Google is Like a River

Limestone Creek, Fayetteville, NY
Limestone Creek, Fayetteville, NY

The only constant in technology based marketing is change. Get used to it.

Most days, I walk our large and loveable Golden Retrievers on a gravel road between Limestone Creek and an old feeder canal that flows into the Erie Canal, the historic 19th century waterway that cuts across New York connecting Lake Erie to the Hudson River.

So when I read recently that Google is discontinuing its requirement for new users sign up for Google+, it reminded me of the steady, ever changing nature of a river.

Rivers are defined by long, mostly linear banks guiding water to its next destination, moving water in a direction that connects to another larger body of water, and sometimes another, ultimately reaching the vast oceans of the world.

Google, the internet giant that needs no further introduction, is like a river.  In geographic terms, Google is like the banks of a river that guides and connects its users, billions of us now, to each other and to oceans of information.

Google guides our quest for information (Google search)  and destinations (Maps),  facilitating relationships (Google+, Hang outs), entertainment (YouTube),and access to information (Gmail, Chrome), and influencing what we buy (AdWords). Every web surfer, video viewer, business owner, or email hacker has to navigate over, around, through, in, or on Google properties to engage on the web.

The benefits of Google’s contribution to productivity and information exchange are indisputable. However, there is a downside - Google changes its mind like a chameleon changes colors. Static is not a noun, or a verb, in Google-sphere.

So, when Google changes course, like it has recently about Google +, Google authorship, or in a search update (Penguin, Panda, Pidgeon...),  we need to think of the river metaphor.

Google is like the constantly moving water of the river, committed to innovation that brings more change rather than less.

Google is not alone in this behavior of course. A recent survey of B2B marketing executives shows that 96% agree that the pace of change in technology and marketing will continue to accelerate. Expecting technology to drive a strong current of ebb and flow is simply a norm of doing business in the era of new media.

For small business owners who struggle to stay on top of digital marketing trends, adaptation and fluidity are not just buzz words. They’re part of the new normal.

Marketing your business with a change mindset, and expecting rather than resisting change, will go a long way toward keeping your organization relevant, healthy, and outwardly focused.

So, jump in. Grab an oar. Row with the currents of change - Google or otherwise. The journey to growing great business will be just a little smoother.