Quick Question: Who’s got more leverage, you or Google?

Was that difficult? Try another one:

Would it be more helpful to have Google’s resources working ON YOUR BEHALF, or to have those resources targeting you for penalties?

If you’re still unsure, here are some facts about Google

  • Google has more than 30,000 employees (my company is a bit smaller).
  • 70 offices in 40 countries (my company is global also; so what if Google to work for you4we’re 37 countries behind Google!)
  • Google’s operating income is 8.3 billion dollars (my company’s operating income doesn’t intimidate Google yet).
  • Google doesn’t allow cats at the office (our company has no such restrictions).

Google has stated that their ultimate goal is to build a search engine that “understands exactly what you mean, and gives you back exactly what you want.” If you’ve followed the developments of Google Now, Knowledge Graph and the way that semantic Intelligence is improving the search algorithms, then you have plenty of evidence that Google is still pursuing that “perfect search engine”.

Marketing Implications of Google’s Strength

If you boil this down for marketing, it means this: Google is designed (and puts its full resources behind this) to help searchers find the best, most helpful, most relevant answers to the questions they have. Google’s resources are all aligned against being tricked or gamed. Eight billion dollars to spend on being able to tell the difference between 20 followers who genuinely love your content, and 200 fake followers who are all operating out of a stifling hot cement room in Bangladesh and couldn’t care less about your content.

Google to work for you
Google’s Georgia Facility: Lots of Space for Intelligence

Thirty thousand employees working to build algorithms that will find fresh, intriguing, entertaining, relevant, well-written, well illustrated, well organized content that is displayed on well structured sites! For marketing, this means: line up with Google so that they’re working FOR you; or spend your energy trying to game Google, and waste a lot of effort, and disappoint a lot of clients.

Clients who love you, and clients that leave you (ticked off)

In this philosophical and strategic decision (to put Google to work for you, or to continue trying to game them), you’ll find two customer experience streams. If you’re banking on the “I can out-think Google’s engines” approach, you’ll have clients who believe your promises, sign up for the discounted SEO services you offer, and then soon (usually in about 6 to 8 months) leave you, because you’re finding it harder and harder to game Google, and you’re producing less and less results for those clients.

But if you’re banking on the “we will do top-notch marketing, and trust that Google will find us and point the right people at us”, then you’ll have clients who found the ability to trust you for those early months of very little measurable growth, and who found that after 5 or 6 months, they were really seeing the stuff they wanted to see: some social engagement; the ability to find followers who had questions; interest in their content; increased readership; longer time spent on the site by visitors; increased traffic; and a Brand that was associated with things that the client is proud of. Google actually WANTS that to happen. They DESIGN THEIR ALGORITHMS to help make that happen.

It’s a no-brainer!

The company I work for turned the corner on this decision a long time ago. I’ve told you before that we used to employ some of those tactics that would best be labeled now as black or grey hat. But we are so happy to have left that behind, to be pursuing the best tactics for our clients, and to be enjoying the full strength of Google working FOR us and for our clients.

What do you think? Game Google, or put Google to work for you?