How To Break Up With Google in 3 Easy Steps

SMS Text

Relationship building with a giant, remote, hugely powerful company.  Who really wants to have to do that? Cultivating relationships with real live people is difficult enough. But every business that has a website is in constant relationship building mode with the giant, remote, hugely powerful company called Google. What does that tell you? It’s a pretty lopsided relationship. There’s Google, then there’s the rest of us. Google is not devoted to you. Not at all. So save your relationship building tactics for someone that cares! Break up and move on, right?

Sadly, it’s not that simple. You need Google. If you broke it off tomorrow, Google would not miss you even a tiny bit. Unless you’re paying tons of cash for a pay per click advertising campaign—in that case, your relationship with Google is a little more balanced. If you’re running a multi-million dollar PPC campaign, Google will put some effort into relationship building. Even then, Google can decide they don’t like your ad, or your keyword or whatever and shut you out. But you small businesses out there—your PPC campaign is a mere drop in the bucket. You can just forget about any relationship building outreach from Google. Why is this fair? Why are you engaging in relationship building with this thing that doesn’t care about you?

What’s the alternative? Bing? Yahoo? C’mon, you don’t want to settle for second best. Or third. Google is IT and you have to work on this relationship building and figure out how to make it work. Relationship building with Google is a necessary part of life for all businesses, large and small.

The thing is, Google has the power to break up with you! And they will if you don’t play by the rules. You do not want that! Once that relationship with Google is damaged, getting back in requires a whole new level of relationship building that is usually beyond the capabilities of an SEO amateur.

What could make Google break up with you? It’s pretty simple!


  1. Play games – Google is allowed to play games but you are not. Don’t bother trying to get away with things that can cause a rift between you and Google. Not knowing the rules or saying Google’s rules are too vague…useless. Blaming your SEO provider doesn’t work either. It is incumbent upon you to know what your SEO provider is up to! I cannot say enough about the importance of transparency and accountability when it comes to SEO services. Look for an SEO provider that will write quality content, show you that content and verify publication of that content.


  1. Throw your affiliate, promotional, advertorial and marketing materials in with your Google News submission – Google will see right through you and they’ll break it off immediately. Your article will be taken down and everything you’ve done for relationship building could be obliterated with this one mistake. Google recently sent out a warning about promotional and commerce journalism and it’s best to take it very seriously.


  1. Shun Content Marketing – Google is often vague about what it wants but when it comes to content marketing, it is crystal clear. Content marketing, done well, is one of the best Google relationship building tactics there is! So do it well and do it often. If you aren’t capable of writing great content and following through with content placement, find someone to do it for you. If you have to pay someone to do it for you, it’s money well spent. Content Marketing is a necessary part of having a solid presence on the web.

Speaking of content marketing: On the agenda at the March 2013 SES conference in NYC: “Screw Link Building, it’s Called Relationship Building”

At first, I thought the session was about relationship building with Google but the synopsis of this session says nothing about Google. It’s about relationship building for guest blogging:

Guest blogging is a great way to get both links and content, but bloggers are inundated with emails for pitches. To find and reach prospects before your competitors do, stop focusing on the link and start focusing on the relationship.

While it’s true that relationship building for guest blogging is important, we must not discount the importance of quality, relevant link building. Link building is still critical for SEO. But what this means is getting a link from a guest blog does not have to be the only goal or even the primary goal. Content marketing can be a means to an end but most of the time, a blogger will give you a link to your website. Maybe not an anchor text link, but a link nevertheless. So work on your relationship building with relevant bloggers and website owners who can post your quality content. And when you do that, Google may give you a little love.


Ellen Gipko

Ellen Gipko

Content Marketing Specialist at HubShout
Ellen Gipko is a content marketing specialist at HubShout, a US based white label SEO reseller, website reseller and web marketing firm with offices in... Read Full Bio
Ellen Gipko
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Sahil

    The good old days of SEO is gone, the ones when a link more than that of competitors used to have a competitive edge in search most of the times. Now is the era of Quality Content, which is relevant, informative, creative, easy to understand and a value add for the users. Its all about providing the best user experience, engaging with the users to gain trust and to build relationships.

    • Alvin Brown

      Perfect summation of the article, Sahil. 🙂

  • Catherine

    Great article. Even though tricking/gaming Google has never been on my agenda, knowing what not to do makes it easier to avoid making costly mistakes on accident. Thanks.

  • Greg

    Great article. I’ve just got a quick question about your third point. You’ve mentioned Guest Blogging and Content Marketing, but don’t you think it’s worth mentioned a little about Google Authorship in that paragraph too?

    • Alvin Brown

      I would also include the coming of co-citation.

  • Kelly

    The problem I find with Google, is the relationship can be a bit one sided. I feel like a lot of the time I am doing most of the work and putting in lots of effort. Writing high quality content etc only to be snubbed by the big G. I wish I could read his (I’m convinced the big G is male) mind.

  • Oliver Ewbank

    Nice post Ellen – to make sure you don’t break up with Google I think it is good practice to re-read the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

  • John Z Wetmore

    Google might keep changing, but I have been doing things the same way since 1998, and I have been first page for [pedestrians] continuously since then. I have had volunteer web managers who have understood how to make pages search-engine friendly. And I have content that people have linked to organically. The most notable new things have been adding embedded YouTube videos (and linking my website to my YouTube channel), and adding widgets so that people can like and share my pages.

  • Daniel Anderson

    We can’t strictly break up with google because people do have use of google on every aspect.

    Let just take this that way more than 75% people check their internet is working or not by typing google 😀

    Thank you for sharing 🙂