What Happens When I Google Something on the Internet?

When you use your search bar or ask Siri and Alexa to help you find something, it typically takes only seconds to return pages and pages of results. When you hit return on your keyboard Google, Bing, Yahoo! and the assistants run their own algorithms that scan through billions of links, listings and pages in those few seconds while you watch the loading bar go to work. 

The internet is made up of two things: Content and links to that content.  

Remember the old days when you would type something wrong (maybe a .com when the company was a .org) and you would bump into a page full of links? Prior to April of 2012 the most important thing to search engine algorithms was the number of links that pointed to your content. What this meant was that building pages full of links that would point to content qualified that content as more important content thus returning it higher in a search.

In 2012, Google changed the Internet forever. They launched a new algorithm called Penguin which did one very important thing: It made "relevant content" more important than the amount of links.  Today, search engines are attempting to deliver the most correct content and find the most right answer based on the quality of the content.  

Penguin impacted the search business but it was a correct reaction to the consumer shopping process. Today consumers spend more time researching products than ever before. Consumers trust reviews, listicles, editorial content, what others purchased, and things like vibe and presentation more than they just a big brand.   

What does this mean for a company today and into the future?

A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plan is vital to any business. That SEO plan needs to be combined with a content strategy. Consumers today may not trust Google and Facebook because of a "big brother" factor but when it comes to product research, they use and trust their relevant content more than any other source.  

Why will the first page and more importantly the first listing become vital for your business in the future? Let's start by saying that your "where" is becoming more and more important. 

Where #1: Where are people searching - They are using mobile voice commands and the ever growing in-home search tools (Siri, Google Home, Alexa) for their questions.  How often do you say "Hey Siri, look up...?"  What is key here is that Siri and Alexa only return their top entry.  This trend is only growing so for your business your content and SEO strategy needs to own some keywords and searches. 

Where #2: Where you are matters - Local listings for businesses are the easiest to line up through services like Google Business, Facebook Business, Yelp, NextDoor, YP.com and many others.  This matters because as mobile search increases, the algorithms for Siri/Alexa/Google are returning businesses and services that are closest to you. 


Read Next: How Do I Get More Traffic To My Website

Written by Aaron Manes For The Groundswell
The Groundswell is a Communications Strategy and Digital Marketing Agency
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