Is Google.com your company’s real home page?

15 July 2008

Forrester Research analyst Jeremiah Owyang thinks so.

I’m not convinced though – his hypothesis only holds water when people use Google to look for a company. So if 50-60% of the web traffic to your company’s site comes via Google (as ours does) then it’s a fair point – but only for that proportion. You can pretty much guarantee that the first page of search results for your brand name on Google will shape someone’s perception about your company – the job of your web site is then to either reinforce or attempt to change that perception.

I have been banging on for some time now about the need for companies to invest as much attention – and budget – on the 99.999999% of the Internet that they don’t control as the remaining 0.000001% that they do (i.e. their website).

The examples in Jeremiah’s post simply serve to reinforce that view.

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6 Responses to “Is Google.com your company’s real home page?”

  1. Stephen Waddington

    Hi Niall, Wholly agree. The really interesting think is to watch children. My 7 and 9 year old never ever use URLs. They access everything via Google, even web sites that they use regularly such as Gmail, Miniclip and YouTube. All the best, Stephen

  2. Niall Cook

    Thanks Stephen. At some focus groups, I remember watching grown adults (who surely should know better) typing the URL itself into the Google search box, then clicking on the first result, rather than just typing it directly into the browser address bar. Nowt so funny as folk, eh?

  3. Parker

    Great addition to the "Is Google your homepage?" argument, Niall.

    Your comment about the website’s job being to reinforce or change your visitor’s first impression from the search engine results page was spot on.

  4. Lindsay Willott

    Niall, interesting view from you and from Forrester, thank you. See also these statistics from Think Eye Tracking on my <a href="http://blog.themarketingpractice.com/how-to/how-buyers-find-you"&gt;B2B marketing blog</a> which show how people actually find your website using Google.  

    It appears that not only is Google your homepage, but you need to come pretty far up the rankings for your site to even register with Googlers. Definitely supports your case for getting out there and investing in the parts of the internet that marketers don’t control. It all adds up to a more coherent message and better page rankings.

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