thinking like google
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Matt Antonino
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If I could sum up my life in one line, I'd die of embarrassment.
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Think Like Google to Improve Your SEO

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Understanding SEO is often as “easy” as understanding Google’s business model.

The majority of our customers engage in SEO campaigns because they want the resulting traffic, leads, customers and revenue from the world’s largest search engine. If your site is performing well, Google gives you qualified traffic and helps grow your business. But what does Google want for their own business in return? What can you give the search giant to make this trade worthwhile for them?

Start understanding SEO through Google’s goggles by understanding their business model. Even a massive company like Google has many competitors and it’s important to know what pushes users to alternative search engines.

Let’s walk a mile in their shoes to see what this platform is thinking and why they rank sites the way they do.

What Does Google Want?

Google wants happy customers.

Think like Google here. What are their primary objectives? How do they make money? Google makes the vast majority of their income through ad revenue. They obtain these revenues by creating a great customer experience that keeps people coming back. Google has become synonymous with “search” because they provide relevant answers quickly.

Even if it’s not in their best interest to return a great result, they still come through. (Click to see the full-size image.)

google alternatives

So, they make money when customers are happy (and then return to Google for future searches.)  Got it?

Google wants to provide the best answers

Now, we know Google makes money when customers are happy. What happens when a spammer takes over the page one results for a search term? Customers find poor quality businesses, irrelevant spam and get frustrated with how long it takes to find what they’re looking for.

Similarly, assume Google sends a customer to your website and it is slow to load. Google’s customers get frustrated. They feel like Google misled them. This isn’t a good experience and it’s not a good site.

In the “good old days” of SEO, it was easy to put a list of suburbs on your website and rank for all of them even if you weren’t local to the user’s search term. “Pizza in Melbourne” could easily return someone’s business in Sydney. How likely are you to continue using Google long-term if this consistently still happened years later?

The Google business wants to make money

Now, consider that Google processes billions of searches per day. Every search costs Google a bit of money. This is just a fraction of a fraction of a cent … times billions.

Your website may not cause someone to quit using Google for one of their competitors but it’s a fraction of a fraction of a reason people change to another provider. Google understands that their brand is their major selling point and preserving every fraction of goodwill toward their search product means keeping their business at the top. Marginal gains add up quite quickly over billions of fractions per day.

marginal gains in seo

Every day, someone publishes an article about alternatives to Google and ways you can “quit” using the platform altogether. From Search Engine Watch, through to Kissmetrics—many want a reason or a way to escape.

So What Can You Do?

Knowing that Google wants to provide the best, most relevant, fastest results should give you a pretty good guideline on what they’re looking for in your website and your content. Answer the question; learn what people are searching and apply that to your website.

If you can deliver fast, accurate answers to the questions your potential customers are asking, Google will reward your excellence. Aim to help Google save money, time and goodwill and they will help you grow your business.

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By Matt Antonino


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