Google — The Powerful 9,000 Pound Search Engine Gorilla
First Place — Google: Last Place — Everyone Else
Google is Big. Really Big.
Okay, so all the U.S. tech titans are big and Google is just one of the Big Five: Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Facebook.
2019 Revenue for the Big Five was :
- Apple — $265 Billion
- Amazon — $232 Billion
- Alphabet — $137 BIllion (Parent company of Google, YouTube and more)
- Microsoft — $110 Billion
- Facebook — $56 Billion
The combined Big Five’s revenue of $800 billion would rank them #18 in world GDPs, just above Saudia Arabia’s GDP of $779 billion.
Alphabet is the 37th largest company in the world ranked by revenue (32nd if you don’t count five country-owned companies).
Sounds pretty big — but not the biggest.
But in search engine market Google is in first place and everyone else is in last.
Google Frighteningly Sucks All the Oxygen Out Of The Room
There is perception and then there is reality.
Google is ranked #1 in the top four search engines. Sounds pretty even and fair, especially when the ranking looks like this:
- Duck Duck Go
There is a perception of a competitive market. But nothing could be further from the truth.
The reality looks more like this:
[Note: Calling Google the 600 pound gorilla would be way off. High school math to the rescue.The average gorilla weighs 400 pounds, meaning a 600 pound gorilla is 50% heavier than average. Adding the percentages of Bing, Yahoo, and Duck Duck Go together gives an average 3.7% market share. So 3.7% is to 88% as what is to 400 pounds? Answer is 9,513 pounds. I rounded down because it looks better, and also 9,000 pounds and 9,513 pounds result in the same Google ranking for headlines]
So Who Should Care About Google Dominating the Search Engine Market?
Governments Care About Google Tactics
Google does not make money with search engines. It makes money selling advertising.
But if you dominate and control the search engine market, you have an advantage over your competitors in the digital advertising market. Is it fair? Is it illegal? Is it capitalism? Is it antitrust?
The European Union believes Google’s practices are both unfair and illegal. Over the past few years the EU levied fines against Google totaling $9.3 billion dollars.
Margaret Vestiger, the EU’s top antitrust watchdog (official title is Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age and Competition, European Commission) stated,
“Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti competitive contractual relationships on third-party websites…. This is illegal under antitrust rules.”
EU regulators said Google’s practices undercut competitors like Microsoft and Yahoo.
In the US, Google is under investigation by 50 state attorneys general for antitrust violations.
And now after a year long investigation, the US Department of Justice is reportedly drafting a lawsuit against Alphabet for illegally thwarting its competition in the digital advertising market advertising.
The Wall Street Journal reports that both the 50 state attorneys general and the DOJ are now likely to file lawsuits against Google
Online Businesses Care About Google’s Power
For online businesses a good Google ranking means more revenue. A bad Google ranking means less.
As an online business owner, you are probably painfully aware of the great power that Google rankings have on your business.
Sad to say, but nobody cares about a rating on Yahoo or Bing. Nobody.
There is an entire industry dedicated to getting a higher ranking on Google. A Google search of “How to Rank High on Google” returned 773,000,000 results, ironically with a paid ad being placed on top of the page.
Two terms you must know well are Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
If you “optimize” your business toward the Google algorithms, you get a better rating.
But what are those secret algorithms?
Google states it won’t reveal the exact algorithms because they are business secrets and releasing them would help their competition. Google also states that releasing the algorithms would invite spammers to abuse them resulting in an inferior Internet.
The Search Engine Journal offers a descriptive lists of all major Google’s Algorithm Updates and says,
“Google’s algorithms are a complex system used to retrieve data from its search index and instantly deliver the best possible results for a query. The search engine uses a combination of algorithms and numerous ranking signals to deliver web pages ranked by relevance on its search engine results pages (SERPs).
In its early years, Google only made a handful of updates to its algorithms. Now, Google makes thousands of changes every year.”
What Should Online Business Owners Do Now?
Bluntly, learn to live with Google and learn how to optimize.
Despite nations, states and the Department of Justice lining up against them, Google is not going anywhere anytime soon. Period.
As a business owner you should learn the rules of Google and optimize anything that Google can rank, like websites, blogs, and other online content.
There are basic rules to follow like:
- Have Optimized Headlines.
- Keywords near the front of headlines
- “How To” and “Ultimate Guides” score well
- Numbers and power words improve your headline ranking
- Use Pictures every 100–200 words. Original pictures are better. Well used photos score less than original ones
- Use secondary keywords in your text
- Write for a 6th grade reader. The Hemingway Editor is free and will show you how.
- Use Headline Optimizing Tools. Free Online tools like this.
- Longer posts seem more favored lately (1,500 words or more)
If you are like most business owners, you simply do not have time to keep up with all of this.
Consider getting an SEO content writer or an SEO specialist to help.
Online businesses have amazing potential.
As people search for you and your product online, you want them to find you easily and quickly, and not on Page Four of a Google search.
Learn the SEO rules for Google and start increasing your business.