Google is the search giant that people look towards when considering traffic for their businesses. For those who have been watching Google for a while, they know that Google changes its algorithms quite often. The website moz.com has reported at least 13 updates to the Google search algorithm this year alone and many outlets are also reporting an unconfirmed September 4th algorithm change that has already affected traffic results for many websites.
Though Google is a powerful tool used across the Internet, it is important that businesses diversify tactics so as not to be pigeonholed into search engine optimization (SEO) solely aimed towards gathering Google traffic. There are several reasons for this. For one, believe it or not, Google does not own the entire search engine market. They certainly own the majority, but that majority currently hovers at just above 65%. Is that a lot? Yes. Is it everything? Absolutely not. Bing and Yahoo are big players that must not be ignored along with many other search engines. The other reason is that since Google algorithm’s change so often, it is impossible to consistently manage SEO that will continue to generate Google traffic.
And why does Google operate in this manner? Is it to improve user experience? Many would argue that it is not. Consider your experience searching on Google. Did you feel like the search algorithms worked? Did you feel they needed to be changed? Did you feel like they needed to be changed 20 times per year? Probably not.
There is a simple answer: By limiting the available results made possible by SEO, Google can increase businesses’ reliance on the use of ads. In other words, it’s all about the bottom line. Whether or not Google management consciously sees it this way, they are using the fear of uncertainty to bully people into purchasing Google Ads.
Does this mean you should boycott Google, or stop using it entirely? No. Keep Google in mind when building SEO. Consider Google for ads. 65% of the market is quite a bit, and more than can be ignored. But too often we see individuals and organizations that put all their eggs in one basket, building SEO for Google, using Google ads, and only considering traffic from Google in SEO or PPC planning.
So what can you expect in the future? Expect the unexpected. Google will continue to make changes as often and as dramatically as possible. They are a business, and they not only need to continue making money, but they need to increase profits year over year. That means changes will come more often, and they will think of more clever ways to get businesses to rely on ad revenue. When those new changes come make sure you are prepared and diversified!