One evening I was staying a bit later in the office. Out of the blue, one of the office cleaners asked me: “What do you guys actually do here?” I explained to him in layman’s terms the basics of organic search and how this can be influenced.
He looked at me bewildered and said: “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe you can do that. I always thought that the most popular website appears first in the list and then in order of popularity it works its way down.”
What a beautiful insight into the unaware mind. What an innocent thought to think that Google only looks at what is most popular online.
As SEO’s, we have a good understanding of how search engines work. But that night, the cleaner made me realize that the majority of people who are online everyday have no clue our jobs even exist!
A lot of people share his perception that search engines serve them the results that are simply the most popular.
I actually sat down to write a post about corporate responsibility. I was going to start off with the latest ranking factor: Rankbrain. I was going to give an overview of how Google’s ever increasing ability to understand search engine queries began. I was going to go far with this blog post and link it to the film Ex Machina and the words of its writer/director Alex Garland on the topic of Artificial Intelligence. Wondering if Google will ever reach the point of creating an actual sentient brain (a.k.a Robot). And then I was going to tie it all back to corporate responsibility. About how Google as a private company has the responsibility to use their wealth of big data responsibly. Because really, we all know that developments such as Hummingbird and Rankbrain are just the beginning of what is in store in terms of Google’s ‘brainpower’.
Closer to home
But the cleaner stopped me from continuing to write that masterpiece. He made me look closer to home. Never mind Google’s corporate responsibility for today. We as search engine optimizers also have a duty of care. A duty of care to keep the internet as clean and informative a place as possible.
Day in day out, we work to create content for real people. Our online content provides answers to their questions, it makes them laugh, it inspires them, it connects them. In short, we should always aim to create content that is meaningful.
We are not in the business of manipulating search engines. We are not in the business of polluting the internet with useless content. Instead, we are in it for the long run; to create informative content of value, which helps our client connect and engage with their target audience. And because of this we go out of our way to create content that works hard for our clients and that simultaneously adds value to a user’s online experience.
So for today I say, forget about the responsibility of the giants (Google, Yandex, Baidu). Let’s look at ourselves as SEOs and make sure that when we create content, it is just as much for the achievement of our clients, as it is for the development of the internet and the advancement of the millions of people who trust the web to give them the information they seek.
Who manages your SEO?
As a business owner looking to outsource your digital marketing efforts, I highly encourage you to know and understand who you are employing to look after your digital brand image. For it is still not every company out there, which deals with search in the ethical way that we do.
If you want to find out more about how we approach digital campaigns, then just take a closer look at our blog or give us a call. We are always happy to talk about what we do.