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Has Google Changed or Have We Changed Google?

In the early days of SEO, companies and webmasters spent oodles of time finding ways to manipulate Google’s search engine to move up the ladder and find themselves number one in the rankings. Those were effective and profitable strategies back in those early days. Since then, Google has changed it algorithm several times and made web sites change their design and content if they were going to be relevant on Google. The result has been a better user experience and a more accurate ranking of web sites.

has google changed, or have we changed google

Throughout this process, websites and search engine competition has had to keep up with Google, as Google became more localized and personalized with its search results. Ads and other result-related links now appear along with the search query and results. SEO has not lost its roots in its primary function of finding subject related matter, but it also has expanded its functionality to evaluating a web site’s content and relevance in the world of social media.

Yet these latest optimizations are the result of user demands for better search results and relevant content. Keywords have expanded to key phrases. Links that once were intended to send the user to related sites now backlink to authoritative sites where information can be validated by the user. Google itself has become an information portal of sorts.

From the perspective of marketing, the evolution of the Google search engine resulted in brand oriented marketing strategies that combined the best page content with the best SEO strategy. Searching for “potato chips” will not get you a rarely heard of brand but the top result will be Wikipedia – in case you do not know what a potato chip is. Then follow Lays, Kettle, and Cape Cod (the last two are common in the New England area) – all brand names of potato chips. To achieve a high raking your product or service needs to be connected to a brand name regardless of how efficient your SEO strategy may be.

It is worth noting that Google has not lost its original purpose of providing information to the user. Wikipedia was at the top of the list for this generic search topic. If anything, Google has expanded and personalized its original purpose with Google Now, a mobile, voice recognition search tool that grabs information from your location, search history, and other information on your mobile device. What is returned are results more likely to be precisely what you are looking for instead of a series of linked results you can scan through to find what you are looking for.

The explosion of tablets and smartphones, along with other WiFi and Internet connected mobile devices demanded that companies and information providers such as Google step up and make their products and services relevant to the mobile market. While some may maintain that companies took advantage of the mobile expansion, it is more likely that failure to respond would have resulted in lost revenue for the major search engines and information providers.

From a business perspective, SEO continues to be one of the most talked about topics on the Internet. Content curation is a growing industry while how to best use the personalization criteria in the Google algorithm for marketing purposes is certain to open up new markets and produce new marketing strategies. In the end, it appears that the relationship between Google and its vast number of users is much like a pendulum, which will never stop its motion until there is no energy available from either side.

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