Penguins and Pandas…oh my!

If you have a business, you have to have a website. No matter the business, people will be looking online for your product or service and you have to be found.  A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group found that 97% of Americans search the web for local goods and services on either their computer or mobile device. Think about your own behavior. How often to you look something up online? A movie…what’s playing where and when? What’s there to eat nearby. Do you go into a store, look at something and then search online to see if it’s cheaper elsewhere? So, you need to have a web presence to make it in business in the beginning of the 21st century.

Now, those with a website, you see articles that grab your attention about Google changing this and that. You HAVE to pay attention. Google controls 65% of the search market. 15 billion searches are executed every month, so you don’t have to be a mathematician to know that you need to be near the top of Google’s rankings. And you’ve read about the Panda update which caused a huge fuss some months back and now a Penquin update and you’re starting to wonder why the menagerie and what’s it all mean to you. For the most part, it means nothing. Google tweaks it’s algorithms and each time they do a portion of the world gets hysterical and some websites drop off searches and others rocket up and the point of the whole thing is rather unique in the business world. It’s not about money or power or who’s biggest. It’s about quality. Providing quality to the person doing a search. I know…hard concept to wrap your head around. See, in search, the little guy can actually compete with the big boys. Open another tab and do a search for some product or service. Go ahead, we’ll all wait for you……ok, smartie, stop with the porn, just something usual, like a hammer. Did you stop and change your search to a HAMMER? Good, becuase that is a great example of Google’s search power.

Searching for a hammer is a great example of Google's updates at work

As you can see, a generic search for the term “HAMMER” shows you some great results. Near the top, as it is with almost every search you can do, especially single term searches, is Wikipedia. They adhere to the best of Google’s requirements for a quality website offering free information without trying to sell you anything. Hard sell is dead. Soft sell lives and breathes and is the basis for Google’s search philosophy.  I doubt Hammer Nutrition cares if they are found in this search, it’s irrelevent to their products. But should the search criteria be “sports drinks” or “Energy Gels”, they want to be right on top.

The bottom line is, stop worrying about the Penguins, Pandas, Lions, Tigers and Bears. Worry about creating a quality website with solid material that’s updated frequently. Have lots of relevant images and video clips embedded in the site and do your keyword research monthly to ensure you incorporate what the masses are searching for, not just what you think they should be.