Content Marketing

with Neil Patel

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Why Google is customer #1

Neil Patel

Entrepreneur, Influencer, Investor & Advisor

Lessons Learned

Do not try to keep up with Google’s algorithm. Just focus on producing good content.

Google’s algorithm is designed to show users the best website out there.

Test & experiment on your site to see what works. You can read a lot of advice, but practice is key.


Lesson: Content Marketing with Neil Patel

Step #4 Google: Why Google is customer #1

SEO and SEM don't go hand in hand, SEO focuses on free and what you can show. It's totally different than with SEM.

With SEM the way Google analyzes it is two things. One, your click-through rate on your ad, and two, when people land on your page, what's shown. Do you have navigation? Do you not have navigation, etc., there's all these rules. And if you don't follow them, you're going to have a terrible quality score and your cost per click rate goes up.

Well, with SEO you can do whatever you want to your page. As long as your content is good and people are linking to you, you will rank. So with Google, you don't know what they're going to do next because their algorithm keeps changing. So instead of worrying what's Google's next update, “is it going to be on links or content? Or are they looking for people who aren't selling products?” whatever it may be, don't worry about that. Just focus on creating a good product, good service, and educate and write great content.

If you do those things and you don't try to manipulate your rankings, you follow the basic guidelines, which being, clean URLs, fast loading website, and you're creating the best experience for the user, eventually you will rank pretty well. Sure in the short run you may not rank better than other people, but in the long run, Google's whole goal is to show users the best website out there. And if your website is the best in your space, eventually you will rank higher because if Google just shows what they think is the best, then their users may not find Google valuable, and eventually they will stop using that search engine. For that reason, focus on creating the best website; it will pay off in the long run.

I would agree with the statement that Google is customer number one. When I'm designing things I do not put Google as an end all be all, as a decision maker. I usually do what's best for the user, but I do try to please Google as well as the customer at the same time. And I do think it's possible. A lot of people are like, "No, what's best for the user is not best for Google." Well, typically you can find a good balance that works for both of them.

Outside of Google, SEO doesn't really matter. Sure there's Bing and people are saying it drives traffic, and it does, and there's Yahoo, but Google really does drive the majority of the traffic. Also, their algorithm is quite a bit different than Bing and Yahoo, so if you optimize for Google, it's hard to optimize for Bing and Yahoo at the same time.

On the flip side, if you optimize for Yahoo and Bing, you probably won't get as much traffic from Google. Why would you want to do that when Google will drive more traffic? The reason being is, it's a much more popular search engine.

The way I keep up to date with all the changes that Google's making is just by practicing marketing myself. So when you're doing it for your own websites, you're tracking all your own stats, you see what happens; does your traffic go up, or does it go down? Why is it going up or down? Did Google just Tweet about the latest algorithm update? Well, what is the latest algorithm update? If I make a certain change, is my traffic going to go up or down because of it?

By just testing and doing things on my own website, I'm learning how Google works and how SEO works. And for me, I think it's the best strategy. If you were a hair dresser and you read books all day that taught you how to cut hair, but you never practiced how to cut hair, you're not going to be that good. And even if you did cut hair for ten years and you're the best, and then if you stop for another ten or 15 years, you're going to be rusty again. Things change, styles change, etc. So I believe if you want to stay up to date with anything, specifically how Google works, you need to practice SEO yourself.

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