Many people have varying opinions on Google. Some feel that it is abhorrently evil, whereas others absolutely love it. People are divided even further, however, when Google has an effect on their livelihood. This tends to always raise the question of whether you can live without Google or not.
There are many online businesses and websites that rely heavily on Google, in fact I get to speak to many website owners who are in this situation. I have had a few people get in touch with me who are angry that “Google has killed my business” and vow to turn their back on it forever. Perhaps you have had a similar experience, but whatever your feelings are towards it unfortunately your business can’t live without Google.
Personally, I am somewhere in the middle area when it comes to my views on Google. At times I worry about the monopoly that it has over the internet and the huge influence that it has, however as a website owner I value the tools and global reach that it can give.
There is no real point in trying to fight against Google as you will inevitably lose. What you can do though is work with it (and its vast array of tools) to help promote your online business. That is why I decided to put together this list of reasons why your business can’t live without Google.
1. Google Search Traffic
Whilst Bing, Yahoo and other search engines are great, nothing comes close to the huge behemoth that is Google. Approximately 65-70% of all global internet searchers are done via the Google search engine.
What does this mean? Well simply that if your online business intends to drive traffic, it needs to make the most of Google. That is where the vast majority of people are coming from, so why fight against it.
Admittedly, even if you do everything that Google says, things can go wrong when they make updates to their search settings. This can cause huge variations in traffic (i.e. the Penguin update cause many sites to lose lots of traffic), but unfortunately you just have to grin and bear it. If future updates do have a knock on effect on your site, try not to be angry (as that will get you nowhere), instead just work towards fixing the issues. Believe me, this has happened to one of my sites and the only thing that helped was to work WITH Google.
2. Google Analytics Data
Since Google is used by the vast majority of people, it provides the most accurate traffic statistics. There are many other alternative analytics programs and website data services that you could use, such as; Alexa, Open Site Explorer, Piwik, Parsely and many, many more.
One HUGE advantage that Google Analytics has over many of its competitors is that it can link in with other Google services (most of which are listed below) that help give you a better insight to how your website is performing.
I wouldn’t recommend that you rely solely on Google Analytics, as it helps to have more than one way to assess your site, but I would definitely suggest that it is a tool that you absolutely can’t live without.
3. Google Webmaster Tools
If Google Analytics is focused on the performance of your website, then Google Webmaster Tools is focused on the health of it.
Essentially it allows you to keep track of things like;
- Crawl errors,
- Crawl Stats,
- Sitemap stats,
- HTML Improvements,
- Site speed,
- …and much more.
Check out our beginners guide to Google Webmaster Tools for more information and watch the video below.
We have already established that Google is the biggest search engine online, but what would you guess is the second biggest? Bing? Yahoo? Baidu? Nope, it’s none of those. It is actually YouTube!
OK, so technically YouTube is not a search engine, but in terms of the number of daily searches made, YouTube outdoes all of the other search engines. This is one of the main reasons why Google paid $1.65 billion for it back in 2006, which is a bargain for what it is probably worth now.
What does this mean for your online business? Well, there is a HUGE source of traffic to utilize by introducing video to your marketing strategy. Not only can people find you via the normal search engine, but they can find you via videos on YouTube that you have uploaded that point back to your main site. What is even better is that you can embed your videos onto your main site as well, so people can watch them there.
There are many types of videos that you can create for your site, the point is that it helps to market your business. You can even earn money from your videos via YouTube’s partner program. In fact some individuals have been able to ditch their jobs and work full time online making YouTube videos, so it is well worth doing.
5. Google Keyword Planner
In order to make the most use of Google to send traffic your way, you need to figure out what people are searching for online. This is where the keyword planner tool comes in, as it allows you to search for popular keywords and keyphrases that are being used.
This allows you to create content, whether that is in the form of a blog post, a YouTube video, a slideshow, etc. that will help to attract traffic. Your time is precious, so spending that time creating content that has a good chance of being found is infinitely better than creating content that has little or no chance of people finding it.
This is definitely a tool that you need to start using!
6. Google Trends
Google trends is quite similar to the keyword planner tool, in the fact that you can find what people are searching for online. The main difference though is that Google Trends focuses on what people are searching for right now and how popular that search term has changed over time.
This is not only great for (again) targeting your content for people, but also finding what people are searching for within your niche. It can also be great for choosing a website niche in the first place, as then you know what sort of size your target audience is.
Facebook and Twitter tend to grab all the headlines, but Google+ is arguably the most important and influential search engine around at the moment. You could say that it is still in its infancy, but it is, without doubt, growing very quickly.
What makes it so influential is the fact that it is linked with Google’s other products, particularly its search engine. You can now find listings that your Google+ friends have shared in the past or see your friends/colleagues posts in the SERPs when you wouldn’t normally.
Google authorship is also closely linked to Google+, allowing a small picture to appear next to your content in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). This has been proved to increase the clickthrough rate to websites that have this enabled, making it even more important that you set yours up.
You can also setup individual Google+ pages for your business. Not only is this another way for people to find you online, but it also provides additional information next to your main site listing on Google.
8. Google Maps
If you want to find where a place is, where do you tend to go first? Google maps is the go-to place for the vast majority of people online.
Again, where Google maps differs to many of its competitors is that it is linked with the other Google tools/services. When you search for a place, not only will you find where it is, you will get (or at least if it is setup properly);
- A link to their website,
- Phone Number,
- Google+ link,
- Street view,
If you are a business with a physical location, you cannot neglect Google maps. It is simply a service that you MUST use in order for people to find you.
9. Google AdWords
A key way of attracting more people to your website is by advertising online. Now whilst you can attract lots of people by advertising on specific sites or even offline, one of the best is to advertise on Google itself. This is done by using AdWords.
I would explain how the whole process works, but it is much easier if you just watch the video below that describes how it all works.
10. Google Translate
Whilst there are a lot of people in the world that speak and read English, there are many more who don’t. The greatest thing about the internet is that it has made the whole world smaller. People from all corners of the world can find your website with a few clicks, but that doesn’t mean that they can understand everything.
This is where Google translate comes in. It is by far the most used translation tool online, making it simple for people of other nationalities to read your content. If people use Google Chrome (more on that later) then that translation process is done automatically when a website is opened. Even if you use another browser, you can install the Google translate app/extension and that will work also. You can even install an app/button on your website itself, allowing people to translate your site when they land on it.
This Google tool is one that you don’t really need to worry about, though arguably it is one of the most important ones. This very site attracts readers from every continent in the world (which is amazing!), so I owe a lot to the translate tool.
Android devices account for approximately 75% of the global smartphone/tablet market. Since mobile internet usage is dramatically increasing, it is vitally important that websites are “mobile friendly” for people to view whilst on the go.
The Google Play store is also one of the largest mobile app stores online, meaning that if your business intends to make its mark within the app market, it needs to do so for Android devices. The Apple store for iPhone/iPad users and Windows app store are equally as important, but since Android holds such a hold on the market you can’t afford to neglect them.
12. Google Hangouts
More and more people are making use of video calls (or video conferencing) to connect with other people. Not only is this great to keep in touch with distant family members, but it is also a good way to connect with clients, business contacts and colleagues.
Skype is currently the market leader in this field, but Google Hangouts isn’t far behind. Google’s smart move was to link it up with YouTube, allowing people to record and publish their video conversations to their YouTube channels for free. This is great for businesses as they can easily record video conferences and interviews to share with their wider community.
13. Google AdSense
There are many different ways to monetize a website, advertising is just one method that you can use. AdSense can be a good choice for many sites, though affiliate marketing and banner advertising are just as, if not better alternatives.
What AdSense can offer though is targeted adverts that fit in with your other content. This can encourage people to click on them more, which in turn helps to increase your revenue.
14. Google Drive
Cloud storage is a very competitive industry at the moment, what with companies like Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive, Box, Microsoft OneDrive and Apple iCloud, to name a few, all competing for the same people.
Google Drive is one of the most widely used cloud storage services, simply because it makes it easy to store and share all of your documents between all of your different devices. This makes it perfect for businesses as they can share files between different people.
Google drive works seamlessly between Gmail, Google Docs, Google+, Android and other Google tools, making it simple to access what you are after.
15. Google Chrome
If you run a website you will know how important it is to test to see whether everything works across multiple browsers. Since Google Chrome is arguably the most widely used browser online, it pays to make sure that it works perfectly on there first.
Google Chrome also features on their Android system, making it all the more important that you test your site to see if everything functions correctly.
So Can Your Business Live Without Google?
Google is being incredibly smart by building and linking all of their tools and services together to create a gigantic network. Arguably though, it is because of this huge network that so many people are concerned about Google’s hold on the internet.
Whatever your personal views are about Google as a company, it is this network that is the reason why you should be working WITH Google and not against them, as you wouldn’t get very far without it. It allows you to reach the most people online, with the greatest ease, with the best integrated tools at your disposal. At the end of the day, it makes good business sense.
What are your views on Google as a whole? Which Google tools/services could you not live without? We want to hear your views, so please get in touch below via the comment system.