Way back in the year 2000, five search engines were competing to become the number one search engine on the Internet. Most young digital marketing experts would expect one of them to be Google, but that’s where they are wrong! These five search engines were, in fact, AOL, Excite, Lycos, Microsoft’s MSN and Yahoo. Well then, you may be wondering how Google got to be number one.
It is pretty simple. Google launched a better search engine product. It did not place advertisements on television during the Super Bowl, as was common during those ‘dot com’ days of glory. Google just developed a better search algorithm, which was noticed by computer wizards, worldwide. A bunch of reviews and recommendations later, and Google began to rule the Internet roost for search.
Google’s domination in search has led to digital marketing experts first optimising their client’s website to rank well on Google, and only later bothering to fine tune their SEO strategy for Bing or Yahoo. Everyone is aware that Google greatly values incoming links. This does not refer only to the number of external links, but also how relevant the linking page is to the connected website. For example, the page should relate in some way to your industry, product/service being sold, or topic.
Purchase of Links/Likes
As people learnt how important incoming links were to getting good rankings on Google, many digital marketing professionals began to buy links. This was even though link buying was clearly forbidden in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. After Facebook’s ‘Likes’ began to be valued just like links, many people began selling Facebook ‘likes’ to digital marketing companies. In fact, today you can also pay Twitter users to ‘re-tweet’ your digital marketing messages for you.
Many digital marketing experts believe that within six months to a year, signals from social media content, such as Facebook ‘likes’ and Twitter ‘tweets’, will be taken into consideration by search engines like Google, while determining website rankings. While Google has done a satisfactory job of filtering paid links out of its algorithm, we wonder how efficient it will be while straining out spam from social media sites.
Most digital marketing experts believe that social media is very easy to spam. It is quite easy to set up Facebook and Twitter accounts, and create a network among these accounts to auto-promote various brands. It is pretty easy to spam Twitter too. Just create a Twitter profile, auto-follow a load of people, and after they begin following you, just stop following them. You’ll be a leading Twitter personality, as long as you continue to post auto-tweets.
All Internet companies, including Google are fighting to gain a bigger portion of a searcher’s time. Google knows that people spend lots of time on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and hence plans to give these sites more importance in its search results. However, Google should realise that they cannot cater to everyone at the same time, and it is more important to concentrate on delivering spam-free search results, to stay number one.
Qudos Digital is a leading digital marketing agency, and can be contacted on 0845 388 5583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.