Google was never in the brand business. It was ALWAYS in the content business. And while the 10 blue links lasted.. It was a great marriage. It had it’s up and down’s, no doubt, like all good marriages but there was a sense of mutual benefit and (I hope), respect. We needed each other, didn’t we?
To be completely honest, I cannot say that I took our 9 major breaks ups in my stride. Each brought more heartache than the last but I REALLY thought we were getting to a point where we understood each other. You just wanted to be awesome which you needed me to be awesome too! Sometimes it felt like you were calling way more shots, but hey! We were a thing, weren’t we?
Forever out of breath trying to catch up (and make nice) with the incessantly complex and demanding roller coaster of Google updates, I doubt if most marketers have had time to embrace the new view. We are NO LONGER part of the ride!
Now, in the early days, websites understood that Google would rank them only if they provided good content so they went ahead and created FAQs, slide shares, blogs and other user relevant sound bytes that would signal relevance and send them search traffic. Google kept raising the bar in it’s quest for perfection and they kept jumping through the hoops in a bid to retain their ranks and traffic.
Circa 2018, websites continue to research customer pain areas, hire a content team that outnumbers the sales staff and are rewarded with a Page #1 rank. Unfortunately, Google also displays a 3 line definition along with the snazzy image that you paid the designer $300 to make and you see a drastic traffic fall. Why?
Earlier Google just indexed other people’s content, put it in order and displayed search results as links in order of perceived relevance to the search term. Users clicked through to provide traffic and adequate returns for their efforts.
Now Google is in some ways usurping great content bytes that YOU have SO PAINSTAKINGLY created to answer a user’s query by itself so that he does not have to visit your website at all.
Or in other words instead of being the impartial popularity contest host that it was, Google is the now a purveyor, distributor, censor and even the contestant in this new game .Not just a win win partnership, after all, right?
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