Published on February 9th, 2017
“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Not only is that mission statement accurate, but it beautifully articulates how Google has changed the world.
Now, while I can’t say that Google hasn’t successfully strode forward on this goal, I do believe it may not be fully living up to its promise.
Here’s why (and how we’re taking steps to fix it for you).
Where Google is Falling Short
The internet before Google wasn’t the internet we know today.
In some ways, it was like a library: a vast collection of titles with a minimal organization or structure.
When researching, you’d likely find yourself at a repository that contained content on a given topic, much like you would walk to a section of a library. Then, from there, you’d flip through websites (at a blazing 56 kilobits per second, I’ll add) until you found one that best fit what you were looking for.
It was labor intensive and wasn’t always successful.
Google set out to change that and in the past 20 years, it has become the librarian of the web.
A few decades ago, if you walked into a library and asked a librarian about a specific issue or topic, you’d likely be directed to a first, second, and third best choice.
This is strikingly similar to the Google search results we are familiar with today.
For example, if you ask Google, “What are the ten most popular house colors?” You’ll get a great answer, just like you would if you asked that wiz of a librarian.
But what if you don’t know the specific question that you’re searching for?
This, in my mind, is where things start to breakdown for Google and where we as marketers need to be better for our readers.
If you were to search, “Painting a home,” you get articles ranging from the best paint colors to how-to guides to tips to getting the job done. All of these articles are from different sources, with different approaches and opinions, and together tell no story.
They offer no direction or chronological guidance.
Now, this seems trivial when put in terms of something like painting a house which is a relatively well-understood concept, but what if we were to use “Social Media Marketing.”
Put yourself in the shoes of a business owner who’s heard this term for the first time.
The results you get include scholarly articles containing the keyword, top stories containing the keyword, a definition, a list of follow-up questions you can ask, then the 10 highest ranking sites for the keyword, which range from trends to stay on top of to a directory of a podcast.
There is no journey to follow from uninformed to expert.
What Does This Mean for Marketers?
I’ll admit, my title is a bit sensationalist.
Google has done incredible things for the web, for the organization of it, ultimately for you and me as marketers, but Google also has a severe challenge: it’s disorganized.
From the majority of people, those scattered articles on painting your home would get their click.
If your business is like IMPACT, however, your job isn’t just to gets clicks.
Your job as a marketer is to drive business and you do this by answering the questions of your buyers. You have to educate them and equip them with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions as they move towards making a purchase from you.
To quote the marketing leader, Marcus Sheridan, “They ask, you answer.”
This lack of direction even affects us marketers as learners.
Picture it. You’re on Google, trying to research the latest digital marketing technique that you know nothing about yet, but are only met with pages of loosely related articles, in a random order, from numerous sources that just happen to rank for that topic.
Where do you start?
With all the noise and disorganization out there, we realized how hard it is for digital marketers from all industries to find the information they need when they need it.
So, we decided to do the scouring for you with The IMPACT Anthology.
The Anthology is our most actionable and up-to-date, marketing insights organized into dedicated hubs so you know exactly where to start for essential topics like Search Engine Optimization, Content & Blogging, and Lead Generation.
Finally, you have a distinct path to learning everything you need to succeed in digital marketing -- and it’s free forever.
Check it out now and make sure to show it some love on Facebook with a like or share:
What Can You Do For Your Readers?
If you’re wondering how you can do the same for your readers, it’s simple.
You’re the author, not the librarian.
The librarian doesn’t write the books; They reference them. As the author, the content creator, you should understand how your articles fit together. You know which one you’d recommend reading first and you which ones still have yet to be written.
With that in mind, your job is to tell the whole story for your readers. I hope The IMPACT Anthology not only helps you as you hone your skills as a marketer but as you provide a similar experience for your readers.
Happy teaching (and learning),