I recently did a post on the importance of understanding how to use SEO tools. Though there are a lot of helpful tools out there, many position themselves as the answer to your SEO needs, but a tool is only as good as the person using it, and if you don’t have SEO knowledge, they can be a waste of money and a pile of disappointment, as they don’t do all the work you expect them to do. They mostly just inform you.
On the heels of that blog post came a questionnaire to business owners directly from Google, asking about offering “premium” tools for your Google My Business (GMB) page for a price. This raises red flags in my book. As I mentioned in that other post, there are a lot of good tools out there that can help make our jobs easier, and they are offered from third-party, independent companies. Many help make processes easier or give extra information easier to reduce a lot of manual research or work. In the world of SEO and Google, there are literally hundreds of ranking factors that Google rewards or punishes, based on what your website offers its visitors. Anything from content to speed to trust signals.
Google Getting Too Greedy?
I recently shared on social media news from the Search Engine Journal (it was shared throughout the industry) that Google may be offering certain tools for you GMB for a monthly cost. Something about that doesn’t really sit well with me. Google has, in the past, offered free tools like the Google Ads editor, but for the most part, has stayed out of charging people for things that would actually help their organic rankings. There is something fishy about charging for that in my mind. I’m sure there are those that disagree, and I’m rarely surprised when Google tries to monetize something else that it offers, but the importance of SEO being something where hard work and intelligence pays off gets a bad look when you start charging for things directly that help your ranking. This could be the eventual tipping point. There will be a day when Google is no longer the dominant search engine that it is, and we have seen the growth of other search engines in the past year that give users more privacy, etc. As Google slides toward more monetization with more ad space ahead of or organic results and things like this, they slowly slide past the tipping point and upset more users to where they will eventually not be preferred. This may be twenty years from now, but things like this are the signs that you are getting a little bit too greedy.
OK. Rant over. If you want help with your organic search presence, please give us a call.
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