Google in Ten Years

Believe it or not Google is still a very young company when compared to other big brands that commenced in the early 1900’s that still thrive today. It is hard to imagine what Google could be ten years from now since they have already grown so much in the short time they have been on this planet.

In this Google video Matt Cutts discusses some of the possibilities for Google during the next decade or so.

We love when Google gives us valuable insight as to how their search engines evolve and change from month to month. A little while back Google started really giving the community some great information as to how their algorithm is being updated, which is great news for web marketers. With that said, Google is not going to give out the whole kit and caboodle because frankly, why would they? We should be grateful they give us the amount of information that they do. Do your best to really understand the info they give to make better search marketing choices for your brand.

Why does Google give us this info?

Google wants professional marketers to use their search tool with ethics and a right state of mind. They are working hard to rid the world of spammers who flood their search pages with useless pages and information. Google wants businesses to understand how to properly market their websites pushing their brand proactively through the pages of their search engine. The better the approach the better the user experience.

Here is a snapshot of some of the updates but to read them all visit the Google Inside Search blog post to read all.

  • More authoritative results – Authority comes with influence and strong branding, time to get cracking!
  • Keyword Stuffing – Google now gives out penalties for improper use of keywords, aka keyword stuffing
  • More efficient generation of alternative titles – Giving an even stronger importance on page content
  • More comprehensive predictions for local queries – More emphasis on local business
  • Better query interpretation – Google search is getting smarter
  • No freshness boost for low-quality content – Low quality content will get no love

To read all of Aprils search updates visit the Google Inside  Search blog and get a better understanding as to what is happening with search.

How are these choices made?

There is no doubt about it; Google is not just a powerful search tool for consumers but also a immense tool for education purposes. The entire Google suite can be used for a host of other reasons and recently Google has been making an effort to really push their way into the school systems.

Check out this Google video where they teach search education techniques to students with the hopes of helping them learn how to use Google for better research.

Google March Changes

Did you know that Google can make upwards of 500 algorithm changes per/year? Yes that is correct. If you are still following your SEO map from 2001 you are most likely crashing and burning. With that said there are small elements to older SEO tactics that will always stand tall and proud but the reality is that search engine optimization changes every month if not every week. Google only changes their algorithm in order to increase user experience and resource so you can’t knock them for trying to improve. You have to be willing to roll with the punches if you are a true web marketer. Of course if you are a true web marketer you will understand that rankings are not the only game on the playground.

Recently Google started letting the search community know what changes they have been making to their algorithm so we can better understand why the changes occur. Their recent post regarding the 50 search changes they made in March is a pretty interesting read to say the least and might give some insight to where things are heading.

Here are some of the more important ones to remember:

  • Better indexing of symbols (“%”, “$”, “”, “.”, “@”, “#”, and “+”)
  • Better indexing and scoring for news items
  • Better site links
  • Better indexing of profile pages
  • Anchor text usage
  • High quality site update

For those of you who have been marketing websites in the pages of search for some time these changes should make you either smile or frown. Personally I see these changes as a shift to better brand your website rather than trying to manipulate the algorithm. If you don’t see the positive in that you are not rolling with the punches because if you haven’t noticed Google is shifting gears to make marketers actually market the highlights of a business online rather than looking for loopholes. Loopholes do not create online success, a digital voice does.

Read all 50 March search changes here

Google Evolution

Have you ever wondered why Google makes the changes that they do? Well it’s simple, it is all about user experience. The folks at Google are crazy about the Google user experience and they should be. Their search engine relies on people being happy and getting the information that they are looking for accurately and super quickly. If the users are not happy Google is not happy.

“The way people use and experience the web is evolving, and our goal is to give you a more seamless and consistent online experience—one that works no matter which Google product you’re using or what device you’re using it on. The new Google experience that we’ve begun working toward is founded on three key design principles: focus, elasticity and effortlessness.”

Check out the Google home page from 1997!

Google Home Page 1997

Check it out now.

Google Home Page 2012

Google Teaches Us

Google has come a long way since their birth in the 90’s and with that evolution comes some education on how to properly search for different things. Whether you are a marketer or just person looking for something specific Google has given the community a nice little feature for everyone to learn how to use their search tool. Whether it is local movie times or tracking a package Google has put together this great search tool site for the whole world to learn how to properly search for a variety of different things they might be looking for.

Screenshot of partial tools

Inside Google Search Tool

Google Related

Google is always trying to improve the way their users interact with their search query tool and their recent advancement, Google Related does just that. It is reasons like this why it is always important to continue marketing and branding your business utilizing different resources. If you are one of those people that are 100% hung up on just search rankings technologies like this could hinder your quest.

From the Google Blog:

“Whether you’re reading a news article, shopping for a new pair of shoes or visiting your favorite musician’s website, Google Related works in the background to find you the most interesting and relevant content on the topics you’re currently viewing. For example, if you visit a restaurant’s website, Related can show you a map, reviews from Google Places, mentions from across the web and other similar eateries that you might want to try.”

Google PageRank Alternatives

Are you still wasting your time staring at the silly little PageRank number on your site pages? If you are Google is saying nicely to stop. Many moons ago PageRank was somewhat accurate when trying to figure out the overall strength of individual pages on your website — but those days are over. Back in 2009 Google even went as far as removing any traces of PageRank from their webmaster tools but people still don’t get it. Google recently wrote a very important blog post regarding the alternatives to PageRank that should shed some valuable light on the situation.

This is an important post that everyone should take the time to read because PageRank is something that does not equate to business success online. PageRank can be high on the most horrible of web pages and it doesn’t mean that specific page will be successful or produce any revenues for a company what so ever.

Google states:

“The fact that people are still writing about this almost two years later—usually in the context of “Startling news from Susan Moskwa: …”—really drives home how much PageRank has become a go-to statistic for some webmasters. Even the most inexperienced site owners I talk with have often heard about, and want to know more about, PageRank (“PR”) and what it means for their site. However, as I said in my fateful forum post, the Webmaster Central team has been telling webmasters for years that they shouldn’t focus so much on PageRank as a metric for representing the success of one’s website. Today I’d like to explain this position in more detail and give you some relevant, actionable options to fill your time once you stop tracking your PR!”

Google has been stressing for quite a long time that it is crucial for webmasters and website owners to look for alternatives to measure success of certain web pages. Primarily the three most important alternatives to look at are conversion rate, bounce rate and click through rate. You can have a high PageRank on a web page and still have a horrible bounce rate that really leaves you with nothing.

Google Video

Google states:

“If I don’t track my PageRank, what should I be tracking?

Take a look at metrics that correspond directly to meaningful gains for your website or business, rather than just focusing on ranking signals. Also consider metrics that are updated daily or weekly, rather than numbers (like PageRank) that only change a few times a year; the latter is far too slow for you to reliably understand which of your changes resulted in the number going up or down (assuming you update your site more than a few times a year). Here are three suggestions to get you started, all of which you can track using services like Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools:

  1. Conversion rate
  2. Bounce rate
  3. Clickthrough rate (CTR)”
Years ago search engine optimization was a very technical approach which caused many to simply think about manipulation. In today’s digital space visibility is all about marketing, branding and trust building which should be at the top of every webmasters list of things to do. The days of getting cute with purchasing links and PageRank sculpting are 100% over. Social media and a healthy combination of proactive SEM marketing is the honey that catches the bees. Are you still trying to use vinegar?

Old SEO Methods

If you are still running on SEO time dating back to the early 2000’s you could be doing more harm than good for yourself. There are many search marketing firms in the industry that enjoy praying on those which have not educated themselves on what it really takes to properly conduct SEO for your company website. Old SEO methods can be tough to break because the mindset typically wants to see more when it comes to anything online. The idea of conducting less and generating potentially more power tends to go against the grain of how humans think. Yes 10 news links are most likely worth more than 500 directories. Is it so hard to believe?

The digital landscape has evolved and things are changing which is why your approach to building your online brand needs to also change if you want to succeed well into the future.

Here are some old SEO methods you should try to break immediately if you are still thinking this way:

Thinking more is better

Years ago SEO was all about quantity, things have changed quite a bit. If you have been following the algorithm changes you will know that things are not about quantity any longer. A prime example is the recent Panda update that affected things like mass articles and punished those who approached content marketing with quantity in mind. The search engines want to see a quality approach with everything a website does to create visibility for itself. It is about having a laser targeted approach to build your brand online.

500 keywords in your meta data

Not that long ago I came across a client who had their SEO conducted by an “expert” prior to me who jammed almost 600 keywords into the meta data of the home page, just a horrendous approach to search engine optimization that should have never be done. Google has repeatedly said that they do not put much weight on the keyword section of your meta data so putting that much emphasis on this area is not really going to help you much. It can however affect you negatively if you jam that many keywords into it.

Most directories are crap

There are literally thousands of directories out there but only a handful out of those thousands actually have any link value. Some are just there for the links and others can actually help you brand your business online. Some of the better directories can actually rank for your company name which is great for when someone does a search for your company name in the search space.

Thinking social media has no connection to SEO

Over the years social media and SEO have begun to hold their hands pretty tightly. One great example is the recent Facebook/Bing partnership where social media updates are now appearing in search results. If SEO is about visibility in search than how is that not a direct overlap with search engine optimization?

Going cookie cutter

Purchasing search engine packages are better than just standing still but in today’s online space it requires an approach that is really customized to your business. The landscape has evolved into something very powerful and robust which requires your approach to be robust as well. Here are some nice stats on how other small to medium sized businesses are approaching the online space this year just so you have a good idea on what other like-minded businesses are planning.

Treating your website like a “website”

It doesn’t matter what you are selling online. Whether it is just content or diamond rings you have more than just a website on your hands. People do not engage with “websites” any longer, they now engage with brands and businesses that are really spreading their wings online. The days of just building a business online from having a page ranking are over. Someone might bump into your page online which is great but they might wait to make that purchase and if they see something from you else where it might just sway them to move into your direction.

I will only succeed with Google rankings

There is much more going on online than just search results. Your audience is growing wider and larger and you have to be visible in many other locations if at all possible. It is one thing to not have the resource to accomplish it but if you have the mindset that there is nothing else but Google search results you might be shooting yourself in the foot.

Matt Cutts Google

Have you ever wondered how exactly Google search really works? I know that many of us simply hop onto our computers every morning or afternoon to communicate with our friends on Facebook or find out what temperature to set our stove on a particular recipe but have you ever really thought about how everything really works inside the walls of the Google website? Google made this neat little video so that you could understand exactly how pages index and spiders read all the information that people include in the search engines. Have you wondered how exactly a page appears on page 1? Matt Cutts gives a pretty good explanation on how exactly Google determines who appears in the search results. For those of you who might have always wondered how it all operates or search engine marketing efforts might help you appear in search results this video might clarify a little bit for you.

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