educational

Google Search Engine Optimization: Why Google Is Important

David Wolf
Google Associate US Audience Reach
June 2002

Yahoo
Google Backup Results

27.7%
Google.com
Own Results

26.4%
AOL
Google Primary Results

18.7%
Netscape
Google Primary Results

4.3%
 Source: Jupiter Media Metrix via
Search Engine Watch

As the Internet's most important search engine and one of the few remaining viable indexes of adult content, Google is now the number one target for adult webmasters everywhere.

"Since March 2002, the total search hours for all the search engines shown except Google has varied little. In contrast, Google shot up from an average of 13.6 million hours between March and May 2002 to 21.3 million hours in June 2002 ... This rise is due to a corresponding huge leap in the number of minutes spent searching per visitor, a jump from an average of 25.3 minutes between March and May 2002 to 40.3 minutes for June 2002."1 According to the survey, Google's engine enjoyed nearly four times as many "search hours" as its nearest competitor, Yahoo, which itself utilizes Google backup results.

Google's meteoric rise in the search engine arena has not been missed by those closely watching the industry. "The top rankings and solid growth of MSN, Yahoo! and AOL's search channels reflect their core function as launchpads for surfing the Web," said Stephen Kim, senior vice president of Jupiter Media Metrix' audience ratings division. "But the most significant movement has been by Google, whose recent partnerships and reputation for quality searches allowed it to grow at a phenomenal rate."2


"
Google is stable. Unlike seemingly every other provider, Google isn't going to change its algorithm anytime soon. This is a lot less headache for me as a marketer."


Despite strong success with search engines and directories such as Yahoo, Looksmart, Altavista, and the Open Directory Project, I made the decision one year ago to focus my search engine optimization energies primarily on coercing Google's index. I did this for a number of reasons:

  1. Google is free - it costs nothing to submit a site.
  2. Although Google is only third in digital media audience reach, its results appear at other leading OEM portals. AOL Search and AOL-owned Netscape use Google technology; so does Yahoo. That means that Google's results appear more often than those of any other provider.
  3. Google's spiders are predictable. When a page is submitted, it always makes it into the next database refresh. Google updates on time, and all links are followed as they should be. Things actually function properly, which is leaps and bounds away from where many search engine result providers stand.
  4. Google is the best search engine. It really is. Everyone else thinks so, too - just ask around. If I were to buy a search engine's stock, it would be Google's - I'm a huge fan. It should be a hell of an IPO when the company goes public. From April Fool's Jokes to logo changes on holidays, Google does the little things to convey personality and endear the search engine to its users. And the success of the firm's branding approach is readily apparent: Recent changes in surfer habits show that surfers are becoming more and more reliant on Google's ability to mine relevant information from its database of nearly 2.5 billion web pages.
  5. Google is stable. Unlike seemingly every other provider, Google isn't going to change its algorithm anytime soon. This is a lot less headache for me as a marketer.
  6. Company financial stability is an important criterion. Too many traffic sources have dried up up due to poor business models - Infoseek and Go died and went to Disney, which promptly sold out to Overture; Excite and Webcrawler, two of Infospace's acquisitions.. Google's technology is built around cheap, clustered PCs that allow the firm to expand its computing power cheaply. There will be no Altavista mainframe fiasco here.
Jakob Nielsen Agrees: Google Is Important

Jakob Nielsen, the foremost expert on web usability, offers public summaries regarding UseIt.com's web site traffic. According to his statistics, inordinate search engine traffic growth has come from Google and Yahoo - the two mainstays of any successful adult web site search engine marketing program. Because Google provides Yahoo's main backup results, it is apparent that Google is of paramount importance when it comes to bringing new sets of eyes to Nielsen's web site. Much can be learned from this: The statistical makeup of search engine referrers will vary from site to site, but the statistics below are consistent with the relative traffic patterns we receive with our adult-related web sites.

UseIt.com Referrers
March 2002

Google
67.784
Yahoo
15,676
MSN
4,445
Lycos
3,670
Altavista
3,157
All Others
6,000
 Source: UseIt

According to Nielsen, "Google now dominates Internet search. It accounted for 66% of the search referrals directly in 2002 and is also responsible for many of the visits from Yahoo (which uses Google for searches that are not satisfied by its own directory). In 2001, Google accounted for 46% of the search referrals. In a study of how journalists use the Web in early 2001, we found that 1/3 of the journalists turned to Google as their first action when asked to perform research for a story assignment."3

Conclusion
The Google search engine has been advancing rapidly in the Media Metrix Top 50 Web Properties lists, largely at the expense of the other search engines and directories. In order to maximize the value of your current web properties, I highly recommend submitting your sites and doing everything necessary to improve your link popularity and on-page keyword relevance.

David Wolf has worked in the adult industry for three years. He specializes in international marketing strategy and web spider creation. David holds a BS in Business Information Systems, is currently pursuing his MS in Strategic Intelligence, and can be reached for follow-up inquiries at Wolf@adultwebmasterconsultants.com or through www.adultwebmasterconsultants.com.

1 http://searchenginewatch.com/reports/netratings.html
2 http://www.jmm.com/xp/jmm/press/2002/pr_051502.xml
3 http://useit.mondosearch.com

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