So, Google is out to provide companies with every piece of information they need to get higher rankings and all pages indexed. http://www.google.com/webmasters/index.html and https://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/docs/en/about.html. No longer is it a secret and they are free (from a PR point of view) to go full out giving advice to their adsense distribution partners. Rise up the partners rankings/pages and you increase the amount of money Google makes from AdSense. It is a brilliant strategy and one they just executed on backwards. They should have updated the webmaster information and announced they were going to help everyone with optimization - and then started doing it. I just caught them while they were doing it the other way around.
And with the PPC management package they have in place and the purchase of traffic analysis system from buying Urchin - they are positioned to wipe out the agency role between the client and themselves - as well as take over from traffic gods like webtrends and ominture -at least in the referral traffic area. Will it happen - NO. Agencies have always existed to balance the advertising exposure and buys across multiple platforms for medium/large clients. That still works as a model as long as the agency is working either all internet marketing buys or the whole of marketing buys for a client. Agencies will also survive if their business includes website conversion advise - landing page development and flow to sales through the client site. But, as long as clients treat search marketing as something unique Google will continue to 'win' the job over the SEM companies. And there is the whole small business aggregation model that is exploding.
Does this mean that webmama.com is out of business? NO. It means, to me, that companies like mine will continue to manage the PPC campaigns of clients who are smart enough not to work with a media vendor directly and/or ones that have an agency that doesn't get online, or specifically search advertising. Or, SEM companies will evolve into offering more website conversion advice and/or move into banner buys. With Google's move to offer banners https://www.google.com/adsense/new those of us familiar (all too familiar) with working with Google have an edge over all. Afterall, with the ROI of Google ads, even the contextual ads, being higher than most other forms of advertising, we all should move to BWAGS (buying whatever ads google sells). And there is always the advisory role - lots of clients just like to have someone who has the ear of the right people at Google.