Google is a fascinating proposition.
If you discount for a moment the beautiful simplification of the idea in the first place. Discount, the fact that at the last estimate, it dealt with over 400,000,000 different queries EVERY day (that's over 4,600 a second). Even discount just how much knowledge (and skating boarding animals) Google gives us - Google remains fascinating.
As a result of the above; the science behind how Google determines who should sit top of their listing for any request is big business. Numerous companies, in numerous guises, pledge to send you to the top of Google in the blinking of any eye. Some of them may even do it. But the beauty is, no-one can ever guarantee it, because what puts you there, evolves as fast as the internet itself and remains firmly under lock and key at Google HQ.
Long ago, keywords were essentially (but not entirely) the be-all and end-all. The more your website said the words "marketing agency" the higher Google placed you. As such, clever SEO specialists would fill your site with invisible keywords (i.e. in white text on a white background) which Google would swallow up. Unsurprisingly, it did not take Google long to see through this cunning rouse and adapted their ranking criteria accordingly.
Today, the mix is much more subtle and designed to ensure that the user gets the most relevant information out of any search. As such Google looks far wider than keywords and in a far-more intelligent way than merely reading and counting. Now Google looks for everything. All the content on your site is judged by it's accuracy and relevancy to any given search. Therefore, unlike before, if your site says "we outsource to a marketing agency" and a user searches "marketing agency" Google will recognise the context of the keywords in that sentence. As such the quality of your sites content is more important than ever. No longer will it do to just say (or be a) "marketing agency".
Google will do the same thing with links. Both internally and externally Google will look at who is linking to your site and why. Not only that, bu the more illustrious Google deems those who link to you, the more your site will bask in that reflective glory. (Incidently this is why membership of our Online Business Directories
is so valuable...).
Google manages the same trick with it's adverts, both on searches and in services such as Google+ and Gmail. Try it out for yourself - send an email to a friend and say you fancy a trip to the cinema and Google will populate the side panel with cinema listing websites. Say that you can't afford the cinema and Google will give you adverts for DVD rentals. The software is so advanced that in a recent research project I discovered Google can pick up on the emotion of an email and stops putting adverts in emails which talk about sombre subjects such as terminal illness or death.
In our opinion, all of the above makes Google the closest thing to artificial intelligence that we have produced - use it in your business and if you aren't sure how, speak to us as we could talk about it all day.