It’s been estimated that the majority of businesses that have been going for at least a couple of years are using search engine optimization to boost their business. But when you remember just how many activities can be classed as SEO activities, it’s clear that the net is cast pretty wide. The fact is that there’s a world of difference between using SEO and actually using it properly and understanding it!
A lot of businesses know that they should be using SEO, but they don’t use it in an optimal fashion. This must be because they underestimate the sheer power of the search engines they’re supposed to be optimizing their online activities for. It’s important that budding entrepreneurs really get their heads around why exactly SEO is so crucial – by coming to appreciate why search engines are so important to optimize for in the first place.
There’s a common misconception surrounding the way these search engines work. In fact, the way many think they work actually defies current technological capability. Search engines aren’t as ubiquitous or dynamic as many people think – not even Google can claim to be. People seem to think that any website that is created is somehow added to a search engine’s database automatically, and that finding that page is just a case of entering the right search term.
Search engines aren’t quite that powerful – but the power they do have is mighty and comes in a slightly different form. The sort of functionality I’ve described would take technological power that these engines don’t have – but it also requires some passivity. The fact is that search engines are, in fact, quite selective about what results they show and where they show them. This is a different type of power – but a powerful one nonetheless.
This degree of selectivity is why it’s so important that businesses have experts dealing with their SEO, whether it’s grassroots, in-house, or via working with an SEO company. The results you see are tailored by the search engine in question. Companies like Google are in no way neutral portals of information. 2016 definitely showed that Google, in particular, filters information in ways meant to benefit them – the company throttled search results about Clinton’s misdeeds and failures during the presidential race, for example. Regardless of how you felt about either candidate, this was a particularly worrying sign of how the most powerful Internet company in the world operates.
While a company’s political leanings may not affect your business very much, it is a powerful reminder of the type of power these companies have – and the fact that being good at what you do isn’t enough to get yourself on the first page of their search results. Search engines are designed with a deep understanding of search engine user psychology and unethical “black hat” tactics. If a search engine doesn’t like what its bots see on your webpage, you’d better believe that your page won’t show prominently in their results, no matter how relevant you are to a user’s search terms.
And with at least six billion unique searches on Google alone every month, the importance of getting your SEO just right becomes abundantly clear!