Do you ever get the feeling that some mighty power is looking over your shoulder, policing everything you do?
That’s kind of how I felt on Sunday when I attended SMX Israel, a lively and informative Web Marketing conference in Jerusalem.
Along with 350 others, I took dutiful notes as every expert on the podium talked about the Big G. In the world of the Web, the Big G refers to none other than the almighty Google.
I learned that I need to keep up with Go0gle’s ever-changing landscape. I need to do a better job of integrating Google Local and schema.org data, or my listings won’t stand out in search results. I need to delete low-value posts on my sites, or Google will penalize me. I need to become more active on Google Plus or my rankings will suffer.
Last week’s launch of Google’s “Search plus Your World” format means that Search Engine results have been radically altered, as shown in the screenshot on the right. I need to change my strategy to reflect that, or else.
Why? Because the Big G says so.
It reminded me of one of my grandmother’s sayings: “When he says jump, you say ‘how high?’”
It wasn’t long before I had a list of 10 things I had to do for Google.
And that was just the first presentation.
Later, conference convener Barry Schwartz, from Search Engine Land, presented a review of all of Google’s updates since 2003. It seems that web marketers have been dancing to the Big G’s tune for over a decade, waiting for the word on how high we should jump this time.
It was fascinating… but I must admit that my favorite part was seeing that kippah perched on top of Barry’s head, which is so much a part of his image as a Search Engine maven. Even in his cute little cartoon alter-ego, Barry wears his kippah.
It reminded me that even though I’m also playing this game of jump rope with Google, I’m not really buying into it.
I’m just a regular Jewish woman, following the rules in pursuit of parnasa.
Corporations like Google are like the Empires of old, rising out of nowhere and taking over the world. The big difference is that instead of laying siege and shedding blood, they conquer us by granting us technological powers we never knew we wanted, but now can’t live without.
But the outcome is the same: Google now rules the world. We web consumers, and certainly those of us with web-based businesses, are all citizens in their empire. We better follow their rules, or pay the price.
Like any other empire, Google is using every means at its disposal to maintain its sovereignty. A mighty battle is being waged between Google and Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, and any other corporation that threatens to topple the crown of world domination from its head.
But we don’t need to be intimidated by Google and their ever-evolving demands. We’ll just be good and loyal citizens in their empire, and benefit from their system too. Like so many people around the world, Google gives me my parnasa through the customers it refers me on my various websites. Far be it from me to bite the hand that feeds me.
But Google, you’re not God. You will fall some day. Just like all the other Empires. And I know that you are just an agent for the Real Source of my parnasa.
It’s important to me to remember that as I go about my business pandering to Google. I just dutifully created a Google Plus page for this blog and my other sites.
But there will always be only One Big G for me, and it ain’t Google.