In a strange turn of events last month Google appears to have published this message;
In a world where everything seems to be for sale, why can’t advertisers buy better position in our search results?
The answer is simple. We believe you should be able to trust what you find using Google. From the beginning, our approach to search has been to provide the most relevant answers and results to our users.
Google search results take into account who links to a web page as well as how relevant the content on that page is to your search. Our results reflect what the online community believes is important, not what we or our partners think you ought to see.
And while we believe relevant ads can be as useful as actual search results, we don’t want anyone to be confused about which is which.
Every ad on Google is clearly marked and set apart from the actual search results. While advertisers can pay more to be displayed higher in the advertising area, no one can buy better placement in the search results themselves. Moreover, ads are only displayed if they’re relevant to the search terms you entered. That means you only see ads that are actually useful.
Some online services don’t believe the distinction between search results and advertising is all that important.
There are a couple of takeaways from this contribution.
Firstly, links are important. Google confirm once again that links to a website play a critical part in positioning.
Secondly, content is important. Make sure that the content on your website is helpful to end users. In fact, make sure that there is some content there in the first place, not just a handful of words.
Thirdly, Google believe that every ad is clearly marked in their search results. Whether you or I think differently is irrelevant, this is their belief.
Finally, Google still believes that every ad they show you is useful.
It seems strange that they should publish this when it appears clear to anyone who has a website that the only way to appear at the top of the rankings these days is to pay for the privilege. Which sort of contradicts the very first sentence.
As Google look to monetise more and more of their product then this can only get worse and organic traffic will decline for short tail searches. The key therefore, is to start looking for long tail and build up your content while you can.