I have said this before, I love Google. I live and breathe Google. But the other day at dinner my husband and I were talking about why we had to make some changes based on Google’s best practices, bla bla bla and my teenage daughter suddenly asked “Why do you have to do everything Google says”?
What? Why do I? Because they say so? Because it’s the right thing to do? Because they are GODgle? I didn’t have an answer. I had to stop and think. Am I a slave to a giant, intangible monster that undergoes constant change? Whenever they announce a major change we go into a flurry of action to assess potential damage and essentially reevaluate our entire online presence. Why is Google so important to us? If we wanted to break away, could we?
It isn’t Going Anywhere
Using a search engine is the most popular online activity, according to surveys by Pew Internet and most of internet users go to Google first. In fact, 83% of Internet users choose Google as their search engine of choice. The BBC tells us that Google handles more than 100 billion searches per month and sorts through 60 trillion web addresses to find your answers in less than half a second.
Because Google controls their search algorithms, and most people prefer Google Search over everything else, I guess we will always be at mercy of @MattCutts and his coworkers on Google’s Search Quality Team. They might not reign forever but for right now they are king of the hill.
Google is the Biggest and Baddest Advertising Company
Most of us associate Google with Google Search, Google Chrome, and maybe even those self-driving cars in California. But did you know that Google makes 96% of its revenue from advertising? Public files on the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website show in the 2006 fiscal year, they pulled in more than $10 billion from advertising alone. Everything else Google did made less than $150 million combined. By the way, for clarification, we associate this with Google Analytics, Adwords, and AdSense, not the pet projects they inevitably throw away (here’s to you, Google Latitude).
More than half of the Internet’s top websites have Google Analytics installed and that tells me that we need to take notice and pay attention, not because we do everything they say (according to my daughter), but because so many successful people have identified a this as a genuinely useful tool. And because I don’t believe you can advertise a website, brand, or product well without using Google. Let me put it this way, it’s like trying to grocery shop without buying a P&G product.
Google Cares About You
I know you don’t believe me and I don’t blame your skepticism in light of Google’s antitrust probes, but every business owner advertising online benefits from Google’s quality assurance. They have teams dedicated to improving search quality and identifying spam and this is great!
So here’s to you Google, and thank you for downgrading the page rank of well-known content farms. Thank you for pushing aside low-value content to allow room for bloggers like us who actually care. Thank you for creating cottage industries that I can earn from and that gives me the means to buy my kids the clothes and toys that they want. That’s why I do everything Google says.