Mike Jeffs

Why Google’s company philosophy is the only SEO strategy you need. Still.

Why Google’s company philosophy is the only SEO strategy you need. Still.

What is Google’s company philosophy?

10 things that Google wrote way back in the early years when the company was founded. For those unaware Google comes from the maths terms googol:

Googol

Focus on the user and all else will follow.

It’s something we hear time and time again from clients and prospects – phrases such as doing some SEO are a personal pain point of mine. When optimising for search all you are doing is trying to optimise for the user. In this case the user is searching, and Google’s aim is to end that search by providing the best answer, therefore make sure your site has the best answer.

What we’re doing is using search insight to market our websites to users. So instead of taking action when there’s an algorithm change, we should take action once we see user behaviour change.

It’s best to do one thing really, really well.

Google’s one thing is search. What’s yours? Holidays, DIY, bathrooms, garden furniture, insurance? You need to own the topic/industry that you’re in, e.g. what do people looking to buy garden furniture search for and when? Your search strategy should be dedicated to championing that topic whether that be at the awareness or retention stage of the buying process.

Fast is better than slow

No brainer. There are numerous studies out there showing the correlation of a fast website a positive user experience. Nielsen Norman Group say that you have 3.8 seconds to capture a user’s attention, even less if you’re site is slow to load!

Democracy on the web works

“Google search works because it relies on the millions of individuals posting links on websites to help determine which other sites offer content of value.”

You can have the best content in the world but if people aren’t reading it then what use is that? With over 200 ranking signals we have over 200 different ways to influence users through search. How are you getting your ‘votes’ as the best source of information? If we’re talking links then what is it that is resulting in links? What is the talking point? Remember here that every talking point creates a further talking point, and therefore every piece of information creates more information or votes for Google to assess.

We’re not necessarily talking content is king here either.

You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer

True. Users are searching when it’s convenient or when it’s necessary for them, not just when you’re open for business. There are many more moments of truth for you, your brand and your site to capitalise on. Your retail store may be open 9-5, but what about that customer who wants to browse at 8:30am or 10pm?

You need to make it easy. Who wants to see an unoptimised desktop site on their mobile/tablet? Users want access to your products/information wherever they are and whenever they need it.

Micro-Moments

You can make money without doing evil.

For us this can be translated as give up your dodgy SEO tactics. Yes some of them may work/might have worked but you can get the same results without the level of risk. Google don’t want to compromise the integrity of their brand, your SEO strategy shouldn’t compromise the integrity of your brand.

There’s always more information out there.

35,000,000,000A curse or a blessing? On the web there is always going to be something new or more and therefore information can always be advanced – this could be rewritten, reformatted, tweaked, repositioned, and revaluated. As the information builds so do users expectations meaning that there are more opportunities for behavioural change in users and therefore change in search terms (there are 35,000,000,000 moment per day). This could manifest itself in a new Google search or an additional question in their journey.

The need for information crosses all borders.

The internet means that information can be accessed from one country to the next with relative ease. How does your specialism come across in those countries? Are you targeting those countries? Hreflang offers a great opportunity for brands to exchange the value of various international content campaigns too. However what works in one country may need to be changed to suit another country, so that it suits those different users.

You can be serious without a suit.

For Google, this means the challenge of work should be fun. For brands in highly regulated industries that have been traditionally more serious, the increase in social proofing has drawn a trend in those companies becoming seemingly less so. Take finance as an example: Money Supermarket, On Trees, Nutmeg, Crowd Cube are all emerging in a more casual social style. You can also see traditional brands adopting this strategy – Amex Small Business Saturday, Barclays Digital Eagles, Citi Smart Branches.

Great just isn’t good enough

We try to anticipate needs not yet articulated by our global audience, and meet them with products and services that set new standards. Google.

Whilst having a great SEO strategy will get you places, it won’t deliver continued success. SEO is all about continual evolution as is any business strategy or indeed marketing strategy. You only to need to look at a recent study by Search Metrics:

About the author...

Mike's background is in Business and Marketing Management, with experience both client and agency side in demanding industries such as tourism, entertainment, finance, B2B and FMCG. Mike joined the search marketing team at Branded3 in January 2011, and now heads up Branded3's London office as an Account Director.

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