There are Google detractors and the competition will always be fierce with the faithful sometimes get trampled in the melee. Uploading gmail contacts is not easy on Facebook while these giants vie for influence. However, until that changes definitively, Google is where the website action is.
Yesterday on Google there were upwards of 5 Billion searches. There will be more today. Yes, you are there. You have a storefront – a website But unless your website is created and functions according to the Google algorithm the only way your existing or potential customer can find you in the crowd is if your address is clasped in their hand as they get jostled in the avalanche of other choices.
Google is Consumer Driven
How do you set yourself apart? Well, the best way is to remember that Google is consumer driven and realize that at the beginning of each one of those 5 Billion searches are ten fingers on a keyboard. I'm sure yours were among them. How did you search? Did you know the name of the business to answer your query? Probably not or you would have gone there directly. What question did you ask to find your solution? What questions would your potential customer be asking to find you – if they don't yet know your name?
The Google algorithm is impartial and responsive. However it does gather statistics to make it more personally responsive to individuals. You will notice that Google ads on your sidebars are mostly about what interests you or what you have been searching for. In the long run, search results themselves can gets skewed leaning toward past preferences. If you have been searching mostly liberal or democratic sites, chances are related searches will edit out conservative or republican sites. This can be seen as a plus in efficiency but a minus in freedom of choice.
For the business it means that the closer you comply with Google search criteria the more likely it will be that Google will put you above your competition on search results, if that competitor is less compliant – even if they are bigger than you or a more recognized industry brand.
Meta Tags, Keywords and the Informed Consumer:
We are an information rich society which technology has placed at our fingertips. Consumers – you and me and your potential client or customer will research everything from gallbladder symptoms to wedding gowns before we even go looking for a remedy or designer. And if we didn't do it before we set out – we certainly back up our initial impressions with an internet search before making an informed decision.