A few months ago we were talking about Permanent Surveillance, the book by Edward Snowden that addressed the multiple violations of privacy of users on the Internet. It is not a secret that one of the companies most penalized for this, especially in the European Union, is Google. However, its mastery in many areas of online marketing is almost unbeatable, so we wanted to ask ourselves, is it possible to do online marketing without Google? We have tried, and we want to tell you the result.
Web browser: from Chrome to Firefox
And we start with the most basic. Replacing Google Chrome with a reliable, robust and well-integrated alternative with plugins is a litmus test. The integration of tools like Tag Manager like Chrome is almost symbiotic. And yet, for practically all the extensions that we use frequently in Chrome, there is an alternative in Firefox.
Latest versions of the Mozilla browser (especially in its Developer Edition) have greatly improved the performance of the previous ones, as well as have developed a special attention to privacy. If we do not require too particular extensions, other options such as Opera or Brave offer a great result. Opera, in particular, is a browser with surprising speed and ease of use for its low market share. Brave, meanwhile, performs better on machines with fewer resources.
A major problem that seemed to have no solution is the number of passwords that are stored in Chrome, without easy export to other browsers. For this, we have used Lastpass as a bridge. For those who do not know it, Lastpass is a ‘vault’ that saves all your encrypted passwords and gives you the possibility to share them on multiple devices, on a team, and of course, with a magnificent integration with browser extensions.
Email: Can GMail be abandoned?
And the response has also been positive. In fact, except for the functionality of being able to schedule emails, we have hardly missed GMail as a post manager. Currently we already used Airmail on Mac, and replacing one IMAP with another has hardly caused any difficulties. This fairly cheap email client incorporates labels, and most extensions that can be used under Gmail. On mobile devices, we have used iPhone Mail with identical results. We have also taken advantage of the RoundCube webmail, although its low possibility of importing contacts makes it impossible as an everyday tool.
Incidentally, we have got rid of the infinite problems of integrating external domains with GMail, whose specifications tend to vary from time to time.
Change our search engine… oh, but are there others?
We could say yes, but we could also say no. We explain ourselves: for several years, there have been several alternatives for those who have an interest in not giving all their data to the American giant. It will sound, even slightly, Bing, belonging to Microsoft. Yahoo has already been practically ruled out. But DuckDuckGo has grown a lot in recent months, an increasingly better experience alternative, which shows special care in everything related to the privacy of its users. The vast majority of browsers begin to include it as standard, and this may be the trigger for exponential growth of this alternative.
However, after using each other, are they really useful alternatives for day to day? The response is highly variable. If the most frequent search is not especially localized in Spanish or related to current affairs, DuckDuckGo is a very serious alternative. However, for more powerful searches, both in date and format, Google’s superiority is overwhelming.
This superiority is so enormous that the large number of services that the search engine incorporates in the first results begins to worry, and that they begin to deny clicks to even the best positioned sites. Google my Business has hijacked numerous visits focused on obtaining a street or a phone, in the same way that frequently asked questions, or more recently, the reproduction of podcasts has subtracted users from the content provider pages.
The power of the semantic web, evolved from Schema microformats in recent years, is precisely that: that information is no longer perceived as plain text, but with enough meaning to pose questions and answers; and Google was, from the beginning, the first to understand it. Therein lies more and more your contribution of value.
Parallel tools to the search engine: Search Console, Google My Business …
But Google is not only your search engine, and a good example of this is the growth of a tool, with such a residual start, such as Google Search Console. The essential Google search results console is an essential stop for any content editor. Useful to infinity both to know your own positioning, and to discover new topics and queries from your users.
However, in this case there are notably prepared tools to cover its functionality, and even improve it. Of course, the vast majority are paid. From SEMRush, Mangools or the latest Ubersuggest can provide you with relevant information to cover this facet.
There are fewer alternatives in the case of Google My Business, a very recent proposal by the search engine, which aims to compete with large networks of recommendations such as TripAdvisor or Yelp. Its draft, once again, benefits from the implantation of the search engine; so that it is frequent to see businesses that begin to share their contact data and even their content to obtain positive evaluations, and with it, a better position in geolocated searches.
Conclusion: being an ordinary user, it is possible. In online marketing, almost impossible
And it is that online marketing ultimately consists of finding users where they are and directing them towards your brand. The current portion of Google, at least in the United States and Europe, is so vastly majority that it would be reckless, as an online marketing agency, to ignore them.
However, if, on the contrary, we make regular use of the internet, there are many and more and more alternatives to avoid a new monopoly that, like that of Microsoft years ago, both slowed down the development and possibilities of the network and its languages. open source. At a minimum, we encourage you to learn about and try the alternatives. Then the decision … is yours!