Keeping up with Google
How you find what you want from a search engine and the results search engines deliver are more complex than simply typing in keywords that take you from A to B.
Two different processes are key to how websites are connected to users and how they are prioritised for your perusal – SEO and PPC.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how popular and prominent webpages appear in a search engine’s results. These are a natural reflection of the website’s popularity and are unpaid for. At its most simplistic, SEO represents that the more people visit the site, the higher it will appear in the rankings. SEO-generated results are sometimes referred to as organic or earned results.
SEO as a marketing strategy considers how search engines actually work, what terms people type in, how they can be tailored to appeal to a certain audience and which are preferred by their target audience. Search engines use mathematical algorithms to second-guess and analyse what browsers are looking for.
The more visitors that click on a website, the stronger the connections are made between the search terms and the destination. This automatically associates the search terms with the website, which streamlines the search process further.
When it comes to web searches, Google holds immense power and a large market share. Google tops the list of the world’s most popular search engines, with Chinese web service Baidu in second place. The market share percentages as of December 2014 was Google 66.44% and Baidu with 11.15%. Other popular search engines are Bing (10.29%), Yahoo! (9.31%), AOL (0.53%), Ask (0.21%) and Lycos (0.01%). Unsurprisingly, Google also tops the list of the world’s most popular websites, ahead of Facebook, YouTube, Baidu, Yahoo!, Amazon, Wikipedia, Tencent QQ (a Chinese web portal), Twitter and Google India.
Google’s popularity as the world’s leading search engine has surpassed its role as a simple web tool, to have completely entered the consciousness globally and passed into modern language (“We’ll Google it”). Google add-ons, such as the free translation service, which can translate text from or into 89 languages (including Zulu, Urdu, Icelandic and Welsh) also enhance its service. And that’s before you delve into Google’s associated companies, devices and operating systems, such as YouTube, Google Chrome and Android.
The alternative to SEO is Pay Per Click (PPC). This is used for internet advertising to actively encourage and direct browsers to websites. Advertisers pay when their advert is clicked. The ‘pay per click’ options are easy to spot as they will be the ones that are displayed at the top of your search results. These are sometimes referred to as ‘banner ads’. Advertisers use keywords associated with their products as the link between searches and their sites. They are usually trying to sell you something. As the market leader, Google is driving advertising revenues and web traffic to the sites they prioritise, in a way defining what we see, in what order we see it and how we spend our money.
Regardless of SEO or PPC a well-designed website with engaging content is equally as important to maintain interest once your customer finds you. If you’d like to talk to us about your website requirements contact us to book a free consultation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling on 01244 421 019. Free consultation can take place at our office in lovely Chester, or via telephone or Skype depending on your preference.