The partnership between the search engine giant and telecoms operator Verizon are though to be concerned with the formation of a tiered payment system, in which content creators would pay Verizon to ensure that their site gained prominence over others.
The involvement of Google in the discussion of a fee-paying service will have come as a surprise to many, following their appeal to protect the “openness of the internet”, and the ability of users to have their content made available to the world without having to pay for the privilege.
Such favouritism would go against the tenets of net neutrality, and has evoked a counter response from the FCC, whose chairman Julius Genachowski deemed such payment-for-preference arrangements as “unacceptable”.
SEO experts QueryClick.com believe that if an agreement between Google and Verizon results in any system which involves a site paying for privileged online presence, the ordinary internet user would eventually encounter rising broadband costs in order for sites to recoup their expenses.
When assessing this situation though, it is necessary to investigate the concept of net neutrality itself, and whether it even exists in reality.
Although many assert that, if left to their own devices, ISPs would create pricing structures which would create obstacles for many site owners, the reality of the matter is that companies such as Google are constantly involved in the discrimination of content delivery by affording prominence to sites using the Google Adwords service.
Some may see the potential Google-Verizon proposals as a large scale version of PPC advertising, and there are certainly some fundamental similarities, most notably the idea of paying ISPs a fee to enhance a site’s online presence.
However, following the exposure that such proposals were being considered by the two companies, both Google and Verizon have been quick to deny their plans to implement a paid service. Despite this, it is understandable that many will be concerned by the idea of a monopolisation of content delivery, with the biggest companies dividing the Internet amongst themselves.
According to SEO experts QueryClick.com this model of content delivery would add a new dimension to online marketing, and to search engine optimisation in particular. The current SEO techniques employed by web designers, aimed at driving their sites up the search engine rankings, may be in danger of being undermined by such a system.
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