From time to time I see in the SEO related newsletters and am told by individuals that the best web traffic and web presence information is provided by Google Analytics and further that an in-depth understanding of the black box algorithm they use is vital to marketing on the web.
These same people sometimes go on to decry simpler approaches like doing a search to find out what happens. This on the basis that Google reports are so regionalised and so personalised that a search by one person is not relevant to a search by someone else.
Well, personally I like the simple direct and scientific approach of try it and see – and our research shows that in practical terms it makes very little difference in the national industrial marketplace.
True, if you are selling locally then a search outside your area may not throw up the same as at your own desk – but that is about it.
Personally I would rather spend my time and effort on doing what works than speculating on what Google may or may not be thinking.
An understanding of the principles by which publishers work, of which Google is just a recent varient, leads us to the conclusion – they need valuable content which they can use as bait to create an audience whose attention they can sell to advertisers.
If we as marketeers stop trying to game the system, then they will do their job and we will benefit from it along with their readers.
The “gamers”, however reputable, simply muddy the waters and make life more complicated for everyone else by creating marketing fashions designed to manipulate the system. Far better, I would suggest, to ignore the gaming and manipulating and to stick to the fundamental principles of a simple long-term plan that just keeps working through all the fashions.
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