This is a truly great article by Rand Fishkin, on how dirty send-me-your-money tactics by Google have already started to undermine the title of the best search engine out there. It’s not a strict relevance game nowadays.
Key points you should keep as mental notes when deciding on the best strategy in order to get found:
- Google always favors Google (Part 1). Setting focus on quality content isn’t enough anymore. You have to serve each and every Google listing available, whenever applies. Google my Business, Youtube, Google Images, Google Hotels, free Google Shopping etc.
- Google always favors Google Ads (Part 2). Google doesn’t care about branded searches and the fact that you are looking for a specific Name. Jacob Fuckmyfuneral has to pay for the privilege to be the most relevant result when people desperately search for Jacob Fuckmyfuneral. (I love how English translations of Greek expressions sound)
- Worst part of all? Engagement (Part 3). The same pursuit by Facebook that completely destroys quality of the feed, makes it easy even for bad-information influencing giants to hack Google rankings by engaging their audience with heavy use of hoaxes, clickbaits and polarizing tactics. Furthermore, it’s not just the rankings that are hacked. I will copy-paste Rand’s wording here: "The ability to shift searcher demand doesn’t just change results, but the nudges Google gives us about how to search, too".
What do we do now?
There is a 2-part answer. Present and future. Right now, the only safe way to climb up the rankings, when your budget is not unlimited, is to persistently create non-sales non-branded evergreen content that no one cares to bid against. As for the future, I think we all need to take a stand against the evil concept of engagement and the gradual shift of the web from information to echo-chambers. It’s not easy. But it all starts by spreading the message.
Devour the article…