In a bit of a surprise announcement last night, Google shared the news that Google is no longer just Google!
Alphabet is a newly formed conglomerate, under which ‘old Google’ now sits, along with several other businesses/strands, and a shake up of who is ‘in charge’ has left Google with a new CEO.
Marketing Land have already written an excellent overview of the changes and how things will now work as far as we can tell, with most of the ‘Google family’ of products/services e.g. Maps, Android, Chrome, Ads, Youtube, all remaining under the Google umbrella, with the much larger umbrella, Alphabet, covering off the aforementioned Google gang, plus other business arms such as Fiber (high speed internet product in the US), Google X (the driverless cars we keep hearing about, Google glass and other tech developments), Google Capital (investment fund) and many more.
So what does it mean for everyday users and the PR and marketing industry? On the surface, it seems to change very little. The products we all use are likely to stay the same – We aren’t going to start ‘alphabetting’ questions in the same way that we now ‘google’ them.
The more cynically-minded may express views that these changes are as much to do with Google trying to get around some ominous monopoly grumblings as making their various businesses more ‘accountable’ as they claim.
The more comically-minded have been quick to crack jokes on Twitter about pasta shapes in sauce, the potential impact on the teachings of Sesame Street, and search marketing stalwart, Danny Sullivan, was quick to jump on the scapegoat Google product, it’s opinion-dividing social platform Google+, with his tweet.
I can’t wait for Alphabet+
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) August 10, 2015
Speaking of which – there is no mention in Google’s official blog about where Google+ falls in this new regime. We would expect it to stay firmly in the ‘Google family’, but its omission is surely a strong indicator that Google are ready to finally cut their losses with that one.
The fact that Google can keep a huge empire restructure completely under wraps like this is interesting – and as well as the usual share price fluctuations (up 6% last night after the announcement) and internal personnel changes, this is something worth watching closely over the next few months before any major conclusions about ‘The Alphabet effect’ can be drawn.