In Google, Internet Marketing, Tech Trends

Back before Google was ever a thing, the early years of the internet did have various primitive search engines to choose from. Whether it was AltaVista, AskJeeves, Lycos, or the original, Archie, the World Wide Web was truly the wild, wild west. Even Yahoo had a place among the forefathers. While these brave few paved the way, they had no idea what they could really become, and it wasn’t until 1998, when Google first debuted, that anyone really knew the true potential of a search engine. With all these unknowns, and now with everything we know today, let’s take a moment to reflect upon how we got here, and why today’s marketers are so beholden to the behemoth that is Google. 

How Google Got Its Start

Picture it: Stanford University in 1995. A Stanford student shows a potential grad student around campus. By the following year, they not only had befriended each other, but had also created a partnership to create “a search engine that used links to determine the importance of individual pages on the World Wide Web”. While Google was not the first name for it, by 1998 they had enough interest and investors from Silicon Valley to officially get the greenlight, and tada! Google was born.

What Google Did to Lure and Retain Users

While there were a number of things that Google did, the most important one was simple – they kept the focus on technology instead of sales. Though that might seem a little too on the nose, it was a foresight that most other tech companies just didn’t have. Google focused on search and the technology to keep evolving it instead of trying to make the big bucks right away. This strategy allowed them to put all their energy into the building blocks of what we now have come to depend on. They also focused on bringing in the talent to support their strategy, and they followed the KISS rule: keep it simple, stupid. The simplicity of their search page allowed for users to easily utilize it, which meant it got in front of many more eyes than the other search engines. 

Once users were there, they stayed because the results found on Google were decidedly more relevant than the other engines who served up less-relevant results which were actually paid ads. By resisting paid ads for as long as they did, Google proved to the masses that they were the search engine who offered quality content. And you know how we at Blink;Tech feel about quality content!

Algorithms are All the Rage

We’ve all heard the term “algorithm”, but what exactly is that? The Oxford Dictionary defines an algorithm as “…a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.” When Google first began, its algorithm basically counted the number, as well as the quality of content, of links to a page to ascertain the importance of that website. As processes evolve and new technology comes into play, the algorithm will change in order to provide the best user experience, but it also will affect the ranking factors. 

This strategy has helped keep Google at the forefront of search engine supremacy, but it has also kept digital marketers scurrying to keep their businesses at the top of search results. Every company understands the importance of SEO, but most can’t really explain why – and that’s exactly the point of the algorithm and its evolution. While content creators and SEO analysts are given hints by Google of what the new changes are, they are kept in the dark about how to address the algorithms and keep their pages high in the rankings. This forces marketers to continuously update their SEO strategies to see what works and what doesn’t, hoping to find a pattern that meshes with the new algorithm and boosts their page rankings. 

Why Can’t Marketers Escape Google?

The answer is plain and simple: there is no competition that offers all of the quality results that Google can. Beyond that, Google has also cornered the market on email, storage, advertising, and basically anything else that a business may need to run day-to-day communications operations. Being able to house so many things under one roof keeps it simple for businesses, but it also forces those same businesses to stay beholden to one provider. They deserve much credit for building a company that is so in-demand, but this also makes them partly responsible for what may come next, and that is something we all should be cautious about. 

What is Next on the Horizon?

With the advent of AI, this is anyone’s guess, but know that it may not be all sunshine and roses. Even before ChatGPT was released, many alarm bells were sounding along with the cheers for such a technological feat. There are concerns that Google’s use of AI to provide answers to search (you might have noticed it at the top of your search results – it is called AI Overview), will effectively stop the user from visiting the websites that offer the quality content since the answers are already served up in the results. These concerns are fueled by the idea that organic search traffic to websites will drop drastically, forcing businesses to resort to paid advertising only, causing their budgets to balloon. So what can we do?

One thing is to diversify your traffic sources, though it should be understood that it still really is Google’s game. There are no other platforms that offer traffic to the amount that Google does, but it will only help to diversify, which means having a presence on all socials and search.

Another thing we as marketers can do, is start to focus on why our business matters and what makes us unique. We have already spoken at length as to why it’s important to prove your authority to Google, but you also have to prove that you matter to your potential customers, and the internet at-large. What makes your business unique? Why are you the best resource for the client? Using diverse marketing strategies to prove these points will help separate you from the crowd, and hopefully outlast the competition. 

If your business is ready to make its mark, contact Blink;Tech today. We are your tech partner, and we are here to help!

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