Note: This blog post has been adapted by the CMAEON staff from notes our CEO Tim Vasko wrote for his upcoming book.
Google makes a big show of their informal motto, "don't be evil" and we believe them. Google after all, makes a lot of money on search but then uses it to give away fabulous services like Gmail, Wave, Google Docs, Youtube, etc, etc.
However, there is a little more than altruism involved. Each time you use a service like Gmail, and every time you visit a website with Google Analytics or Adwords on it, you're giving information to Google. Why? They need your information for their algorithms - the same ones they use to drive their search and Pay-Per-Click Adwords. Is this evil? Maybe not, but you are paying for these services - one way or another.
Keep in mind what Google actually sells is clicks and awareness of options, that their machines (both algorithm and paid for click money machines) decide we should know about. Google connects people to the filtered information and then sends them away. This process is the big money maker for Google - tens of thousands of "optimizers" make sure Google sends the top front page searches to the businesses that pay a lot for that placement.
So, you can buy into the "Google Game" - an expensive game that's more like a fishing game at a carnival, and you might get clicks and you might not - it's not really a game you can win. You want those people who search to connect to you, but Google doesn't care if they do or not. Think about how many bounces, un-followed up leads and would-be conversations are just dropped. Yet businesses pay for this all day, every day, 24/7 - and Google makes a lot of money from this.
So how can you actually catch fish instead of just paying to cast your hook in Google's pond? The first step in winning the "Google Game" is to start a conversation. Don't let those leads bounce. Engage, talk and make a dialogue with potential leads. Why? Because that is how social networks, followers, and conversation marketing work - nurturing those leads into clients, one person at a time.
Sure Google is a tool, but it's not a solution - a solution needs to do more for you. It needs to want you to succeed. Google doesn't care if you win their game or not - the longer you play, the more money they make.
Picture: Dawn Perry, Flickr