Our favorite not-so-little tech company is growing up so fast! Today marks the 20th birthday of the world’s most popular search engine – Google. Over the course of its existence, Google has given us ad capabilities, a mailing system, cloud storage, a search engine and countless other applications we’ve come to depend on in our personal and professional lives. This year, as a thank you for all that Google has provided for us, we think it’s time to give back and show our unending appreciation.
In celebration of Google’s birthday, we asked business experts to put cake and candles aside and share the best, most practical gifts businesses can give Google this year. From SEO suggestions to web design tips, these entrepreneurs showed us that sometimes the best presents aren’t the ones wrapped up and tied with a bow – and if it keeps your customers happy, it could prove to be the gift that keeps giving!
Kyle Strong, Marketing Coordinator at Tradogram
Sometimes simple is best. A vanilla-strawberry-chocolate cheesecake with Oreo chunks and gummy worms can be difficult for the tongue to process, and the same can be said for keywords. When you’re writing a new content page, Google appreciates it when a single topic is focused on extensively. While it can be tempting to “double-dip” into multiple topics on a single page, it’s usually best to save those topics for their own page to avoid confusing Google’s taste buds. Make sure to keep your “flavor” uniform by including relevant keywords in your title tag, heading tags, and meta description, to make it easy for Google to understand and vouch for what you’ve made. So, for Google’s birthday, try serving up a simple content-classic chocolate cake.
Sarah Johnson, PR Director at Fit Small Business
The best gift a business can give Google is correct header structure in published content. Perhaps, not the most exciting gift in the world – kind of like when your parents decide to give you a ‘responsible’ gift such as school supplies or bed sheets for your birthday. Header structure, though, helps Google understand your content, the key components of your content, and how it all fits together. Schools supplies help you stay organized for your classes, aid you in categorizing subjects in order of importance, and they help you tie it together. As Google is 20 years old this year and in the prime of its college years, ‘responsible’ gifts are probably the most appreciated.
Levi Olmstead, Community Manager at G2 Crowd
The #1 thing a website can gift Google for its birthday is content users love. It’s so simple, yet content and SEO professionals often forget this. A piece of content that has a catchy title, long time spent on page, low bounce rate, and high number of pages visited will make Google so happy with your content that it will shoot to the top of Google SERP.
Keri Lindenmuth, Marketing Manager at The Kyle David Group
The best birthday present a business can give Google is some time off! Google doesn’t want to have to work overtime to collect the information its users need- especially on its birthday. That’s why displaying website content in a Q and A format is a great way to make it easier for Google to find and display the information its users are looking for.
Known as Direct Answers, this Q and A format enables Google to present the answer to its user’s query right at the top of the search results page. For example, if you are a dentist’s office that specializes in dental implants, format your content in a way that answers the questions What are dental implants? or Are dental implants expensive? or Do dental implants hurt? Then, the next time a user searches that query, Google may be more likely to pull the information directly from your site in a prominent display box way above the first search results- giving you more traffic and exposure, and giving Google some much-needed time off to enjoy its birthday party.
Bryan Pattman, Junior SEO Analyst at 9Sail
The best gift that a business could give Google is to follow all of the white hat SEO techniques that get your website ranked in the correct way. No one should be making Google penalize people on its birthday because they are link stuffing, buying cheap backlinks, or paying someone hundreds of dollars a month to get them to number 1 using shady practices. Put in the time to make amazing content, fix the problems on your website, and marketing yourself professionally. All Google needs for its birthday is some trustworthy friends who put in the effort to make its life easier!
Shawn Hays, Creative Branding and Marketing Manager Summit 7 Systems
You can’t get into the biggest party of the year without bringing the invitation and being on the guest list! In order to shake it like a Polaroid picture at Google’s party, you must get yourself (and your website) an SSL certificate. Google has started to give preference to the authoritative sources that have proven security established on their domain. In fact, you will currently find green check marks and red warning circles on Google searches designating if the site is secure. Not only will your site be ranked lower without an SSL certificate, you will be left outside in the cold watching your competitors enter in the party one after the other. So put on your dancing shoes, work on your Kiki dance, and don’t forget the (SSL) invite!
Ryan Scollon, Marketing Team Leader at Bowler Hat
The biggest birthday present you could provide Google with is a super fast website. It’s a gift that Google does not receive often enough, and not only will it help with your rankings, it also improves your conversion rate and user satisfaction. Most users will bounce away from the site after 2 seconds of loading, so even if you do rank well already, you have to think about the people who are using your site and provide them with the best possible experience.
James Pollard, Founder of The Advisor Coach
The best gift that you can possibly give Google is content related to a user’s search query. Google has been able to establish (and maintain) dominance in the search engine field by giving its users what they want when they search. Old SEO techniques designed to fool search engines – like keyword stuffing – don’t work anymore because they don’t give the searcher what he/she wants. As simple as it may seem, detailed and relevant content is the best thing for you to have in order to receive an SEO boost.
Sam Underwood, VP of Business Strategy at Futurety
For Google’s birthday, we hear they are very partial to sitemaps. They’re getting older and starting to need glasses to read anyway, let’s help them out a little! All kidding aside, we often create a sitemap and upload it via Search Console as the first task in our SEO project list, and frequently see immediate results. Refreshing it every month or so never hurts, too.
Chris Yoko, CEO of YokoCo.com
Chris Barrett, VP of Mustang Marketing
Give Google a birthday fit for a king! We all know content is king and when we search we want a specific, relevant answer as fast as possible. The best gift a business could give Google is quality, relevant content that answers a specific search word or phrase. Think about your desired audience and the questions you can answer that will lead them to your page — then write about it. The more specific you can make a page and the more detail about that specific topic, the better!
Want to get in on the festivities? Wish Google a Happy Birthday in the comments below and offer up your own gift idea!