A little known name Hubspot is making waves because Google ventures, Salesforce and a well known venture capital firm made an investment of thirty two million dollars in it. What surprises me that Google which is itself in the search market, rather dominates search market, has invested in another similar venture. But, the conclusion is- if Google thinks it has made a wise investment, we must have a closer look at Hubspot.
Though this may seem like a new animal on the Internet, it is actually an old animal with a new skin. It means generating traffic from various online platforms using automated software. This means organic leads from social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn, Social bookmarking sites like Delicious, Digg and StumbleUpon, PR sites like PRweb, Youtube and blogs.
To me, what it looks like is an online software tool which will automate your traffic by seeding these platforms with your links. These are the good old ‘inbound links’ rechristened as ‘inbound marketing’. There is no paradigm shift and no new discovery. Then why is everyone going crazy about this thing?
Why is ‘inbound marketing’ touted as the next big thing?
I suspect Google has a lot to do with it. It is sitting on a pile of search data and the Geeks within think that this stuff can be converted into money. Of course, we have known such a thing as knowledge extraction – getting usable information from mountains of data. Probably, they want to hand over this pile of search data to Hubspot, which will then use it to create great search results.
One piece of information looks interesting. It seems that none of the four thousand customers of Hubspot have been knocked down by the latest change in Google search algorithm. This has been shown as a great achievement. I am not ready to go with this assessment.
Yet, there is no doubt that inbound marketing has the power to drive traffic to your website. The only point of contention is that how do you generate this inbound traffic? If you are using an automated software tool to do this, are you not violating the very principle Google stands for? If Hubspot can get you traffic without any real content on your website, does it not become black hat tactics? How will Google respond to this?
If Google has dipped its fingers into the inbound marketing pie by investing in Hubspot, we have to raise our eyebrows. There may be a clever twist to this tale which I may not have guessed. The story will unravel slowly. But one thing is for sure. The search market will become murkier with Google acting both as a player and the referee. Surely, this kind of stuff would never have been permitted in traditional businesses. This strange animal called ‘inbound marketing’ will change its spots as we go along. Meanwhile, we may see many new approaches to online marketing. In all this commotion, content will always hold its place no matter what Google does.
Nitin Aggarwal is an Internet marketing enthusiast and blogger. He started the company Offshore Ally. It is a provider of dedicated virtual assistant and SEO link builders online. Connect with him via Twitter.