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You could consider that Google started in 1996 as a research project at Stanford University, but it was not incorporated as a company until 1998. By the end of the year, this search engine began to compete with other popular search engines like Excite.com or Lycos. Google became a publicly owned company in 2004, and by that time, it was already handling the majority of the searches being performed on the internet. Nearly 85%, actually.
While there are occasionally rumors of one company or another offering some kind of threat to Google’s dominance in the search engine business, the company remains the leader in offering up search results. In 2013, they handled 65% of the internet search traffic, but of course, the number of searches in 2013 is vastly higher than the number in 2004. Their dominance in this area is what makes them so very important to anyone wanting to get their website seen by customers.
Getting Back to Matt…
In the last several years, Google has been modifying and updating its structure, always in an attempt to provide the person making a query with the most satisfactory answers. If you want to know why your Chevy is making a funny clunk when you turn, you really don’t want to be deluged with sites that just want you to open your wallet and buy auto parts for Chevys. You’d like a nice question-and-answer site with a search function that would allow you to type in “funny clunk when I turn” and get some suggestions. More and more, Google keeps changing the way the search engine evaluates a site for validity. The more valid the site is by Google’s criteria, the higher it ranks in the search results.
After all, most people never progress past the first page of search results. So getting your website on page one is all-important.
Once or twice a year, Google makes an announcement about its newest update. Matt Cutts is the guy who explains the change and answers the questions. He’s the one that keeps web developers up late at night, studying the changes to Google’s functionality. They watch Matt’s videos and podcasts over and over, making sure they master the changes.
Website Owners Now Have to Keep Up with Google
As soon as each change occurs, a funny thing happens. Owners of sites with old, stale, trite, mechanically-produced content have to scramble to keep up. But owners of sites with plenty of fresh, relevant, quality content that is written to inform the visitor (not JUST sell) are going to be sitting pretty.
We’ve already mentioned that several years ago, many sites were horrible and unreadable, written for the more primitive Google search engine in existence at the time. But Google’s perceptions get more intuitive every year.
When adding content to your site, now you can write in a natural, informative style. Being sure to add fresh, useful information to your site on a weekly basis can help you maintain or improve your ranking in those all-important search results from Google.
The lesson to take away is not what you have learned about Matt Cutts – it’s an understanding of how the most powerful force in producing search results is thinking and changing. There will be more on Google in future blogs, so stay tuned.