Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Key to search engine success: give people what they want


What is the one big thing that Google, Yahoo, Live Search and all the rest are trying to do? Deliver relevant search results. That’s it. That’s why people use the search engines they prefer, because it helps them find what they’re looking for. If it doesn’t, they’ll switch to another search engine. And if that one works out, it will likely become their “go to” search engine of choice, and as long as it continues to deliver good results, there’ll be no need to switch.

Now take a look at your web site. Is it the most relevant/informative/entertaining/fastest/easiest – or whatever metric matters to you and your audience – web site out there? If it isn’t, then no matter what your marketing department, sales team, CEO, stakeholders et al have to say about it, your web site doesn’t really deserve the #1 position on the SERPs, does it?

You might see some other web site at #1 that you think does not deserve to be there. The good news is, if they really don’t belong there, they probably won’t be able to maintain that position. The reason is simple; the search engines are competing to produce the most appropriate results for people – that’s how Google got to be #1. But if any search engine finds that their market share is dropping because they aren’t delivering the results, they’ve got a problem, so they’re regularly tweaking their algorithms to improve the results."

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