Being found without Google — Kelford Labs Daily

What to do about “Google Zero”

Being found without Google — Kelford Labs Daily

Internet speculators and journalists are prophesying “Google Zero”—the eventual decline and fall of organic search traffic to web sites.

The Verge’s Editor-in-Chief, Nilay Patel, has, in fact, been predicting “Google Zero” for years.

As AI search tools increasingly do the searching, reading, and analyzing for you—or, as Google literally said during this week’s Google I/O conference, “Let Google do the googling for you”—it’s possible, if not inevitable, that organic search traffic to web sites will catastrophically decline in the near future.

There may, indeed, come a day when organic search traffic from Google plummets to near zero. So what does that mean for marketers and entrepreneurs?

Well, this is one of the major reasons I ask all my clients this question:

“If you couldn’t do any marketing, promotion, or outreach to new customers, which potential customers would find you anyway?”

Put another way, “Who is looking for you now?” And where do they go when they want to find you or someone like you?

Of course, Google is one of those places, now, and probably the primary one. But where else do they go? Who else do they ask? And how can you be there

Take a moment and pause, and really think about this. It isn’t a pop quiz, it’s a philosophical quandary. 

Perhaps your ideal clients attend conferences or trade shows. Maybe they read industry publications, or belong to associations. Or maybe there’s a type of content they’re likely to love, which presents an advertising opportunity.

What you’re looking for is a way to be present when other people are thinking about what they might need from you or a similar provider.

The answer might include having your own platform, like a newsletter or blog that dedicated and interested readers come back for and share because it’s unique and uniquely valuable.

It might include consistent, regular outreach to past customers, getting their feedback, their testimonials and comments, and their interest at regular intervals.

Gone are the days—or they soon will be—when we could just shove content online and expect Google to surface visits for us.

Now, we must define, articulate, and demonstrate our value at a distance to people who are looking for us and demanding what we make or provide. We can’t rely on generating supply, in the form of content, and assuming demand will follow.

We must discover where the demand already exists, and be there, at the right moment, in the right context, with the right message.

If “Google Zero” is coming, how can you make sure that it doesn’t turn into “Customers Zero”?

By knowing who they are, where they are, what they’re looking for, and how you can best help them in that moment.

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