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Should You Really Always Listen To Google?

As a marketer, site owner or SEO you’ll know just what we mean when we talk about the ever growing list of guidelines and rules that Google has set out for us. So with all these best practice guidelines should you believe and obey everything Google says, or would reading between the lines bring you greater SEO success?

So, what do we recommend for the most successful marketing and SEO?

Listen To Google, But Don’t Blindly Obey

Well, if you carried out a marketing strategy and listened to every single word that Google says, you’d most likely invest huge amounts of time and money into a strategy that returns mediocre results.This is why you really need to use your brain when carrying out any SEO work – the most effective SEO is achieved with the perfect balance of obeying and resisting Google’s orders.

Avoid Black Hat SEO All Together

Although we are advising that you don’t always obey everything Google says without question, we do not encourage anyone to carry out Black Hat SEO. This technique will probably see your online presence crushed entirely, so we highly recommend you listen to Google regarding Black Hat SEO and don’t get involved with it.

Understand Google’s Temperamental Habits

When it comes to recommended best practises, Google has a tendency to be quite temperamental with what it thinks is best.

Google can change its mind on what it wants you to be doing at any time and if it does this you need to make sure you aren’t breaking any strict rules, else your site will be penalised harshly. This can be frustrating when you see your site performance drop for something Google was urging you to do only weeks before, but if you want to keep your chances of improving SEO you need to address issues like this as they show.

Remember Google Is A For-Profit Company

While they make out that everything they do is to create the best possible experience for users, Google is indeed a for-profit company and not a public service – making $17.3 billion in Q1 2015.

Google makes the majority of this money through paid advertising – $15.5 billion in this case – which shows that this method of advertising is very important for Google to maintain. For this reason they may often try to sway marketers toward paid advertising, and make it difficult for pure SEO marketers to manage – like they did with the detrimental restrictions placed on Google’s keyword planner for campaigns with little or no ad spend.

Organic search can be quite negatively impacted by Google’s enthusiasm for PPC. Google is raising the prominence of paid advertising, increasing the amount of ads at the top of SERPs to 4, and introducing a number of different paid features that take up even more room at the top of page one.

In turn, organic rankings are pushed down to an average of 8.5 on page one rather than 10 and even sites ranking in the top few results can, in quite a lot of instances, be less prominent in search results.

Not every search is affected so negatively and even those that are can be combated. It’s always possible to create valuable content and have your site chosen for use as the featured snippet at the top of results, which can make their prominence work heavily in your favour. If this fails, investing in paid adverts alongside SEO is always a possibility.

Follow The Basic Flow, But Use Your Initiative

After taking everything into account we recommend that site owners and marketers follow the basic flow of guidelines that Google puts out, whilst using their initiative to speed up the process of SEO and gain better results.

Some of the recommendations made by Google are ridiculous, like their advice to not actively seek back links. Links are one of the top ranking factors, and by following Google’s orders and simply allowing back links to be made over time, small and medium businesses are extremely unlikely to see even the smallest amount of links being generated at all.

In order to reach the best level of online success that you possibly can, you need to perfect the balance between following Google’s guidelines, and using your initiative to carry out certain non-harmful tasks that Google doesn’t necessarily recommend. By doing this you’ll build your online performance quicker and to a higher level.

Need help improving and maintaining your online presence? Contact us today to discuss your needs and see how we can help you.