What is Google TV?

Google TV will allow you to browse the internet, watch TV and use apps all on your TV. As a concept it is not new but the vast reach and resources of Google mean this demands attention. To facilitate the web and running apps they will employ the Google OS and Android platform respectively. The hardware will be one of two options – A Sony internet TV or a Logitech Revue box.

Will it take off?

This is a difficult question to answer because detail is thin on the ground. The hurdles will be audience penetration, access to content, and website design evolving specifically for the new platform.

Audience penetration will prove difficult even with Google’s immense resources. Early adopters will no doubt be out in their droves but they will not be enough to make this commercially viable. Neither will be the more discerning customer who will see this an intelligent way to maximise their entertainment time. If Google TV is to succeed it needs to have mass appeal and reach core markets. And with potential minefields and powerful rivals this will prove difficult.

Website design is an interesting issue. Google TV will require businesses to alter their websites or serve a different version to ensure the viewer has a good experience. I can only see major entertainment sites taking this trouble from the outset. Medium sized less relevant sites will not do this and therefore your browsing experience may be impaired. For a full understanding of how to optimise website design for Google TV go Google.tv/developers.

Google TV SEO

Google TV requires you to design your site in a different way. In short to create a customised appearance with your own fonts you may need to use Flash methods. As we know – this is not ideal if you want to give a website the full SEO treatment.

If Google creates proprietary tagging or your site detects it’s being visited via Google TV – and therefore serves an appropriate version of the site – then its possible businesses may create bespoke sites (much like we have for mobiles). This is what we would prefer as it would allow us to continue with comprehensive SEO work whilst allowing access to this new market.

The future

Imagine the vast amount of data Google currently has about you and your habits. Now imagine it mining the data they source through your habits using your TV. Google would own the user mindset. The potential is gold dust for advertisers and marketers who have had to stomach broad assumptions in the past on viewing figures and behaviours.
Google TV could become all powerful but must overcome big hurdles… Would you bet against Google?