Google has a clear purpose: To ensure that when folks like us are searching, we have a great (and relevant experience).
What’s interesting is that they don’t make money from the searchers, well not directly. They make money from the advertisers (the little ad’s down the side of the Google page). But if there’s ever a conflict between the two it’s the end user who wins.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say that you are running an ad for your latest book. Your research has shown that 5,000 people per month type in the name of your book searching Google and there are no advertisers; result: you can run an ad for 1p per click.
However you get a bit lazy and greedy, rather than creating a site that gives the searchers lots of useful information about your book with different pages and lots of content you just throw up a single page site to sell your book, and worse you try to sell other books on your site. Google won’t be happy, they will deem that the visitor experience is poor and they’ll Google slap you.
What this means is that they’ll impose a minimum bid on your ad for anything between £5 and £10 per click, thus making your advertising pointlessly expensive.
The point is this: when Google have to choose between their intermediary advertisers and their end users the real customers will win every time, they know that if the customer has a poor experience then they’ll use another search engine. So they choose to take a hit on short term advertising money for the sake of long term visitor value; as a result they are the world’s largest and most popular search engine and make billions of pounds annually.
What can we learn from this? Two points:
- Make sure that you are clear on who your real customer is and decide how you are going to serve them.
- When there is a conflict between an intermediary and the real customer always take the side of the end user.
Google have a clear single purpose built around creating value for the end customer, as a result it allows them to stay focused and make good decisions in their business, how about you..?