After they bid low and lost the C block of wireless spectrum Google has started talking to the media about using unlicensed whitespace. From the WSJ:
Google said that the white space, located between channels 2 and 51 on TV that aren’t hooked up to satellite or cable, offer a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access to all Americans.” In addition, opening up the spectrum would “enable much-needed competition to the incumbent broadband service providers,” Mr. Whitt wrote. Google has done its own white-space testing and submitted its results to the FCC in December. Philips also submitted a testing device to the agency last year, which returned satisfactory results.
Cheaper (or free) nationwide connectivity = more web users. More web users = more searches.
The other (big) piece of this, is that if Google works this deal, they will likely end up with a lot more usage data – and a strong starting point to triangulate other usage data against. With links becoming a commodity, how hard would it be for Google to find a better signal? In 5 years will they still rely on links and have 10,000 people rating content? What if they could somehow get everyone to start rating content (through usage data), and place more trust on natural looking Google user accounts with years of a natural usage profile. If they slowly mixed it into the relevancy algorithms over time who would even know they did it?
If Google does set up a free ISP think how much usage data they would have.
- Google ISP (usage data, geo-specific relevancy)
- Google Android (more geo-data)
- Google accounts (which users can we really trust, what do they buy, etc.)
- Google toolbar
- Google search
- social applications (Gmail, Google Talk, Orkut, Google Gadgets)
- Google AdWords
- Google Checkout (track sales volume, return requests, etc.)
- Google AdSense
- DoubleClick (thanks for the reminder Dan)
- Google Analytics
- Google Feedburner feed distribution
- Google reader
- iGoogle homepage (along with Google Gadgets)
- Google YouTube (embeds, views, subscribers, etc.)
In that type of market, effective SEO morphs into marketing. Until that day comes keep link
More: continued here