It’s not so very long ago that I used to subscribe to the notion that AOL and Yahoo believed they owned the Internet and had the right to control it. The over-the-top war on spam a clever smoke screen whilst our monitors were pumped with pop-ups that generated them millions.
During the last couple of years however, it seems that ownership of the Internet has been surrendered to a new overlord! GOOGLE! And we should all point our prayer mats to face Mountain View CA… Or should we?
For those of us involved in any form of search engine optimization (SEO), we are led to believe that if our websites are not recognised and accepted by our new master, then we are doomed to internet failure. Currently, there are hundreds of tutorials available within the Internet fraternity, offering tips, tricks and secret formulae ‘guaranteed’ to make our pages “Google Friendly”, and presented in a format which will be acceptable to this Search Engine Giant. Yet who knows what is acceptable to Google and what is not?
Google’s regular algorithm changes are becoming more and more unpredictable and this deceit presents the potential for high damage to your website’s profitability at short notice. In their Company Profile, Google claims that their mission is to “organize the world’s information, and make it universally accessible and useful”. It is questionable however, as to whether their methods offer the world free and relevant results for any search term, or whether they in fact, push forward information offered by those websites that adhere to Google’s ever changing and secretive rulebook.
Since only a fraction of the World Wide Web is indexed by the “world’s Leading Search Engine”, it’s not really rocket science to understand that the results offered in any Google search will not reflect the information available for that search term.
The Internet is there for all of us to enjoy. A free information system, with a level playing field when it comes to getting our websites noticed. Google’s agenda now seems to be to present information from the highest bidders rather than delivering quality information to it’s search pages. And what of “Google Ranking”? So much store is set by the importance of being ranked by Google, yet is it really that important?
For Example, let’s say your interest is in Basket Weaving. You go to the Google Search page and enter “Basket Weaving” in the search box, hit the search button and… at No.2 on page 1 (a place we all dream of seeing our website for our main keyword) you will see “Underwater Basket Weaving”, a website with a Google page rank of 2/10 and showing very limited information relevant to the requested search term. Now look at position 3 on page 1. Homecrafts Direct with a page rank of 0/10 and again quite limited in it’s relevancy. Ok, now go to page 8 (A place we are led to believe has little chance of being noticed). At position one on the day of writing is SimplyBaskets.com, a beautifully presented, extremely informative webpage, with a Google Pagerank of 4/10, specializing in “Basket Weaving”. It is clear from this simple exercise, which can be demonstrated using practically any search term you choose, that Google’s awesome search techniques don’t really work as well as they would have us believe. Perhaps it’s their own constant meddling of protocol that will eventually expose them.
So why do we need Google? Does being ranked by Google make a difference? It would appear that one of the biggest, if not the most visited website on the Internet, Amazon.com don’t fare any better than the rest of us where Google are concerned. They have a Google page rank of 0/10, and my Link Popularity Check software tells me that Google return no pages that link to Amazon.com – I find it difficult to believe that the “world’s largest search engine” does not recognize it’s links back to Amazon.Com
The word Google is a play on the word “Googol”, the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros, and whilst Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, coined it in an efforet to reflect their company’s mission to organise an immense amount of information, I believe that the company’s new agenda is to organise a similar amount of dollars into their bank account.
I do however swear that they will get no help from me in so doing! I am now cured of my Google adoration fixation, and I set about my search engine optimization duties treating all search engines the same. One can do little more than present an informative, attractive and useful website, with Meta Tags designed to help all search engines. The Internet belongs to us all, and hopefully it will stay that way for the forseeable future.