Google is always a hot topic in the online world with the majority of internet users bowing down to its’ rules and regulations. In the past few years Google algorithm updates such as Penguin and Panda have drastically affected the way people can use the internet to promote their online businesses. The latest update was the Panda #24 which took place on 22 January 2013 and affected 1.2% of English queries globally.
To maintain its footprint in the online world, Google is always reinventing itself and adding to its business offering. To date, in addition to search, it has spread its wings into PPC advertising, e-mail, software, social media, and more. Just yesterday Google acquired Channel Intelligence which is a data service that specialises in helping major ecommerce businesses push more product sales online. Channel Intelligence was one of the original launch partners for Google Shopping and this $125 million acquisition is aimed at improving the Google Shopping experience by helping both merchants and consumers save time and money online.
How relevant is Google in South Africa
Although Google is not the only search engine out there, research shows that competitors like Bing and Yahoo are in actual fact not much competition in South Africa. As a result, unless your niche market happens to use Bing and Yahoo to search on the web, optimising your website for those search engines could be considered a waste of time.
According to Statcounter.com, an online statistics tool, between January 2012 and January 2013 Google has held the number one spot in South Africa and Africa as a whole:
Search Engine Usage in Africa
- Google: 95.03%
- Bing: 2.21%
- Yahoo!: 1.63%
Search Engine Usage in South Africa
- Google: 93.55%
- Bing: 4%
- Yahoo!: 1.13%
This simply means that most South African use Google as a first point of reference when looking for information. As a result investing your marketing budget on having your website rank well in this search engine will do your online business a whole lot of good.
How to optimise your website for Google in 2013
The first step is to let go of all those sneaky SEO tricks used before Penguin and Panda arrived, they will do your website more harm than good. Remember quality information is what Google wants for searchers so that is what you need to provide. 2013 is all about rich and informative content. With a base of quality content other important SEO factors such as link authority and social media will all be easier to put into effect for the overall benefit of your website.