How Much Power Does Google Really Have Over Your Business?

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Some people describe Google as the “centre of the internet”. Proven fact or not, there’s no denying that it holds incredible power over a huge percentage of global business. If Google’s search engine shut down on a whim, countless businesses would no doubt follow suit, all because of the reliance on the SEO and PPC facets it provides. But how reliant on Google is your business, and how can you be sure this reliance doesn’t become over-reliance?

How often does somebody ‘Google’ your business?

Google is such a huge company that its name is now a verb – to ‘Google something’ is to search for it – and that’s a credit few businesses can match. But when it comes to potential customers finding your business, for a large proportion of companies, Google is a real lifeline. There are an average of 2.3 million Google searches every second, so it’s easy to see why Google can be the #1 source of leads and prospects for a lot of businesses. Whether you’re actively working on your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), or you pay for clicks via PPC programs like AdWords, the result is the same: reliance on Google. But if Google can help customers find you, why might it be a bad thing?

The potential pitfalls of over-reliance

How comfortable would you feel if your company had just one customer or client? Regardless of how much revenue this client creates, anybody would tell you that this situation is precarious at best. But it’s a scenario that’s not too far removed from the reliance many businesses have on Google. If the lion’s share of a company’s clients are coming from the big G, what happens if Google just disappears one day – or the company is removed from Google’s index? Both are huge (and very real) pitfalls. In additional to these hazards, you may also find that making changes to your website can result in losing steam with Google’s rankings. Even something as simple as changing a service’s name or description can result in your slipping to page 2, 3, or beyond! This can have a real negative effect on your bottom line. So how can you avoid being too reliant on Google?

How to keep things on an even keel

The old adage “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” very much applies here, especially when it comes to the channels you use to find new clients. But in order to reduce your reliance on Google for the maintenance of your bottom line, you should also focus on existing clients. In many cases, ensuring you have a good relationship with your customers can mean you lean less on new leads and more on repeat business. Whether this applies to your business or not will depend on your industry, but there are a couple of other ways to wean yourself off Google. For example, don’t forget about more traditional forms of advertising: print, television, radio – or even making deals with websites directly to show your ads there. Do a little research and you may be surprised at how many options other than Google are still very effective.

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