My 12 years with Google - What Works & What Doesn't
Google is Still #1 in Search and I Know Why
After 12 Years of Working with Google, I Can Tell You What Works, What Doesn’t, and What You Need To Do For Your Website
While I grew up with encyclopedias and library cards, at the age of four, my niece knew what “Google it” meant. Search engines are a part of our daily lives, and they aren't going anywhere for quite awhile
Why is Google so successful?
Google’s mission is the same today as it was when they started - deliver the best website to answer your question. But a LOT has changed in search since they launched over 20 years ago.
You used to Google things like “office chair” and that evolved into “best office chair” which evolved into “what is the best office chair for lumbar support” and “buy office chair near me” and "office chair free shipping"
Changes in how we search has forced Google to constantly update its search algorithm. That is a fancy word for the calculation they use to determine the best website to show, in the hopes of answering your question.
With over 1 billion websites out there, having the word “office chair” on your website is not enough to get Google’s attention. There are a lot of other things it factors in, like how old your site is, how often people look at it, how much time they spend there interacting with it, and so much more.
Now just about every one of those billion websites was created with the idea that they want to get people to it. I mean if you aren’t in business to make money and promote your stuff, you aren’t in business, right?!?
But over the years, a thousand and one "hacks" and tricks have surfaced and sorting through all of that hot mess is just a recipe for disaster. Google can tell if you are trying to trick the algorithm, forcing it to show your site when it really didn’t earn that top spot, and they do not like that kind of activity. Google does ban sites, making sure they won't show up no matter what they do to try and fix their bad tactics after getting caught.
So let’s talk about you and your website.
You might run a mom and pop yoga shop, or sell a monthly sticker pack subscription. You aren’t trying to trick Google, you are trying to get customers - so what can you do?
You can create the right content. You can put keywords in the right places. You can structure your site for users and search engines and make sure your site is indexed properly. You can build digital relationships, and know what to update and when.
But the biggest thing you can do is figure out how tackle this all while still finding the time to run a business.
I spent years getting hired by clients to put in the hours for them, only to scratch my head wondering why I only got referrals and never business from my own website. It was the classic tale of the cobblers kid having no shoes - I wasn’t doing the bare minimum on my own site to bring in the traffic!
So I broke it down into the basics, not just for you but for myself. The things I can do while still working a full time job for my clients. Every little bit helps, and I am here to help you prioritize your to do list and cut through all the crap advice online to make sure your time is spent making the right changes the right way.
Now the number one thing I want to emphasize is that good quality search traffic does not appear overnight. And if anyone promised you position number one, they are probably doing some unsafe tactics that might get your site banned from Google. So be patient, and be ready to learn.
I did a webinar on SEO tactics, not just for Squarespace users, but for anybody who is ready to learn. If you want to step up your search rank, and need someone to lay it out in a step by step no fluff kind of way, then watch the webinar replay. It’s free, and the best part - this webinar ends with a live Q&A session! I wanted to know what other people needed answers to and it was kinda cool to get an idea of what other business owners were needing help with. And after 12 years of working with Google, I got kind of used to their mission and adopted it as my own; making it easy for them to deliver the best website to answer the question.
Check out the reply on Demio, up until the end of the month.