How Google Works (and why I hate them)
I was with a client last week and they asked me “how does Google work anyway?”
Google has been part of our lives for so long that many of us just take it for granted without ever really thinking what’s going on behind the scenes. Need a cinema, got it, need to find your nearest motorbike dealer, no probs. And as I sit here writing about it, it dawns on me how much I hate them. Sure, I admire them for doing what they’ve done, but how have two geeks from California so completely dominated the way we attract our clients? Huge sections of my working life seem to be about nothing else but talking about how to appeal to Google. How to rank, how others rank, what you’ve got to improve or how you can pay through the nose to make it work for you. The world has shifted and not only do you have to get qualified, do a good job, set up your business but you also need to understand how to get your business seen on the only search engine that really matters. Everyone has to become an expert on internet marketing. And the killer is everyone else is trying to do exactly the same. So if you want to know how Google works read on:
Google is valued at $368 billion. Not bad for a company started from a garage in 1998. It is anticipated that by 2020 it will be the first company in the world to hit a trillion dollar valuation. It handles 89% of all UK search enquiries and, in my opinion, is dangerously close to a monopoly. Despite all the driverless cars, sinister spectacles and new ways of heating your home the primary revenue driver by a country mile is ‘search’ – or what I like to call, putting themselves in between your prospective clients and you.
And search is a curiosity. Because the actual bit that most people use, the organic search result, is free. Google don’t actually make a penny out of this. But the truth is that this free part of Google is actually a bear bit. Getting ranked on page one, the only place that matters, is a time consuming, troublesome and costly business that most company’s give up on instead opting to get out their checkbooks and pay to get noticed. And here lies the issue – it’s the word “most” that’s key here. Competition to appear in the paid sections (at the top and on the right) is intense, to many it may be the lifeblood of their business, and so companies bid against each other to get to the top, each eroding their margin to win market share and praying that the can’t afford to top it. In many cases Google can rapidly become one of the biggest elements of your budget.
So how does Google rank you.
Infographic by PPCBlog