Is Google your business’s ally or nemesis?
Google can be a company’s greatest online ally – or most difficult challenger. Let’s look back and see how we got here, and what you can do to stay in the good graces of the nearly all-powerful search engine.
Google was launched just two decades ago to market Google Search, which quickly became the most widely used web-based search engine. By 2004 they did an IPO and shortly transformed into the world’s largest media company.
Along the way, the megacorporation was no stranger to controversy, between US court orders related to URL and search string disclosure and numerous tax avoidance investigations. In 2011, Google paid less than 1.5% of its nearly £400m earnings in the UK, for example, giving rise to public “tax shaming” protests.
In 2017, Google paid 2.4 bn euros for thwarting shopping comparison website rivals, followed in July of this year by a 4.3 bn euro fine for another antitrust violation related to its Android operating system, and currently is at the end of a two year investigation into its EU AdSense practices.
What does all this mean to you? First off, understand that, no matter how large your company is, it’s probably not larger or more powerful than Google. It’s important to understand that Google can have a significant impact on your company’s marketing. But there are ways to play nice with Google and ensure your business is seen.
Start here: https://www.google.com/business/ Google gives business owners a lot of guidance because, remember, the more information they have about you, the more successful their search engine. However, guidance does not necessarily translate into help. It’s sort of like dealing with Facebook – it’s a DIY exercise with little to no customer support, which can be frustrating.
Google reviews are becoming increasingly important for businesses that work directly with customers in person (think cafes, mechanics, clothing stores, etc.), so be sure you are encouraging your customers to write reviews. Make it easy for them by sending links and information about how to write a review for your business.
Most businesses strive for the elusive “Google ranking,” which is based on the equally elusive “Google algorithm.” While the company’s support pages do contain some information about how to make improvements, it’s often best to find a professional company that specializes in SEO (search engine optimization) marketing to help you.
One of the most important elements in raising your Google ranking is to frequently and consistently place new content on your website. This is most often done through a blog section of your website. It also helps to link out to other sites, and to have other sites link to your site. These are all factors, and again, it is often best to get some outside marketing assistance.
Cyber security is important to Google – their technology “examines billions of URLs per day looking for unsafe websites.” And once your website has been deemed “unsafe” it can take days or weeks to get it back to “safe” status. Don’t leave your system and website security to chance – give us a ring to find out how you can ensure your website is up and running and open for business.