Ignore Google's Changes at Your Own Peril

In every story there is a hero and a villain. In the story of your business, the customer is (or should be) the hero. Anonymity is the villain.

MSW Interactive Designs is celebrating our 20th business anniversary this year. We've helped businesses get found online since 1999 ... PRE-Google, (as we know it today). I tell you this so you know the longstanding love/hate relationship we have with the search giant and why you should protect your business from dependence on it.

I am an SEO expert. I execute for clients and I study it every. single. day. I have for more than 20 years. I'm here to tell you, if you are solely dependent on ranking on page one, you are putting your business at risk.

Today, LESS THAN HALF of Google searches now result in a click.

Worse, 94% of ALL SEARCHES now happen on a Google product (think Google, Google images, Google Maps, and YouTube). If you include mobile, it's more like 97%.

When Google first hit the search scene and rose to popularity, they made search simple. A human had a question. The were presented with a clean page and a single search bar (unlike the 100+ link presented by Yahoo, Excite, or AOL). The human would search, get pages of results, then click through to visit the website (or websites) of choice in search of the answer.

This approach drove Google to the top of search - rapidly.

Suddenly, ranking on page one became critically important. That's where everyone searched for answers to questions and Google promised to send them to the "best" options to find the answers.

Sadly, Google has creeped to the dark side in recent years. It was a subtle shift over time evolving into what we face today.  

Today, less than half of Google searches result in a click to a business website. Google is now in the business of keeping you on their website or directing you to another Google property. Smart snippets now give you AN answer right on Google's results page.  (I capitalize "AN" because it's just AN answer ... not necessarily the BEST answer). Calls, reviews, directions, pictures, movie schedules, menus, hours, and more ... all presented right on Google's search results page. There's no need to click through to a business website for this information.

Google wins.

Millions of small businesses who relied solely on Google to avoid anonymity lose.

Google is a giant. It's not going anywhere soon. After 20 years in the web design, SEO, and internet marketing business, I'm not telling you to ignore it. I'm simply advising you to be an informed business owner.

Don't put all your eggs in the search basket.  Ignore Google's changes at your own peril. VISIBILITY defeats anonymity. Diversify your marketing budget. Think social media, print, radio, and other mediums. Think about being visible everywhere your idea client hangs out.

THAT’S how small businesses win.



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