It was bound to happen. Google officially knows everything. They have indexed more than ONE TRILLION web pages. They announced this stunning bit of information last Friday on their official blog. If they’ve indexed that much, they must know everything, right?
Much is made of Google and the information they bring to your fingertips with just a touch of a key or click of a mouse. But just like a teenager or earlier 20’s college graduate, they’ve got a lot of knowledge but not a lot of wisdom. “Knowing” lots of stuff and understanding what to do with it is a different matter. Take, for example, the valid complaints of SEO Expert Aaron Wall. In recent blog posts he has complained that ads on his Gmail account have been trying to entice him to date lonely married women because the content of his emails have been about his happy married life as he is a newlywed. Another complaint he had was about a new Google site that, simply because it is a Google property, trumps others sites in search.
I’ve taken to re-using my favorite Spiderman quote “With great power comes great responsibility.” when dealing with this issue. Google has been a tremendous success. They have built a powerful search engine that has changed the way we communicate and get information. They were definitely in the right place in the right time with the right idea. But as they have grown, they have tended to rely to heavily on their content (their knowledge) and not used wisdom to use this content in a manner that is healthy and consistent with copyright ownership.
There are five key web site statistics that every web site owner should pay close attention to:
- How many visitors? People used to get all excited about hits but you could easily have 100 hits from one visitor. The number of visitors though (usually tracked by unique IP addresses) gives you a really good idea of whether you’re getting the kind of traffic you need.
- What pages are people looking at? If you don’t know what’s popular on your site, you don’t know how to make it better. If a page other than your home page is more popular, you might have managed to get it ranked well in the search engines – another good thing to know.
- What search engines are sending people to your site and how many are they sending? With Google fielding around 75% of ALL searches, you typically get the most visits from Google. If you’re not, you can learn why and determine whether that is a good thing or not.
- What terms people are searching for when they get to your site? If you sell computers and find that people are searching for hair spray when they click through to your site, you’ve got a problem. If on the other hand, they are searching for motherboard, that is a good thing.
- What other sites are linking to your site? Google (and other search engines) love it when other sites are linking to your site. So the more sites that link to you, the better – at least if they’re the right kind of links.
You need to know these statistics to make informed decisions about your site. Do you know these?
According to Hitwise, last month Google accounted for nearly 68% of all search in the US. Wow. And if you compare the April numbers to March or to April of last year, you see that they are expanding their dominance. That is the phenomenal part. Typically if a company creates a new niche and dominates it, other companies come in later to cash in on the good times and in the process they steal some of the market share. Google just keeps growing their share of the market.
Can you image what it would be like to “own” your industry or niche like that? Yahoo has less than 21% of the market (which is still pretty hefty) and MSN has fallen to less than 6.5% of the search market. Ask, while holding a smaller share, continues to grow their share. With Google and Ask expanding, MSN and the rest of the search engines are “taking it on the chin”.
Why do you think Google just keeps grabbing more of the market?