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How To Get On With Google - Maybe

Brian Austin
Brian Austin Branding

So with all the constant changes going on, just what is Google up to? No Idea? Nor does anyone else outside of Google. And that's a good thing.

With that said, let's speculate; have some fun - or not depending on your viewpoint.

There are three things that I am mostly sure about:

  • Google is using a variety of experimental tools, commonly and collectively referred to as "Google Tools", that they are progressively connecting together - and sometimes breaking apart - components or modules that in a variety of ways, seek to determine in a reliable, predictable, trustworthy way, a method to tie web content to real individuals and organizations.
  • Web content can be assessed from a single source, or multiple sources, over time. 
  • The end result: Google algorithms then use a secret recipe truly understood by only a few people within Google, to determine the ranking value for each search query.

Sounds like a superb idea for all websites, and especially if you're okay with being transparent on-line. Anonymity is a bad strategy if you want to promote an open reputation on-line.

When considered that way, most everything that Google seems to do publicly, makes sense - at least to me.

For example, when we glance at those wonderful, remarkable tools like: Search, Google Authorship, Author Rank, Google Plus, and other related initiatives, this idea does seem to suggest an evolving, test-based learning pattern.

How and what Google does with all this information is their business?

We might respond by saying, but it's our information; we should have a say!

Yet under the above plan, Google are seen to be fair to everyone.

Impressive as Google may be, I think Google is essentially:

  • A private company (even though they are a public corporation entity),
  • Providing lots of amazing, powerful free tools in return for access to information - about us.
  • An organization that seeks to better understand the world, and perhaps especially in the context of business (why: because their ads currently provide a good source of income: and why not?).
  • Trying to provide equality for everyone who is invited to claim their place within their search directory. 

Quite rightly, Google keep the innermost workings of its search methods secret. In every competition, someone has to be referee: for Google-based resources, initiatives, and programs, that surely has to be Google.

Yet they still have to work hard to maintain credibility and demonstrate fairness without revealing any ways that could override their methods of evaluation.

Seems to work well, providing we don't get impatient or try to fast track by breaking Google guidelines - available for all on-line to access instantly. 

Why We Should Not Rely On Google Too Much

Although unlikely, next week, next month, next year, Google may decide to disband Google Authorship, Google Plus, or any number of their other "experimental" tools. When a company provides something for free, its hard to argue over price.

So being fixed too strongly to any single promotional vehicle, or tool, or service - whether that be Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, or any other source - is probably not a good idea.

Instead, I suggest that the main focus should be on:

The Not So Secret Sauce of Web Conversations

As website owners and web publishers, how we achieve our aims is different for everyone. Why: because each individual, website, company, or organization is different to all others.

Sure, if you have a trusted brand like Amazon, Microsoft, Tesco, and so on, you can sell widgets or services more easily to people simply through the power of brand - and price. But for everyone else, we need to find our own "secret sauce".

Sometimes, we can emulate larger companies, borrow ideas and methods from others, in an effort to work out how to start conversations and sell online.

Yet time after time, we see more failure than success.

Why: I suggest that unless each organization finds its own way to connect with those special people online to whom it wants to serve, then most mediocre and lackluster efforts will fail.

So:

  • Be yourself: that's a good, familiar place to begin.
  • Certainly resist the urge to copy others. Who wants to be a clone?
  • When you alone find your online voice, you can soar in ways you never thought possible before! 

How To Stop Failure

Of course, we can't stop failure. Most of learning is actually a catalog of failure. Failure is the norm, not the exception.

Consider the number of mistakes we made when trying to learn to ride a bike, or drive a car, or apply for interviews when seeking the job of our dreams.

Moreover, just being conceived means we have already beaten astonishing odds! To bring us into the world, two people did something: they took action.

Actions always get results. Though results we get or desire at any time, may not yet be even close to what we want, or often take much work, or repeated cycles of failure.

However, once we accept the notion of failure, why try to stop failure? That's like striving to not learn key lessons before the precise moment we need their teachings most.

Instead, accept the reality that we'll fail often. Though, there are two ways we can use failure to increase our odds of success in any venture:

  • We can strive to fail as fast as we can.
  • Notice traits about each perceived failure. Not to humiliate ourselves further but to learn a little more each time.

Failure is actually quite useful, so long as we:

  • Don't invest all or most of our resources in any one instance of failure, and ...
  • Don't take failure personally.

If we can truly understand and accept that when we experience failure, no-one, no entity, or thing is "picking" on us. Each of us is just another tiny piece of a huge jigsaw puzzle, that makes up an indifferent universe. 

The key message we can take is that whether we do, or whether we don't, is fine either way.

However:

  • The actions we take, or don't take, do change our reality, sometimes dramatically, at other times, we may hardly notice any effects - that doesn't mean nothing has changed. Little ripples can be indetectable especially if you're looking in a different direction. 
  • Also, by not doing something, we're still taking action - just in a different way that causes different results. So there's no escape from what we do and don't do. Stuff happens either way.

That's why, if you want better results, being the driving force, taking action that we think will move us closer to our desired outcome, is more likely to help us get to our hoped for result.

How Learn From And Approach Failure

Imagine you're an open minded spectator nearby, looking at your situation from above. What do you see? Make some notes. Then bring yourself back to you. How do you feel about your failure? Make notes again. Finally, compare both sets of notes. Why: you as a spectator may have identified important lessons.

We fail constantly all of the time. As a toddler, learning to walk, I don't know how many times I must have fallen over. However, I guess I never cared that much because one day, I was able to take two steps, then three, and thereafter, other different little challenges took on more importance. 

Website businesses and blogs are like that. Many of us have just forgotten that failure is okay providing we can learn something about the experience at the same time.

So I suggest, don't be too concerned with failure: that is not the exception, but the norm. Whereas when you find your way through the "white noise" of doing business online, success online usually follows.

Sorry, I know: "Success online" is a horrible cliche - it's a vague phrase, with little real meaning, not helpful, so reminder to myself: try not to use that without qualifying it's tackiness :-) However, dear reader, I hope you understand my suggested meaning.

What About Google Plus, Google Authorship, and Other Tools?

Answer: I don't know, but they're great fun to use and experiment with, while they exist. They too will change in time.

Joking aside, I suggest that:

  • We are wise to go through the processes to learn a little about how to use these remarkable tools and how to set things up. Why: they are free, fantastic, and can help us start conversations online.
  • Take periodic and occasional measurements: we like to know where we are don't we?
  • But then forget about the obsession with constant measuring of this factor and that element, and worrying, and re-tweaking, and starting all over again from scratch, etc., and instead just focus on creating a constant stream of unique, timely, informative content - on website assets that we own or supply - including some social media submissions where they make sense or for those social avenues we like.
  • Be authentic. You don't have to do anything just because you see lots of sources suggesting that you should submit here, or do this or that. Your website or blog or web publishing is your show: make your choices.
  • Make creating content fun, not traumatic, or laboursome (I say that to remind myself too).
  • Try to publish new unique content regularly, or whenever you can, or whenever appropriate, or when you have something important to share.
  • Nevertheless, most importantly: for website content, aim for quality, not quantity. Use carefully considered headings and sub-headings, short paragraphs, images and videos where relevant. With a website like this one, I can insert a video with just a single line of text (not code, just text placeholders: simple), using a web page editor that is easier to use than Microsoft Word.

If we keep measuring and comparing our results with others too much, and just (laughably) try to outwit Google, and other search engines, that's like chasing a ghost which can disappear and reappear somewhere else at will. An experience that can be fraught with trouble and unnecessary delays.

A much more profitable approach is to let Google and other search engines do what they do best, strive to understand their rules of use, and then just focus on yourself as a web publisher, or that of your company or organization.

The keyword or key phrase there is "self focus". Only with focus on something important can you make headway.

Now go have some fun, publish something useful online, and start conversations.