Misconceptions, myths, and self-serving misinformation are common when it comes to Google’s algorithm or search criteria for ranking websites.
New marketers can easily become overwhelmed and confused by conflicting information, half-truths, and pure myths about SEO and Google’s ranking policies.
Why so many myths about Google?
Google claims the top spot among search engines since it wrested control from Yahoo and Webcrawler. The company processes most Internet searches, and entire industries develop on the basis of misinformation, fraud, and myths.
Mostly they are designed to convince website owners that they need further assistance to rank for Google searches. Optimization is a big business now, and companies must be careful while improving their search ranking.
Well, actually, that last part is true.
Searches, web design, and digital marketing have grown complex. They are continually evolving, so restaurant owners can benefit from professional marketing services. However, if a company perpetuates myths about Google’s algorithm or ranking guarantees, you can be pretty sure the company’s not professional.
Myths are also born out of Google's mysterious approach when changing its algorithms. They give some tips to marketers and business owners to improve restaurant SEO or SEO in general. Yet, we don’t really have access to the whole system.
That’s how the strategies for local search, customer reviews, the use of 3rd parties such as Yelp, Google reviews, the management of Google My Business and so on are largely based on observations.
Thus, all these SEO skills now become skills in interpreting data from a marketing perspective.
Top Five Google Myths
You’ve Gotta Pay to Play
The biggest myth about Google’s search criteria is that you have to buy paid advertising to rank in generic search engine results. This idea is completely false and has discouraged many restaurateurs from trying to build websites or forced them into buying nonproductive advertising campaigns.
The majority of local restaurants step back as they cannot spare the budget for paid ads. It means they stay behind the competition in terms of online visibility.
As the industry leader, Google has too much to lose by failing to provide even-handed and fair policies in its generic searches. Paid advertising, however, is the only way that you can be sure to get your name high on the lists. But these ads always appear in the shaded sections and not among the generic results.
Also, another story is you’re not the only one to pay Google. When ten restaurants pay for the same search queries, Google checks out the quality of the website — which has become the new meaning of SEO nowadays.
So, paid ads are not the game-changer in every case. You can always find other ways to spread the word in favor of your restaurant brand. For example, social media is always there to promote your content.
Google Has a Monopoly on Searches
Google surpasses Microsoft in searches, and another vendor could easily supplant Google. People’s habits change constantly, and many customers are now conducting searches on their favorite shopping sites like Amazon, Facebook, and eBay.
Meta search engines are gaining more importance in improving click-through rates for local businesses.
Google’s biggest threat is the online shopping website, where customers can search a vast database of products and services. For restaurant owners, this trend might mean that they need to be listed in the major restaurant-review sites and local directories.
For example, you need to be on
- Google maps,
- Tripadvisor, and
- online ordering platforms to reach out to more potential customers.
You need to know the options and opportunities to make a difference in Google alternatives. And a hospitality marketing agency can help you realize your vision.
At Gourmet Marketing, we follow up on the trends and updates in the hospitality industry to help you rank higher on your restaurant’s website.
SEO Doesn’t Work Anymore
Pundits and so-called marketing experts have been broadcasting the death of SEO for more than a decade, but, as Mark Twain once retorted, the rumors of his (its) death are greatly exaggerated.
SEO constantly changes to keep up with technology’s increasing standards and to provide searches that better understand the meaning of words and phrases.
Some restaurants stop posting any kind of content because they think that updates made content obsolete as a ranking factor.
In fact, high-quality content ranks better than ever. Changes in the Google Algorithm were designed to discourage poor writing, repetitive posts, and using the same keywords in ridiculously high numbers in ways that made content unreadable.
To be more specific, in case you’re not convinced, here goes what Google says about their update in 2022:
“Google Search is always working to better connect people to helpful information. To this end, we're launching what we're calling the “helpful content update” that's part of a broader effort to ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results. Below is more about the update and things creators should consider.”
Link-Building Doesn’t Provide Real Value
Link-building remains integral to SEO strategy and your company’s reputation. Website owners were confused about Google’s policies of weeding out broken links and links that websites associated with purely for SEO purposes.
Google’s efforts always concentrate on finding websites that have genuine relationships with high-quality websites. Google weeds out spam, unnatural links, and wildly inappropriate links so that it can rank companies more fairly.
Restaurants can always benefit by linking to authoritative sites that their customers appreciate, like florists, wedding services, major hotels, and entertainment companies.
To be honest, link building is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies in 2022, as Google also cares if other prestigious websites talk about your brand and services. The web is actually functioning as a web.
And Google loves the connections between pages and websites to strengthen the web. So connect through links.
Guest Blogging Wastes Time and Resources
I will start with the announcement of the opposite: Guest blogging is priceless.
When it’s done correctly.
At one time, blogging exploded across the Internet and became one of the most popular ways for restaurateurs and other website owners to build links.
However, many of these posts were published on multiple websites and became repetitive, and many posts were poorly written and provided little or no informational or practical value.
Matt Cutts at Google started a campaign to target poor-quality and repetitive guest blogs that were just rewrites of existing Internet blog posts.
Restaurants stand to gain good value from well-researched and well-written blogs about topics that interest their customers like
- sustainability trends,
- charitable and community causes,
- food trends, and
- biographical information about cooking celebrities and
- restaurant staff members.
If you write a unique and informative blog, customers will come and be happy, and Google will use the post favorably in its ranking criteria.
Usually, websites, blogs, and platforms accepting guest blog articles require unique content as they don’t want to harm themselves.
Myths about Google will continue to develop, but professional restaurant owners don’t need to panic or worry about arcane practices and secret-society ways to get powerful SEO results.
Google works hard to develop formulas that can determine the semantic meaning of keyword phrases and identify a browser’s true goals from his or her search history and other clues.
If you keep your website’s content fresh, responsive to all types of computing devices, and linked to high-quality websites and content on the Internet, you won’t have to worry about myths.
Google wants to empower well-designed and useful websites that fulfill their customers’ needs, so concentrate on those tasks, and you’ll get consistent marketing results. One thing’s definitely not a myth — Google favors websites that give searchers what they want.
* Images to highlight that we need to leave myths to be a part of mythologies and legends to enlarge our vision rather than limiting us with misunderstandings.
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