So many people are obsessed with Google. And as far as that goes, there is good reason to be. Google is the largest search engine that gets the most searches and delivers far more traffic than any other engine. But I'm not one to watch Google on a hyper-obsessive level. I'm just as happy to let others do that for me.
When it comes to our clients we do care about Google rankings. In fact, we really don't look very deep into what rankings are for the other engines (Yahoo and MSN). Typically if you're ranking well on Google the others are not far behind.
I recently checked out Google's new Insights for Search, and I have to say that I found it less than insightful. The gist of it is you get to see if any particular keywords are being searched more or less over time. It'll make a decent comparison metric to WordTracker or Keyword Discovery, but not a whole lot more.
There are a few other tidbits of information, such as regional search patterns and what not, and this can be used for some additional keyword research. But other than that... yawn.
Is it smart to know whats going on in the world of search? Of course. Understanding various signals that the search engines look at and attempting to weight those signals through trial, error and testing is extremely valuable.
But more important than what the search engines are doing today, is looking ahead to what they want to be doing, or what they should be doing. And to do that, you often have to look no further than yourself.
What would you do if you were a search engine? How would you rate the value of a website? The engines are not smart enough to make assessments like the human mind, but they are trying.
Somehow we have to balance what we know of the engines today with what we expect the engines to do tomorrow. One thing we can always be sure of, Google and the other search engines don't want to return results that their users feel are irrelevant. That means that so long as we work to build sites that are relevant, and highly valuable to our target audiences, we're on the right track.
You don't have to know the minute detail of all of Google's patents to know what the search engines are going for. That information is always valuable, but also keep in mind that Google is not your target audience. They are just a means for advertising. Getting strong advertising placement is great, but only so far as you're able to sell to your audience once they are delivered from your advertisements.
If you can't, then Google doesn't want you in the results. If you can, but not as well as someone else, then that someone else will likely have a better advertising position. On the other hand, if you can provide a good user experience, quality information, and go out of your way to delight your visitors, then you got just the type of site that Google wants in the top positions.
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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