2020 SEO: Brush up on the Game of Monopoly
When it comes to implementing search engine optimization for 2020, I tell clients that it’s like the game of Monopoly.
First, Google itself is a monopoly among search engines, with an 88% market share for all searches conducted in the United States, and a 92% market share for searches worldwide as of January 2020(1). For the industrial clients with which we work, that’s fairly significant, along with the knowledge that 89% of technical professionals – their customers — say they use search engines as a source of information for work, with 77% saying they use the Internet to find equipment, components, services and suppliers.
So, there’s no escaping the impact that Google has on your business, whether your website is optimized or not.
Companies that have gone all in with SEO are likely the ones benefiting from Google’s domination; those that have not (unless they’re branded giants in their own right) are likely suffering and wondering why the Internet doesn’t work for them.
Learning the SEO Game
Accepting the pervasiveness of Google is the first step to recovery. The next is understanding the commitment required to properly optimize your site – and that’s where my Monopoly analogy continues.
When Google first launched in 1998, optimizing your site was as simple as adding keywords in the keywords meta tag on your website’s pages. But, as more and more companies learned this trick, Google had to devise other ways to determine how it would rank sites. Over time, the algorithm has gotten increasingly complicated and now contains over 200 factors used to determine your site’s positioning in search. Half of those factors relate to things you control on your website and the other half are related to your site’s ability to get backlinks from third-party sites.
During the last several years, Google’s algorithm tweaks have focused more and more on what Google calls “content quality,” with the winners of top rankings being sites that successfully deliver content that establishes their companies as leaders within their industries.
In fact, after each of the algorithm updates in 2019 and January 2020, Google’s advice to SEOs and webmasters has been to focus on content quality. So, what does that mean?
The Changing Meaning of Content
To be sure, some of Google’s updates have honed the way the search engine interprets the relevance of websites to the user’s query. They call that user intent. Understanding how Google interprets your site’s relevance to what users are searching is an important aspect of SEO.
At the same time, SEO no longer refers just to keyword tags or words on a page. The search giant has expanded its sphere into multimedia (YouTube) and has reconfigured the design and technology of its search results to incorporate a variety of inputs, including:
- Specialized content areas, such as Featured Snippets, People Ask, Universal Search and Google My Business
They’ve created their own Monopoly board, with a multitude of “properties” with which companies can improve their website rankings.
Build Your Own Monopoly Board
Companies that embrace this SEO challenge recognize the importance of creating high-quality, multimedia content on their websites, and in establishing a broad footprint through content marketing across the Internet, utilizing third-party platforms to publish and promote that content — in essence, “building hotels” across the Monopoly board.
Optimizing your website for Google in 2020 will entail continued development of well-crafted SEO content on your website along with leveraging third-party platforms to establish your own monopoly board across the Internet.
1 – StatCounter, Jan. 2020
There’s no escaping the impact that Google has on your business, whether your website is optimized or not.