Google Hires SEO Expert to Do Better in Google Rankings
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become one of the accepted realities of life when it comes to any online business – even if you have great content and a strong social media presence, no one can do without the huge waves of “organic” traffic that comes to us via Google’s search engine. Apparently this is the case even when you are Google itself. A fairly innocuous job posting on Google’s careers page actually tells us about something big happening in Google’s office in Mountain View.
The company is hiring a program manager, search engine optimization, and the post notes that Google is looking for someone to “advise, collaborate, and synthesize feedback from marketing, product, and engineering,” and to “encourage SEO technical best practices”. It further states that the employee should “keep pace with trends and developments in the SEO industry, search engines, and Internet marketing, and report changes as necessary.”
There is a sense of absurdity in these statements, as most people in the industry will agree that SEO is driven by, and a reaction to, Google. Developments in this industry come when Google makes changes that disrupt every site’s SEO and force them to rethink how they present their content in order to do well at the Google altar.
As an insider, the person Google hires would not have to keep up with SEO; but rather need to know which team was the right one to sit down and take notes. Google notes in their post that this employee will be expected to help drive organic traffic and business growth.
As a Program Manager for Technical SEO, you’ll work with cross-functional teams from marketing, sales, product development, engineering and more to help drive organic traffic and business growth. You will participate in website development and optimization, help shape blog and social strategy, improve website code hygiene and define web architecture for international websites.
This is particularly interesting because it means that Google wants the various content-based properties it owns to appear more prominently in search. But Google’s Instant Answers feature removes the need for this – even without questioning the authenticity of search results, Google can use this space to display a map from any of its own websites. So why the sudden interest in driving “organic” traffic to your own websites?
There are many possibilities. The first is that Google is worried that its search engine will become less and less important over time – and therefore wants someone who can also help optimize it to show a good result on sites like Bing. A second – and more likely – possibility is that Google is under pressure to show that it doesn’t tamper with search results or promote its own properties.
Google is facing antitrust charges in the European Union, where companies including Expedia, Yelp and UK price comparison site Foundem claim Google abused its market power and distorted web results to favor its own shopping service. Hiring an SEO manager is a signal that Google will not artificially increase the rankings of its own sites, and regardless of its veracity, will act as a signal indicator that promises that the search ranking remains “honest” with this change.
It’s also interesting in that it shows us all that Google is also willing to play the SEO game and improve its rankings that way. Many people see SEO as a race against Google – as people get better at “playing” the search giant’s results, Google is changing the rules of the game by starting from scratch. The hiring of its own SEO executives marks a significant shift in this direction.
While hiring an SEO expert is unlikely to make a difference in current cases, it could well be a safeguard in the future as Google sites might be optimized to perfection, for make sure they do well in all organic search results. Of course, critics might argue that Google’s SEO managers will have inside information that will render the exercise useless, so it will be interesting to see how things play out.
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