Is Google Hijacking the Internet? [FLIP BOOK]
Although there are other search engine options out there, it seems that almost everyone has forgotten about them and Google now has a huge amount of power. Call us all sheep, but in the UK, 91% of us are using it to make searches online; while worldwide, Google has an 87.6% market share. Move to smartphone browsing and Google’s share shoots up to 98% of mobile searches.
As the internet giant faces an antitrust lawsuit in Europe, we thought we’d look at some of its good and bad points: and share our tips on SEO.
Reasons to love Google:
- Changes to the way Google ranks sites mean it’s now easier for small companies to get into the first page results. Content is king for Google and Marketing Sherpa’s 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report - SEO Edition revealed that developing niche content increases organic traffic 40%; so making incremental SEO improvements adds up to large gains.
- The new Google+ author feature means you can prove authorship of your content (isn’t that nice of them). As it gets recommended, all the lovely content written by you will start to creep steadily up the rankings. (Alas, there is a flipside to this.)
- The Penguin update applied in 2012 means that using dodgy link farms to boost rankings won’t work anymore. We should think so too.
Reasons to seriously question Google:
- Changes to Google Search mean you can no longer see what keywords people are using to find your site. Some bloggers who share tips on SEO suspect this is a move to up sales of Google Adwords, and we reckon they’re right.
- You have to start a Google+ profile to prove authorship of content and start improving your rankings, which ties everyone into Google even more. They don’t miss a trick, do they?
- Only 18% of SMEs that spend on Adwords see a return on their investment. The other 82% either don’t make enough sales to cover the cost or aren’t even finding out the results of the campaign. (We’re not sure that people not bothering to track ROI can be blamed on Google, though.)
- Businesses spend a lot on PPC; but only around 20% of traffic comes from it.
So, there’s some good and a little bit more bad in Google’s almost total monopoly of the internet search engine space. But whatever you think of it, your business needs to get found on it.
With internet advertising spend in the UK expected to grow 14% in 2012 and 12% in 2014, making an impact online is going to get even harder.