When NOT to use Google for a search
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When NOT to use Google for a search

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Why do people use Google (or other less popular search engines) to look for a website address they already have?

It can't be laziness, because they still have to either type the URL into Google, or copy and paste it into the search field.

Is it becoming so ingrained that EVERYTHING must be "Googled"? The one time you do not use Google to search for a website, is when you have the website address already!

Let me give you an example of why it is important that companies think about this sort of thing BEFORE running expensive online promotions.

Shannons, the insurance agency (I have used Shannons for my car, home and motorcycle insurance needs for MANY years), is currently running a competition where they give away a Panasonic Viera 50" Full HD NEO 3D Plasma TV.

When not to use Google All one has to do is go to a URL which is provided in large, bold print on a card sent to people on their mailing list.

NORMALLY, you would type that URL (universal resource locator) into the address input bar of your Internet web browser (eg, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc).

Now, what Shannons DIDN'T count on was the number of people (over 150 in a little over a week) who, instead of using the address provided, searched for it in Google.

Unfortunately for Shannons, they do not rank for the URL they provide. They had also not included the search term in their PPC (pay per click) campaign as at the time of writing, so even the paid ad which displays is not correct.

But guess who does rank for the Shannons competition URL? That's right - justweb®! And for two very simple reasons: We have a page about motorcycle insurance, which mentions Shannons insurance, and we also have content in my website about 3D TVs.

That is enough for Google to deem my website relevant for that search term. I won't mention the URL because I don't want to rank even better for it, Shannons don't like you linking to their website, and it's only for Shannons clients anyway.

I've even had people email me asking how to find the correct competition page - after quoting the URL in their email! Come on - we're not talking about a Mensa test here.

Here is a close "real world" analogy: I tell you call a business, and provide you with the phone number. You already have the phone number - all you have to do is dial. But instead, you search for the phone number in the White Pages.

The difference is, you may not always find the correct location, or website in Google. Not everyone ranks well for their own website, and in particular, new pages, for example promotions, may take some time to rank at all.

If you are provided with a website address, or URL, please use it - DON'T Google it!

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Rob - JustWeb

12.02.2011


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