February 28, 2021

Why Do We Worship the Almighty Google?

It seemed like not so long ago that AOL and Yahoo thought they owned the Internet and had rights of control over it. They claimed to be waging war on spam while filling our screens with advertisements.

In recent years, however, it seems as if Google has become our new digital overlord and everything we do that is at all SEO-related must be done to appease this digital giant. Or must it?

At one time, there was a huge variety of search engines–Excite and Infoseek and Lycos and WebCrawler and many others. While this tower of Babel was in some ways inferior to having a single, set standard against which to gauge our optimization efforts, at least it offered some form of competition.

Google, on the other hand, is looking more and more like a monopoly every day. Google is extending its rule into more and more arenas. It’s gotten so that anyone involved in search engine optimization feels he must appease his new master or his chances of Internet success are doomed.

Today, there are books and tutorials and courses and websites and entire systems that offer various tips, tricks and secret formulas aimed at making our sites “Google friendly” so that they will win the favor of the search engine giant.

But who can truly claim that they know exactly what makes Google tick, except for the insiders at Google–and they aren’t telling?

Google’s periodic algorithm changes are becoming increasingly unpredictable and earthshaking when they occur, and each time one occurs, it causes massive seismic shifts across the Internet.

The reason for Google’s secretiveness is understandable. By tipping its hand, it could give SEO manipulators a chance to unduly influence the rankings.

At the same time, however, it prevents ethical marketers from knowing the best way is to promote their site. So we hear a dizzying array of claims and counterclaims as to what exactly is the best way to appease the search engine giant.

Google search results are some of the best that can be found. But are they perfect? Not by a long shot.

Google’s mission statement claims that it seeks to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible” but it is debatable whether its methods always offer the most relevant results for any given search term.

Only a fraction of the web is indexed even by the world’s biggest search engine, so it is not surprising that the information provided by a Google search does not always match the most relevant information for a particular search query. Even worse, some people have accused Google of influencing its rankings based on the influence of the highest bidders.

I have had the experience of a competitor who doesn’t even live in my own state show up above my site in a local Google search for entertainment services I offer—all because he created over a thousand landing pages, each mentioning a different town or city in the US! You can probably think of similar instances of odd search results from Google.

Nevertheless, some who have been entranced by the Google mystique have ascribed almost magical powers to the search enging giant. One writer insisted that submitting articles to even the most reputable blogs would destroy your Google ranking and sink your marketing career. Another insisted that all concepts in your articles had to be 100% original or Google would know it and penalize you.

Let’s get real! Google is good, but it is neither all-knowing nor all-powerful.

Google’s name is a play on the word “googol” which is a 1 followed by 100 zeros. And while the name may represent Google’s mission of organizing vast amounts of information, what may have occurred is that Google is more interested in organizing vast amounts of money into its own bank account.

Google will get no help from me in its mission, however. I intend to optimize my website by treating all search engines equally. I have been cured of my Google obsession.

The most you can do is to provide high-quality, relevant information with appropriate meta-tags and the useful and attractive website design. We are the owners and the caretakers of the Internet, and hopefully it will remain ours for a long time to come.

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