Google Has No Clothes – Part One

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Google Changes And What They Mean To You

Google changes course (yet) again

Have you heard about the latest changes to Google? No, it’s not that nifty logo (the Google doodle) they use to celebrate everything from the 50th anniversary of The Beatles to Korean Thanksgiving Day to the Australian elections. This is more serious, and it might affect you as a professional who wants to improve the performance of your website. At the least it says a lot about the ascendancy of Google.

Many professionals, certainly those looking to create an online edge, nowadays keep an eye on Google’s every move – and really, that can be a full time job. Though they may start by looking at website content marketing in a cursory way, before long they are searching for the latest insights as to why Google does what it does (as though anyone really understands this). This will always be an exercise in frustration.

Algorithms algorithms, make me a match

And so it is with a sense of inevitability we find that Google has announced yet another major change to its algorithms. As the New York Times noted, this affects 90% of searches. It also affects your brain because it is impossible for the average professional, especially those of us of more mature years, to keep up with these changes or place their significance in an appropriate context. We’re told (harangued) to concentrate on search engine optimisation, and then after mastering some of those basics, or worse paying a lot of money for someone else to do it for us, we learn that the rug has been pulled out from under us and it’s time to readjust. Again.

This seems to be a litany for mature professionals – we are warned to adjust to the modern world of social media and the proliferation of search engines (Google) as the preferred directory for prospective clients. Or else. This implicit threat is backed up by some frightening numbers – according to Pew Research, 83% of internet users are tethered to Google. If this feels a little like blackmail – it’s the Google way or the highway – then you are right, but Google is right as well, because in part their aim is to improve the search experience for consumers.

It’s all quite confusing.

It’s a load of….

I’m not an SEO (search engine optimisation) expert. I’m a lawyer and a writer and someone who has developed a particular interest in the ability of mature professionals and smaller professional firms – Australian lawyers, accountants and all superannuation, insurance and finance professionals – and how we deal with the imperative to put everything online.

It’s go online or die, and just being there is no longer enough, we have to do it with aplomb and a serious dedication to the rules of Google and their omnipresent algorithms. So when I look at the latest pronouncement from the Google algorithm department, what I see is vindication for a view I have held since I started closely looking at these issues a few years ago. It’s all a lot of hooey.

In Part Two I’ll explain why.

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