Because Google Said So

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Google is the master. Period. We can't avoid it. If you want to benefit from organic search, the SEO formula is simple – just listen to what Google wants you to do and do it! (And don't do as they do)

It happened again this week. A representative from the web department brushed off an alert in Webmasters and an increase in errors as inconsequential. As their consultant, I'm asked to defend, numerically, why they need to fix those problems. Understanding that the development involved is very intensive and there's a high cost to correcting the issues, here's my response:

Because Google said so.

Why does the conversation have to go any further than that? I wish I knew the latest algorithm and could magically calculate the changes on the site, the competition, the popularity of the content and come up with a finite calculations to provide a cost benefit analysis. I don't know the algorithm. I can't provide that evidence. All I can tell you is:

Because Google said so.

It's called optimization. Optimization is an ongoing process whereby I have to monitor all of the information that Google provides, evaluate your site to their standards, and provide you with an audit and priority list to correct. Every day, Google provides more insight into how they want you to present content to attract search ranking.

We can prioritize based on some of the findings by other SEO leaders across the web and through experience with our own clients. But within that list, I can't tell you what the independent impact of each of those changes will do overall to your rankings. If you have someone telling you that they know… they're lying.

A recent example is advertorial content. This week, Google reminded everyone that if you compensate someone for publishing your content – with a followed link – it is a violation of their terms of service.

I'm not going to argue with a client on the process they took for getting that content… or the nuance of whether it was blogger outreach that happened to have a link in it… but wasn't actually compensated for the link, just the content. I know that they're ranking well and that ranking is driving lots of business. But I'm still advising them to stop.

Because Google said so.

If you don't rank well, and you're not reacting to messages from Google about your site, errors listed in Webmasters, or you're paying for advertorial content… stop it.

Because Google said so.


  1. 1

    Good blog article Doug! Kinda reminded me of the Parent/Child relationship. “Go clean your room junior!” “Why?” Cause I told you so! I am currently in a discussion with a client who thinks that they should be able to launch their new website on Monday morning and then on Monday afternoon of that same day expect Google to kowtow to their ranking wishes. I explained to them that after integrating best SEO practices into their website it is still up to the almighty Google to respond. Google doesn’t wait on us, we wait on Google. My client didn’t and doesn’t get it. They want all that Google has to offer in local search NOW! The sentiment, “Good things come to those who wait” had no relevance to a small business owner who wants the coveted First Page of Google.

  2. 2

    Now that’s some good stuff right there! That almost needs its own domain with just that content on it. You know like “let me Google that for you”. Brilliant!

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