Forgive the tone of this post, but the title of this post is as true as it was when I first started all those years ago in Search Marketing. Google couldn’t care less about your brand newly designed website for Chihuahua costumes, or the thousands of dollars you’ve paid you’re development team to design an app for rating widgets. In fact, Google is more indifferent than ever before to small businesses’ attempts to “manipulate” its algorithms to gain visibility within its engine. What Google does care about is how much money you’re spending with Google’s products and services, e.g. Adwords, Shopping etc.
It’s no secret that Google has completely overhauled its business, and gone from supporting the grass roots guys, to the multi-million and billion dollar companies. Many respected figures within the industry such as Aaron Wall have lost faith in the Google “Kool Aid”. Panda and Penguin the final straw on the camels back, and in the wake of such updates that are supposed to combat “thin” content, unnatural links, too many ads above the fold, why is that you still find results that due to these updates are supposed to have been eliminated?
Why is that an Amazon internal page with hardly any content for the search term: ‘baby strollers’ ranks ahead of a baby stroller specialist site with much more relevant and informative content? The answer is simple, Amazon et al. are riding on the back of domain authority and their big brand name, so even if they have one sentence about a product on a page and a few pictures chances are they’ll outrank a high quality content niche website. Whilst, the big guys can still get away with old or even “black hat” SEO tactics, the small guys have to be very careful and make sure their SEO footprint is as “good as gold”.
So what can you do to compete?
Let’s face it the big guys are going to be getting a lot of coverage in the SERP’s for the time being, until someone at Google realizes that the more new verticals it enters it’s effectively subsidizing the competition. So it’s paramount that you use what available marketing budget you have and spend smartly, rather than invest in SEO just because that’s what the competition are doing.
By all means make sure your website is well optimized, fast loading, the code is clean, there’s enough text on your homepage for visitors to understand what your site is about, that the usability on your site is clear, that you have some high quality links pointing at different pages on your site and your social media channels are active. However, it’s time you looked at alternatives to Google.
We recommend you start looking at ways you can achieve higher rankings for Bing, and also list your products on broad sites that Google continues to promote such as Amazon, eBay etc. Leverage social media sites for driving actions and making sales, also use niche community sites and forums and make sure you’re doing offline networking as well as online. These are just some of the ways you can still remain ahead of the game