Here in the UK we are in a situation where over 88% of Internet Searches are done using Google. There are seven times more searches conducted on Google than on all the other search engines combined.
That is a staggering monopoly, a monopoly created by us the Google users. We, as individuals have handed Google, on a plate everything we do, we want and we desire.
I’m am not saying that what has happened is a bad thing, someone had to do it. Much as Microsoft owned the desktop pre the Internet, Google supplied us with what we all wanted; easy, uncluttered searching that delivered what we searched for.
Google continues to provide us those things by constantly tweaking search results to deliver us the most relevant content, at the right time, in the right place on the right device.
Content that we as businesses provide to Google, for free, so that it can continue to make billions of dollars in Advertising Revenue by feeding our insatiable searching habits.
Our payoff for providing this content is the potential of more visits, more business and more exposure to the right people at the right time. But not only do we have to provide our content for free, we have to operate within a strict series of “guidelines” (that are ever-changing) or we won’t get a look in, or worse still get a “penalty”.
But as Google grows more successful and dominant, we as businesses have become over-reliant on Google to provide us with a living, and dangerously so I might add.
I have been in the unfortunate position to witness the demise of businesses that knowingly or unwittingly fell foul of Google’s continual charge for relevance. It is not a pretty sight; they become quite desperate and very demanding and think that I can magically undo the damage that has been done.
So as businesses, how do we safeguard against this threat. How do we grow a sustainable scalable business that enables us to be found when someone searches for our product or service without gaming Google and without relying on Google for substantial chunks of business turnover?
Unfortunately it is not a one word answer nor one I can cover in a single blog post, but I will be posting regularly on the subject based around the following themes to try and get you to behave as if Google does not exist, build your business for the user and take a more holistic approach to how you do business online:
Google is not your friend or business partner
Focus on the User, not Google
Create content with Passion for your audience and be authentic
Be where your prospects are & target people & relationships
Realize that links are the result, not the goal.
Focus on reputation and brand – You can’t vote for yourself.
Don’t just look natural, be natural, if you think a link is wrong then it probably is!
Never stop doing the business basics of marketing
Differentiate yourself and your business & create amazing content.