Google has become one of the world's largest companies for a good
reason. With their grand ambition of “organizing the world's
information”, they have helped spur the democratization of data,
empowering consumers like never before.
The tech giant
accounts for roughly 82% of search engine market share. This
translates to an average of 40,000 queries per second, 3.5 billion
searches per day, or 1.2 trillion searches per year from
users all over the globe.
With this data alone, the
call-to-action is clear: companies must participate in the
game of search because that's where their customers go. Visibility
and presence are key or else brands risk being left in the dust—no
matter how established they are.
This then begs the question:
how? With Google's ever-changing standards, which rules still hold?
Here are a few principles to get you started:
Treat Google Like A Relationship
Google built its
search engine with one goal in mind: to match queries with answers
of the highest quality. Since they achieve this with their famous
search algorithm, it's natural that they're also very secretive
about how it works.
Given that many people have tried to take
advantage of it—through reverse-engineering or illegal gamifying—the
search engine has learned not to trust easily.
This is why a
key principle to search is to treat your website's interaction with
Google like a relationship. Since it's a smart tool that keeps
changing, the best route that any company can take is to practice
the empirically proven tactics shown to build the engine's trust
despite its many iterations.
According to experts, there are
three key components conducive to this trust. The first is indexed
age or the time Google discovered your domain or web page.
The company itself has stated that new websites will always
struggle to rank in their first few months. Since they're famously
tight-lipped about why these things are so, your best course of
action is to keep refining your site even during this initial
struggle so that it will be ready to rank once the trial phase is
Next up is authority profile. Google determines the
credibility of a site based on its links. There has to be a healthy
amount of links directing people to your site or page; these links
should come from a diverse set of sources; and they must originate
from websites of high quality themselves. There should also be an
increasing rate at which these external websites direct to your
Lastly, there's underlying content: the substance of your
website determines your relevance for Google's algorithms. Content
has to be lengthy, include keywords, and compel users to spend a
long time on your site.
Focus On The User Experience
engines were built with the user in mind. Their experience trumps
all other factors and always informs how the engine's algorithm is
This algorithm does three things once a user asks a
question. First, it crawls through billions of data points. Second,
it returns only the relevant data points that answer the query.
Third, it ranks these data points based on how popular their source
In essence, relevance and popularity are the
names of the game. Hundreds of factors influence each of these
metrics, and there are endless approaches to each one. In order to
cut through the fluff, one strategy remains clear: focusing on the
user experience will get you closer to your goal.
algorithms are always optimized for the best user experience
possible, search engines like to reward websites that do the same
with higher rankings.
One well-established tactic that
improves your user's experience is high-quality content marketing.
When executed well, you create a wealth of branded content; increase
your chances of quality backlinks from other sites; and position
your company as a credible source on the web.
A few rules of
thumb for creating quality content go as follows:
- Keep it
lengthy—2,000 words usually rank better.
- Maintain a
consistent publishing schedule, such as 2-3 times a week.
- Pick three primary keywords to use frequently.
- Maintain an internal linking system that connects the content
within your site.
One interesting case
study that demonstrates the values of both popularity and relevance
is a simple search of hair care products in the Philippines. A
Google query of “best shampoo for dry hair” shows products sold from
the Zalora Philippines website as the top result.
big-name FMCG brands owning this space, the rest of the results were
mostly Top X listicles originating from lifestyle domains (such as
Stylecraze.com) or international media sites (like Marie Claire UK,
Clearly, despite the Philippine market having deep
hair care penetration, there is still ripe opportunity for shampoo
brands to be visible and present in search.
shows that 84% of consumers trust online reviews, FMCG brands would
do well to be top-of-mind once consumers inevitably take their
pre-decision research online. This is just one of countless
instances where search matters in the customer's moment of
The Search for Search
At the end of the day, the
power of search goes well beyond the impact of a keyword or the
ranking of a site. In principle, search empowers consumers with
information that has never been this accessible before. In turn,
companies can ignore this democratization—or they can use it to
Fully embracing the new and exciting ways
that the information age is changing the game for the better is key
to adapting strategically.
We, for one, are looking forward
to this new chapter in the digital marketing journey. The search is
on for the best tactics and tools that you'll need—and at Globe
Business, we'll be sure to be there every step of the way.