Why Google Should Not Be Your Only SEO Strategy - Here's Why #73 | Perficient Digital

Why Google Should Not Be Your Only SEO Strategy – Here’s Why #73

Google is still the big dog in traditional search, but don’t think that’s the end of the story. These days, search involves more than what we might call traditional search, such as entering a query in the Google search box and getting a series of links to web pages. In those more non-traditional types of search, Google is feeling some real competition.

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Transcript:

Mark: So Eric, when it comes to SEO, Google is so dominant. Isn’t optimizing for Google search enough? 

Eric: Well, Google is still the big dog in traditional search, but it’d be wrong to think that’s the end of the story. These days, search involves more than what we might call traditional search, such as entering a query in the Google search box and getting a series of links to web pages. And it’s in the more non-traditional types of search where Google is feeling some real competition.

Mark: Okay. Before we get into what those competitors are doing, help us understand Google’s core business.

Eric: Sure, that’s a good place to start because it’ll help us to broaden our definition of search. It’s interesting to go back to Google’s own mission statement, which is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. That suggests even Google has a broader view of what they do, not one limited to typing a query into a search box on their site or even in an app.

Mark: So, users just want the information and they want to get it with the least friction possible, right? 

Eric: Absolutely, and these days, they’re getting a lot more ways to access that information than just the traditional Google search box.

Mark: Can you give us some examples? 

The Amazon Threat to Google

Eric: Sure, let’s start with Amazon. 

Mark: Amazon? 

Eric: Yes, at least in the area of product searches. In fact, in 2014, Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, said, “Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo, but really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon.” The New York Times cited data from Forester Research that showed that a third of online users started their product search on Amazon, while only 13% went to a traditional search engine.

The Apple Threat to Google

So, in the product space, Google’s already behind and struggling to catch up. Another example is Apple. Since iPhone market share lags way behind Google’s Android operating system in the smartphone market, it might not seem like Apple is much of a threat, but don’t count out Apple’s ability to constantly innovate. Also, Apple often plays the spoiler to Google’s efforts, such as the recent permission for ad blocking software to work on the iPhone. 

That strikes at the core of Google’s revenue stream. Also, like Facebook, which we’ll look at in a moment, Apple is developing ways of hosting content outside of the traditional websites accessed by Google search. Increasing use of ad blockers could drive more publishers to make use of these alternative means of publishing monetized content.

The Facebook Threat to Google

Mark: Now, you mentioned Facebook. They are the 500-pound gorilla in this whole discussion, aren’t they?

Eric: They sure are. Right now, Google gets the majority of online ad revenue, but Facebook is by far the biggest competitor there and gaining fast. Facebook’s ability to target over 1.6 billion active users based on their intimate knowledge of their demographics, as well as their likes and dislikes, is very attractive to advertisers. Also, Facebook has become the primary traffic driver to websites in many cases. 

This chart shows what happened with “What ISIS Wants,” the most popular story published by The Atlantic last year. The light blue line that you see way up top is from Facebook. Notice how it totally dominated the other sources, including Google, for at least a month after the story was published. The fact is that more people are seeing top news stories and viral content via Facebook than on any other source.

Facebook dominates traffic driving for news stories.
Mark: Okay, so Facebook, Apple, Amazon, those all represent real challenges to Google’s core business, but there are challenges emerging from new technology as well, right? 

Eric: Right. We don’t have time in this brief video to go over all of those in detail, but let me list just a few. Let’s start with apps. Recent data from ComScore shows that users now spend 44% of their digital media time on apps. It’s not surprising then, that we see a head-to-head fight in that area between Facebook and Google. As you can see in this chart, the top 6 apps in the U.S. are either from Facebook or Google, as well as 8 out of the top 10. 

top-10-installed-aps (1)

Another area is the rise of texting and private messaging. When you consider that in a Nielsen survey, 83% of respondents said they trust recommendations from friends and family the most, you begin to understand that private messaging is a huge influence on sales and one that is largely invisible to marketers.

Mark: Now, you can get a lot more detail on the challenges to Google in Eric’s search engine land article. So Eric, what should marketers and business do in the light of what you just shared? 

Eric: Well, they should certainly be diversifying their marketing strategies. Certainly, don’t ignore Google, but make sure you’re at least thinking about each of the following:

  1. Do you have a strategy for scaling your sales on Amazon?
  2. Could native advertising be an alternative for you, given the
    rise of ad blockers?
  3. Given Facebook’s huge audience and amazing targeting abilities, are you learning how to advertise there?
  4. With more and more online time being spent in apps, should your business develop one? Not every business will benefit from its own app, but are you optimizing for how you show up in third-party apps?
  5. And finally, what are you doing to build the reach and reputation of your brand? That’s probably the best way to take advantage of what some people call “Dark social,” the private communication among friends and family.

Mark: Thanks, Eric. A lot to chew on there. Now, if your company needs help meeting the emerging challenges in online marketing, please come talk with us at Perficient Digital. We’re helping some of the largest brands in the world to stay ahead of the wave in the ever-changing digital world. Perhaps we can help you to excel in Google and beyond.

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2 responses to “Why Google Should Not Be Your Only SEO Strategy – Here’s Why #73”

  1. Funny video and nice article with analytics about how we must diversify our seo strategy for our company.

  2. Having in mind that mobile internet users surpassed the desktop once it’s now even more important than ever to diversify your online marketing efforts and rethink the your marketing strategy.
    Lets not forget that is in the business to make money. Their whole business is driven by and geared towards their paid ads with 99%+ of their revenue coming from AdWords. And Facebook are following their model of demonetization.
    The big thing is that people are waking up an more and more want “organic” real food, clothes, materials and search results. Time has proven that natural, organic is the way to go. People have become blind to paid ads therefore anybody that think that SEO is dead is wrong.
    Even with the search engine Amazon it’s important to have top rankings in order to sell your products. Amazon SEO is the new trendy thing in the eCommerce.
    Thanks for the engaging video.

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