebook can show targeted, and unblockable ads inside its app.

But Facebook here is presenting itself as a"savior", as someone who comes in between Google and Apple. When Google has the web under its sleeves and Apple owns the mobile industry, Facebook owns the app.

So Apple is going after Google's revenue platform, Google is trying to keep the rest with the help of Android. Facebook sits in between to show its ads, no matter who is victorious.

Money To Innovate

Cogs and gears

What drive innovations are ideas. Many brilliant minds are discovering and inventing new things that can soon benefit human lives. The same goes to the internet. Information, services and many more depends on money to support its back. And by putting money away from them, innovations can slow down.

Taking money away from the web means that the pace of the web's innovation will become slower. The consequences may not be that visible to big players and big publishers since they're very resourceful and have many other strategies to not depending entirely on ad money for support.

But the ones that are really affected are small and independent publishers.

According to a research, ad blockers can block about 75 to 85 percent of the ads shown on a website. What happens if you take that much amount away from small business' revenue opportunities in the sake of user experience?

The population of the web is diverse. Ranging from tech giants, powerful media companies, to small businesses and self-published blogs. But the diversity of contents mostly come from small websites and small blogs. They are the ones who have most of the ideas in creating things that have never thought before, making the web colorful. They're the ones that made the web an interesting place.

To negate the consequences, websites and blogs that depend heavily on ads, should adapt accordingly; they should find new sources of revenue by improvising what they already had because it's always possible that the giants that hunger for more, will eat their way through, forgetting that their big cogs are really turned by many smaller ones below them.

Further reading: If You Want Your Contents To Get Noticed, Adapting To The Changes Is A Must