Spreading your digital marketing eggs across multiple baskets
Google has been making headlines here in Australia, the news corporations aren’t happy about the way they pull their stories into the SERPS, and they want a cut of the profit pie.
Google is so far saying no, you want us to pay? We’ll go away.
So what would happen if Google left Australia?
In today’s bonus episode, recorded as a Facebook live in my I LOVE SEO group, I talk about this conflict between Google, the Australian Government, and news websites, and how this affects every business online, including yours.
Tune in to learn:
- Why news sites are unhappy with Google
- Why Google might pull their services from Australia, and what will happen if they do
- Why you should do more for your site than just SEO
- Why you should diversify your digital marketing across different platforms
- Why you need to build brand recognition by getting your brand seen and heard across the web
- Why having back-up marketing strategies is vital
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The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!”
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Google has been making headlines here in Australia, the news corporations aren’t happy about the way they pull their stories into the SERPS, and they want a cut of the profit pie. Google is so far saying no, you want us to pay? We’ll go away. So what would happen if Google left Australia? In today’s bonus episode, recorded as a Facebook live in my I LOVE SEO group, I talk about this conflict between Google, the Australian Government, the news websites, and how this affects every business online, including yours.
Hello, My name is Kate Toon, and I’m Head Chef at the Recipe for SEO Success, an online teaching hub for all things related to Search Engine Optimisation and digital marketing.
And this little micro episode is just my thoughts, and my opinions on what is happening with the current situation with Google Australia.
I’ve been luck enough to have lots of fun informal chats on Clubhouse with other SEO humans, and the majority of people think that it won’t go the way that we think it will go, that Google will stay and everything will be fine. But I think it’s an interesting question to pose: what would happen if Google left Australia.
I wanted to have a chat this morning about Google. And you’ll probably have heard in the news that there is discussion between Google, the Australian government and all the news websites that isn’t going great. So essentially, what’s happening at the moment is since the advent of featured snippets in the search engine results pages, what Google is often doing is pulling some of the news information through, into the search results. And it’s also set up a deal with the news sites that even if they have paid subscriptions, they have to give a certain amount of news away free. The news corporations in Australia saying this is not fair. You have a monopoly, you’re getting our content for free. You should pay for that content.
Now, there’s lots of debate as to whether that’s fair or not. I think we all, as small business owners and writers, have a similar feeling so often. If you type in how much does a copywriter charge, Google strips some content from my article about how much a copywriter charges and puts it in the featured snippets. And the hope is therefore that in position zero, you’re going to get that brand authority. But really, what you want to get is the click, especially if you’re a news site, because news sites only exists through advertising. And if people don’t click, they can’t serve them the ads. Not such a big deal for me, I’m not serving ads on my site. But yeah, I’d like the click too. And Google’s very sketchy around how much these featured snippets actually do drive click-through. There’s lots of reports being done to say that even though you’re in position zero, it can be as low as 3%, 7% of click-through from that search result.
Now, when you were used to be in organic position one, the theory was you would get approximately 33% of the click because the information isn’t given away. So the problem is if I find enough information in the snippet, why am I going to click through? So I can see both sides of the argument. And obviously what’s happened now is that Australia has said, well, if you don’t want us to do this, we’re not going to compromise. We’ll just leave. We will no longer offer our services in Australia. And obviously that also begs the question, would YouTube go away as well? And obviously that’s a huge impact for Australia because I think at the moment I should have done my research before I did this presentation. But the last time I looked, which was a couple of months ago, Google had about 95% market share here in Australia.
And although Australia feels to us like a big country, a big vibrant country, really, there’s not that many people here. When you compare it to other markets, we’re small fry. So it’s an interesting question to ask. Now, I’m going to personally say that I don’t think this will happen. We know what happened in France, so they agreed ultimately that they would pay for news content in France. When negotiating based on factors, such as contribution to political and general information, the daily volume of publications or the monthly internet audience. So if they can negotiate in France, I’m sure they can negotiate here in Australia, if the Australian government doesn’t just make a stand for the sake of it, because the impact on business, especially small business, would be huge. These days, if you’re not on Google, you are not on the internet.
We can talk about Bing and Duck, Duck Go, and all the other search engines as much as we like, but really, they are minuscule compared to Google. I had a representative from being on the podcast and even he admitted, it’s about 4% of market share with Bing. Now, Microsoft and Bing yesterday said, Oh, well, we’ll agree to comply. We’ll agree to comply. And it’s almost like they’re champing at the bit for Google to leave, so that they can finally have a bit of market share. So I guess it begs the question, what would we do in a Google-free world? If there was no Google, how would our business operate? Now, of course, the thing is there would only be no Google in Australia. There would still be Google in the rest of the world. So for those of us who have international offers and international products, they would still be there.
And of course the internet is still there. So people can still go to an internet browser and type in your URL. I mean, we’re was so unused to doing that, that we might’ve forgotten that, right? Because so often we’ll go to Google and type in the name of the business, then find the site. But of course, if you know the name of the business, you know the domain name, then you can go direct to the site. But with all these strange extensions that have come out, .Sydney, .club, .tv, it does get a bit more complex. If you don’t have a .com, .au, or a .com, it’s going to be harder for you to be found. So what does this mean for us? I think it means a number of things. I just want to say again that I don’t think it’s going to happen, but if it did, what would my approach be to SEO in this no Google world?
Well, number one, we would all start focusing a bit more on Bing. So one piece of advice, if it makes you feel better today, go and get yourself verified on Bing search console, Bing webmaster tools. It’s pretty much like Google search console. Get yourself verified on there and just start having a look at Bing and see where you ranked, do some keywords searches. And made sure that you’re Bing world, you’re aware of it, because I bet you can’t remember the last time you used Bing. Start to wrap your head around some of the differences between the Bing algorithm and the Google algorithm. Bing is a bit more old school. They have a big issue with site maps. Some believe that they still use the keywords mess attack. I think they’re much less sophisticated than Google. The SERPs are a lot simpler. It’s Google seven years ago.
So, if you’ve built a site that’s optimised well for Google, it will automatically be pretty good for Bing. The only things I would be checking would be those site maps. The other thing I would be thinking about is this is where understanding that SEO is not a check box to be ticked is so important. On the Recipe for SEO Success course, the big course, which is open now, by the way, we don’t just focus on tech SEO for Google. We take the big helicopter picture view. We’re talking about getting your brand known out there. We’re talking about PR, social media, writing for other websites, podcasts appearances, understanding that all of that is actually part of helping you rank on whatever search engine that exists, or just simply helping you be found.
In a no-Google world where we’re not searching, it’s going to be even more important to understand how to make your brand well known out there, how to build up brand awareness, how to get citations on other people’s websites, how to build backlinks on other people’s websites. Maybe keyword research, if there were no search engines. It’s not as important. But if you really understand keyword research, it’s still is, because keyword research is not just about what people type into Google. It’s about the focus and the intent of your content and delivering content which solves pain points for the reader. So all of these things still matter.
In fact, they matter even more in a non-Google world, because we’re going to have to work harder. And for us Australian businesses who want to market internationally, now we’re not trying to rank on google.com.au, were trying to rank on google.com. So I think it’s really important to just be aware of the bigger picture when it comes to digital marketing, and not thinking about SEO is about getting your Schema fixed. SEO is so much more than that.
I also think that we should be ready for the onslaught. I was in a little room this morning on Clubhouse and one of the people said, Well, gosh, it’s a great opportunity, isn’t it? Because we could do lots of outreach now to businesses in Australia and say, Hey, with Google leaving, you need to do this, this and this. And I quickly jumped back on and went, Hey, look, we already get too many of the greetings of the day emails. We don’t need any more of that. Thank you very much. I think this is a great time for digital marketing and SEO companies to reassure their clients, and to talk to them about strategy.
The point I was talking about with one of these SEO dudes on Clubhouse this morning was he described it like a fire drill. I love this, and I think we should be doing fire drills with our digital marketing. What would happen if …? What would happen if your site went down for a week and you couldn’t get it back? What would happen if some competitor came up with exactly the same domain name or very similar to you? What would happen if there was no Google? What is your strategy? I think, if COVID has taught us anything, it’s that the world can change so quickly and we need to have some backup plans. If you are a hundred percent reliant on Google ads, and suddenly Google switches your ads off, which somebody emailed me about the other day. “I’ve been banned for Google ads. I don’t know why.” All her business was coming from Google ads. There was no SEO, no Facebook, no socials. And so for the next two weeks, she just literally no sales.
So we cannot put all our eggs in one basket, whether it be Facebook ads, whether you’re building an empire on Instagram and suddenly you get banned from Instagram. We have to have a diverse range of things. We maybe have to pick one platform we’re going to do really, really well. And then another couple that we do a pretty good job of. If Google went away tomorrow, I’m hopeful that my work on Facebook and LinkedIn and Instagram and Clubhouse and the podcast and my email list would keep me going. Yeah.
And one of the guys in the room is from Pakistan, and he said they had a couple of years, which I didn’t know about, where there was no YouTube. And people just came up with other options. People came up with other ways to cope. And something will always pop up to fill the gap. Twitter gets a bit sticky about people writing right-wing comments on Twitter and Parler appears. Something will always pop up to fill the gap, but you have to have a business that’s strong enough with your digital marketing to get through that gap.
But it’s just my thoughts this morning on what would happen if Google does leave Australia. I don’t think it would be the end of the world. I think we would all cope, just like we cope when Google makes a massive change to the algorithm, just like we coped during COVID, when businesses shut down. It will impact some people more than others. And the people it will impact the least are the people who are prepared.
So ask yourself the question, what would you do if Google didn’t exist? How would your business survive? And if anything, that will help you think about having a more diverse and helicopter view of your digital marketing, rather than putting all your eggs in Google’s basket. All right? Thanks for watching. My name’s Kate Toon. If you are not a member of I Love SEO and you’re listening to this on the podcast, head to the Facebook group, I Love SEO. If you want to learn a bit more about SEO, you can take the SEO Nibbles Course. It’s free. It’s fun, nibbles, not nipples. And at the time of recording, the Recipe for SEO Success, big course, is live.
So that’s the end of the bonus episode. If you have questions about SEO, digital marketing, or the Google Australia situation, head to my I LOVE SEO group on Facebook, where you can also watch the video of this recording. I like to end the show with a shout out to one of my lovely listeners. And this week it’s Clarisse Gomez from the United States. Clarisse says, “Awesome Podcast! Kate, host of The Recipe For SEO Success Show podcast, highlights all aspects of marketing, SEO and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!”. Clarisse, you are a lovely woman, thank you very much. And thanks to YOU for listening.
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