Today I was searching for some new cds or mp3s on Google from one of my favorite artists, The Captain Tinrib from Tinrib Recordings, and I noticed something that I don’t think I have seen before, or at least never paid attention to. Google is featuring songs and MP3s in their search results.
It isn’t just like when they show a Youtube.com video which is a screen capture, but actual playable MP3s in their search results.
So here is why this is interesting.
When they started including Video, Video Optimization companies sprung up everywhere to do Video SEO for Google Search Results, not just in the main video sites like Youtube.com out there that all of us distribute our video content to, but organic listings and results. Then Marketers and Marketing Firms started playing with their Google Shopping/Froogle/Base algorithms and people started to mess with those results when Google changed the submission process and fields formats. This was nothing special or exciting as we could all predict how to better optimize for it. However, this is somewhat of a new thing since you get to preview and here is where Google gets interesting and scary at the same time with allowing MP3s in their organic search results.
Lets start with the good.
Suppose you have a Band or are an Artist that isn’t signed to a label yet, doesn’t have a huge advertising budget and really needs help getting the word out about your music. This is a huge opportunity for you. Not only can you begin to try to figure out the algorithm for MP3s, but you can use it to start to optimize for the people who are the big players and for the types of music you play. For example. Suppose you are a live PA producer of Hard Dance Music like the Captain Tinrib, but you never got your break during the 90s when raves were huge, and you never actually stopped producing music and performing at smaller venues so you have years of amazing music and content saved up. If you can figure out Googles MP3 and Music Search Algorithm then you can now start to try and get your music to show up along side Tidy Tracks, Tinrib, and other Hard Dance Music Producer Labels when people search for terms like Hard House and Trancecore or even Hard, Acid EuroTrance. Not only can you put yourself at little to no cost with the big guys, but you can also get free exposure in the search results and have people listen to your music right there instead of having to search through sites, shopping carts, comparison engines and get your song in front of your new fans before they go for the artists they already know. This is a huge opportunity for small artists and people without huge advertising budgets.
Now for the bad.
Although this opens up a huge market for Artists and Affiliates who want to push concerts, cd’s and music, it also opens the door for some adware companies and what I consider unethical Affiliate and Marketing Adware Applications.
Have you ever seen those sites for “free” ring tones or “free” flash games download or click here sites and banners. Then all you do is click here to get your “free” ringtone or flash game and agree to to their terms and conditions and you get the free ringtone or game because you downloaded the adware as well. In some cases you also get free adware applications downloaded to your computer (not just your browser) and then you also get free ads popping up while you surf the web. You get “free” reminders that coupons are available, free reminders you can get cash back at the Merchant’s expense, etc… What would happen if these adware and reminderware companies figured out how to optimize their MP3s and flashgames before the legit ones and all of the sudden had a new way to install their adware on even more people’s computers? Exactly, even more ways to rip off and steal from Merchant’s, Affiliates and honest people who spend the time to create their own traffic and drive real and legitimate sales to Merchants. (Sorry if you disagree but this is a white hat Marketing blog).
Now, we’d think people are smart enough not to fall for downloading adware onto their computer in the form of a “free” game or ringtone for their cell phone. Unfortunately we need to think again.
This is a huge Market and one that I can easily see the FTC getting involved in and breaking up in the next few years (so you may want to think twice about entering) and if these adware companies would realize that if they could get the rights to some of these artists songs then they could possibly say to teenagers and fans that they could “get this MP3 for free”, just download it and agree to our Terms and Conditions (i.e. put our adware on your computer so we can show you ads while you surf the web and shop) and guess what, people everywhere would fall for it. Especially if it is a pre-release or a hard to find version of a song.
Is there any good to that? Yes and No.
The no is because my opinion is that adware is almost always a bad thing and you should never use it. Is there good in sending it out through music downloads? Well the adware companies would be able to better target their audiences if they keep track of the download that convinced the end user to download the “free” MP3.
Think about it. Most Artists have a specific demographic or lifestyle they cater to. Those fans can be semi-easily defined and then if they can separate them out, you now have a network of adware installs and end users that can be targeted based on lifestyle choices.
Now, if it is a good adware like one that doesn’t interfere with cookies, doesn’t pop over competitors websites or other Affiliate sites but only shows ads on a desktop like through an RSS feed, this could be a great install and Marketing tool.
You can deliver messages and products to your install database based on what music they like and then bring them back online with a click here call to action based on a product catering to that particular lifestyle based on music choice and Artist. This also wouldn’t interfere with other Affiliates or with the Merchants directly so you won’t run into as many PR nightmares. Unfortunately most adware applications are not as nice or friendly so this would be in the very small percentile that I do like.
Anyways, not all adware is bad and not all Affiliates are evil either. In fact, most legit Affiliates do add value through their content and user or reader base which is an audience you may not be able to reach without them. One reason people think Affiliates are evil or bad is that Affiliates find things like the MP3s being able to be played in Organic Search results first and figure out how to optimize it and monetize it first.
These new search results are kind of cool and it was even cooler to be able to listen to his music before I even clicked through to the site to buy his new cds. I highly recommend everyone try to figure out how to do this because if you could optimize your music or your links via organic MP3 search results you have now found a huge money making opportunity.