People often think of the relationship between SEOs and Google as a one-way path: SEOs have learned ways to navigate Google’s search algorithm in order to maximize their clients’ SERP ranks. SEOs are therefore often thought of as somewhat parasitic—basing an entire business model on a major software platform while contributing nothing to said platform.
At first blow, it looks as though SEOs do nothing to help Google’s business. However, when you think about it, SEOs have quite a bit to offer Google, and Google would, in fact, suffer if SEOs ceased their work. As such, it is unfair to state that SEOs do not contribute to the platform they most often work on—Google.
So, in what ways do SEOs help Google? This article provides two strong examples of how SEOs support Google’s business model.
SEOs are Quality Content Sources
SEO has a pretty bad reputation in terms of the quality of content it provides. After all, when search was still young, there were plenty of ways to game search results such that you could get a site on page one for a completely irrelevant keyword. However, today, Google has several ranking factors in place specifically designed to punish any and all such “black hat” SEO techniques: Keyword stuffing, hidden text, and meta tag stuffing will all get your site spam-listed on Google today. While the effectiveness of such techniques has become, essentially, zero, the stigma on SEOs remains.
The truth is that real SEO requires that a site be created with certain parameters in mind. When content is also focused on these parameters, the result is not a “gamed” site which will rank high in irrelevant keywords. Rather, the result is a website which provides relevant content to certain, specific keywords. Without SEOs to consciously target keywords, quality content would be harder to find on the internet. SEOs are the ones who understand not just what people want when they search the internet, but how they then proceed to seek out what they want.
Content Drives Search Profitability
While there are many other factors in Google’s ranking algorithms, the truth is this: Content is what the user sees and cares about. As such, all a user cares about when evaluating the relevance of a given search result is the content they read, view, or listen to.
Now, stay with me on this: Without quality, keyword-focused content, Google would have a much more difficult time reliably returning relevant results to users. Without these relevant results, the quality of the search engine would be called into question. Though the main search service of Google is free, it’s most profitable arm—that is, AdWords—hinges on the public’s trust that Google knows how to target consumers via search. This trust would be damaged if they did not have a reputation as an exceptionally relevant search engine. Quality, keyword-focused content—written by or for SEOs—therefore provides Google some of its clout as an advertising company.
If you take SEOs out of the equation, the quality of content on the internet, at least from a searchability perspective, drops. This drop in searchable content would directly affect Google AdWords’ reputation, as the relevance of search results would call into question the company’s ability to target the correct consumers with its ads.
Am I claiming that, without SEOs, Google would not be able to survive as a business? Absolutely not. However, I bring up these examples to highlight an important point. SEOs are, in fact, giving something back to Google through our work, resulting in a synergistic relationship between the two. By working hard to provide companies with a web presence, we help Google find companies which deserve to be found.
If such companies were to be beaten out by websites the searcher views as irrelevant, Google’s reputation would be damaged. Take SEO out of the equation, and that’s exactly what would occur: A lot of those deserving companies would fall by the wayside. SEOs, then, help Google provide the most relevant results to consumers, boosting Google’s reputation, thus boosting its ability to have a profitable targeted search marketing business with AdWords.