Company could dominate by offering in-search seals.
Earlier this week Google registered the domain name GoogleCert.com. The company could have many uses for this domain name, but one possibility is SSL certificates.
This got me thinking — Google is the perfect player to capitalize on SSL certificates as well as various “trust” seals, which could help the company monetize its organic listings.
There’s no shortage of companies offering SSL certificates and “trust” seals. For example, I use the VeriSign Trust Seal on Domain Name Wire. If anyone is using the Norton Toolbar when they perform a web search, they see a trust seal next to my search listing. This boosts search click-throughs. If I were an e-commerce or lead generation site, I would put the VeriSign seal directly on my site to improve conversions.
But what if Google got into this market? It could offer companies a special designation directly next to their Google search results — no toolbar needed. Companies would pay a premium for this added designation. It would enable Google to monetize its organic listings by selling a premium service that doesn’t disrupt the search algorithm.
Google typically partners with existing companies to offer services like this, and they could certainly do that and collect a portion of the fees. But it could deliver a competitive blow be getting into the business itself.