Google is, effectively, the only search engine. They dictate (via recommendations and suggestions) almost everything a Web site can and cannot do — all the way down to the design of the Web site itself. Sure, there’s Yahoo and Bing. They matter, but not enough so that you can ignore the demanding Web site “quality” requirements of Google. There’s also the social media sites Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and review sites like Yelp and the encyclopedic Wikipedia that influence rankings. But none of them matter near as much as Google although they DEFINITELY DO MATTER!
But if you defy Google, you probably aren’t going to do very well in any of these other important sources for search traffic. So, search strategies today are centered around strategic compliance with Google’s terms of service and Webmaster ‘best practices’ guidelines.
Today’s search engine strategies focus on constantly adapting your site to comply with whatever Google currently thinks is a “good” Web site. In other words, if Google likes you, then all of the others are likely to like you too. Your online Web presence will flourish. But, if you fly outside of Google’s “recommendations” then you probably won’t do very well ranking-wise anywhere. And if you piss Google off, it’s safe to expect that your Web site will be banished into cyber-Siberia and your efforts to “fix” the problem will be ignored.
The primary goal is to keep your Web site in Google’s good graces! Even the basics can be a constantly moving target as they frequently keep raising the bar by honing their requirements and refining their suggestions.
NEXT STEP: Website SEO Audit