The holding company for Google is Alphabet (stock market symbol is GOOGL but company name is Alphabet inc.). We found it interesting that although the holding company is called “Alphabet inc.” Google’s entire purpose is not to organize alphabetically. Instead the goal is to show results that meet the searcher’s search intent. For more on how Google thinks see our updated post from 2017 on “Getting found on Google.”
If you think about it, everything in the paper world is organized alphabetically or numerically. Here are some examples:
- Encyclopedias : All paper encyclopedias were organized alphabetically. So if you wanted to find out about Armenia you needed to find the volume that covered “A” and if you wanted to learn about Zambia, you needed to find the volume that contained “Z”.
- Phone Books: All paper phone books or telephone directories were organized by last name, yes alphabetically.
- Yellow Pages: The Yellow pages in paper form were organized – yes alphabetically and if you wanted to find Electricians, you needed to look under E and Plumbers were listed under P.
- Class Rosters: In the teaching world class rosters are organized alphabetically by student last name. Despite most teachers in the US wanting to address the student by their first name. Perhaps the exception was the British high schools were you were known by your last name.
- Libraries and the Dewey decimal system: Library catalogs follow the Dewey System and there are a set of numbers assigned to a subject. Thus 657 is CPA, Accounting, Bookkeeping, Financial Reports 658 is Starting a Business, Entrepreneurs, Financing, Management, Interviewing and 658.8 is Marketing, Sales, Franchising 659 is Advertising, Fashion Modeling. See a nice list from the good folks at the Library of University of Central Florida.
- Linnaean Taxonomy for life itself: Life itself is studied under a classification system called the Linnaean Taxonomy. Named after the 18th century Swedish taxonomist Carl Linnaeus all forms of life are covered by some criteria. Scholars in these fields have academic journals,conferences and specializations within each of the fields.
So what did Google do differently?
As explained in our post on Getting found on Google, Google founders as PhD students realized that the academic world does ranking quite differently. A scholar can decide to study whatever, but needs to spell out the prior research in that specific area. Next, the scholar needs to establish that there is a gap in knowledge in existing research. Next, they need to establish that filling the gap in knowledge or literature makes a difference to the world. All these steps involve referring to influential past work in the specific area being studied. How have scholars determined the “influential” work in their fields for ages? Quite simply, by prior references called citations to prior work. Our dear readers, who are not academics , might find our 2010 post regarding Google Scholar revealing.
This scholarly thinking of ranking search results by relevance is behind the Google results in all products. Including Ads, the effort is to provide the best answer to whatever you are searching for.Thus, if the book is available full text and you are looking for one particular paragraph- that you paste in the search bar. You can find it almost instantly, frequently highlighted in yellow!
Advances in technology, machine learning and artificial intelligence is only making Google faster and more relevant.
We hope that our many business readers will encourage their digital marketers to make both content and advertising more specific and more relevant to the searchers intent. SEO and AdRanking (lower costs) will take care of itself.