Last night I saw the new entry: Google webmasters produced a few interesting videos regarding their most asked question: “How do I get my business online ?”
It’s interesting that Google, a search company, tries to answer this
Since its inception, Google has grown as a force beyond its original denomination as a search player. Their algorithms and technology has consolidate them into a enormous player as we know it today. With the later incorporation of all of their parallel services (Gmail, Drive, G+, etc) there’s has been more to Google than simply search.
Their philosophy is simple, attract more eyeballs to their search, provide more ads and thus better conversion to its advertisers (Think Android OS and mobile app users, Gmail ads, Google Maps ads, etc).
The new Webmaster videos series is very useful; they also shed some light into what Google sees as the future of search and how to capture more business. It’s not strange that there hasn’t been a Page Rank update in over 11 months. Google keeps saying that we, web designers and SEO people, shouldn’t really worry about it.
As designer I understand why is important for Google to want you to include and maintain your online presence on their network. After all you’re saving them a lot of time. Eliminate the guess work out of search and validate content directly from the horse’s mouth… It’s a win win situation, right ? Well, … maybe…
Spiders will be spiders
It sad to say, but crawling text will result in exactly that, a replication of content. As an example, Google places ( As well as My Business) can cross reference information to confirm an address or phone number and that can be completely and utterly wrong.
About three years ago, I had a new phone number installed at work. That phone number used to belong to a Diabetes research facility and even though I tried to correct the mistake on Google places I was unable to do so. Contacting the research facility didn’t help. Re-directioning all the callers and pharmacies to the right place was taking lots of time everyday, as well as some very serious HIPPA violations, and all this because of old spider data gathered unchecked from Google.
No Silver Bullet
In the first place, adding, maintaining and validating content on multiple social networks is very time consuming (as well as cumbersome for most independent and small business professionals.
Second, and foremost, none of that content can be completely controlled by owner since it’s has been uploaded to a third party service, which in many instances, claims the ownership of all content as an exchange for its service.
Third, customer review validation is important, but a smear campaign by a competitor can definitively sink your business overnight. Many sites such as Yelp! might not abide by a logical rationale if infringes into their privacy and rules and regulations. Even when a fake reviewer can be behind of a destructive campaign.
I don’t think that a website is simply the most important thing for an online presence; its the combination of social media, maps, local and website representation that can trigger more leads. It’s about having a conversation and not completing a form on the current survey or trend.
What do you think ?