When we were children, we would seek answers to our questions from our parents. As we got older, we turned to our friends, and upon reaching adulthood, Google became our new best friend for getting answers.
These days Google is not only the place where we get answers. It’s where business either thrives and grows or shrivels up and disappears. I’m sure at this point you’re wondering how I can even make that statement, and the answer is simple. If you forget to become best friends with Google’s best friend, your online kingdom will find its way to the back of Google land, never to be seen or heard from again. Enter Google’s best friend, SEO.
As you were reading that last paragraph, I’m sure you were thinking to yourself that it sounds about right, but what might not have crossed your mind is “why” it might be right. Most people believe opening an online shop is easy. Go to a web host like Shopify, Etsy, Go Daddy, or any of the other big guns and open an account, upload some pictures, and you’re off to the races. You’re an entrepreneur, and in theory, you are. But are you?
To answer that question, we need to take a closer look at Google and its best friend, SEO. We need to see how they work together, what happens when they don’t, and ultimately how, when done correctly, they take the next step and become a happy, healthy couple joined at the hip.
Simply put, Google is a search engine. The largest one in the world. It handles between 7 and 10 billion searches per day[i], the expected numbers for 2021. They could differ, and I’m sure they probably will. How did it get so big so quickly? In 2000, Google handled just over 14 billion searches for the entire year. That equals 32.8 million searches per day[ii]. In a short period, just 20 years, Google’s daily numbers have climbed significantly to the point that coming in second is nothing more than a spec of dirt on a screen. Sorry, Microsoft, no, I’m not, but we’ll leave that for another day.
To have that kind of growth in that amount of time means they were doing something right, but what? They created an algorithm that learned how to read. Not only did it know how to read, but it could relay all the information it found back to its home and organize it to show other people when they wanted to see it, brilliant Google.
As website owners began seeing their traffic go up, they also got smarter and introduced Google to its new best friend. SEO.
SEO, search engine optimization. Now isn’t that a mouthful, no wonder we’ve stripped it down to an acronym? But in essence, SEO is reachable and readable for web crawlers who return their information to the search engine[iii]. Hello Google. Isn’t this starting to sound like a re-run. Perhaps, but it has worked well for Google and the billions of people on the internet looking for, sharing, or even selling information. The idea of placing importance on titles, headers, images, and even tags started before Google. Yes, you read that right, before Google. SEO, as we know it, started in the mid-’90s.[iv] Over the years, SEO has gone through some growing pains, but at a slower pace than Google. However, when Google and SEO hooked up, the sparks flew, and Google never looked back, and all the other search engines watched while being left in the dust.
Now that we see them independently, we can understand how they work together, but what happens when they don’t work together or work very well together? We know that sometimes best friends can disagree. When SEO and Google disagree, most times, it is because you forgot to do your part. You don’t have proper tags, headlines, images, content, or any of the other juicy tidbits Google’s little spider is looking for in your work. So What happens? Well, in essence, Google’s little spider throws it in the garbage. You see all your hard work, those you share the website with, and perhaps a few of their friends. But like the long-lost search engines of old, you’re beautiful website will be left in the dust, long forgotten and stored in the back of Google land. Not nice, Google!
However, when SEO and Google are on the same page, pun intended, they have a magical presence about them, lifting your website from the depths of Google land and setting it in the forefront for everyone to see. Google’s little spider had fun in and on your website. Your titles, tags, headers, images, videos, keywords, and even your long-tail keywords were just right, and Google’s little spider legs can’t send the information back to Google fast enough. Google is now doing a happy dance, and as it shows your beautiful website to people and they click on it, Google registers that information and continues lifting your site in the ranks.
So back to the original question that started all this, if you open a shop on a website, are you an entrepreneur? The short answer is yes. The long answer is if you become excellent friends with Google and SEO and continue to work with them for the long haul, your website will rank higher on their SERP page, giving you the chance to be a successful entrepreneur. In the end, isn’t that why all businesses are on Google?