Ask Olive: Is Google Dead?

Ask Olive is a place to get your most pressing modern marketing questions addressed by the experts.

Question

I don’t think our customers use search, and I’ve heard that Google is no longer as relevant as they once were in the marketing realm, so why should I factor them into my strategy?

Answer

Google has long been gaining near-total control of the digital sphere. With every algorithm update (all 500-600 per year), acquisition, and even name modification, the tech giant sends companies everywhere clamoring to understand what the change will mean for their marketing strategy. As marketers compelled to bend to this seemingly fickle will, it can be tempting to cling to any slight glimmer of its demise.

But, the reality is Google isn’t going anywhere but bigger. Especially in the world of marketing. In fact, AdWeek just addressed why exactly the company (along with Facebook) is in a position to drive the future of the marketing landscape. Spoiler: they derive their power from the 1.17 billion people who use Google 40,000 per second (a fact I just Googled).

That’s 1.17 billion potential customers. 1.17 billion people you want to reach. And while you may argue that you don’t need to reach every one of them, Google has 15 exabytes of data you can use to target your specific customers. Data that has become increasingly important as we trend more and more toward highly personalized marketing.

Many of the companies declaring the death of Google are B2B brands that think their customers don’t rely on search when making their purchasing decisions. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A State of B2B Procurement study found that 94 percent of B2B buyers conduct online research before purchasing products. And, 77 percent of those are using Google. So, perhaps it’s not a search, click, buy scenario, but, at some point in the buying cycle, chances are your customer is turning to the old Red, Green, Yellow, and Blue.

Something else to consider before writing off Google as a factor in your Modern Marketing strategy, is why so many people rely on them. It’s because Google takes great care in delivering a great user experience and works hard to make sure other brands do, too. Each Google algorithm update in the past few years has favored sites that put users first. Faster loading times, intuitive navigation, quality content, and, now, mobile compatibility are all rewarded with better search rankings. So, not only does Google provide us with the data to become better marketers, it incentivizes us to do so.

Now, I’m not saying Google is perfect. And, I’m certainly not saying we should throw out our strategies every time the Alphabet execs sneeze, but there’s no question that they will remain a major player as Modern Marketing evolves to become smarter, more targeted, and more effective.

Yours in Modern Marketing,

Olive

P.S. It is possible the individual suggesting that Google is no longer relevant was referring to Google+, but that, my friend, is a different discussion altogether.

Ask Olive

Ask Olive

Born in 2003, Olive wasted no time rising to the top of her industry. As a major player in the marketing world, she has dedicated every moment to a single purpose: providing finely tuned Modern Marketing solutions that drive brands and deliver business results. Learn more about Olive's origin story here.