Clients May Not Really Be Using Google

Your client may think they are searching Google but aren’t. It caused me much grief while I sorted this out so I thought I’d share it to save others going through it. I got a frenzied voicemail from an upset client because his website couldn’t be found searching Google. I found that hard to believe since he was searching for his name — and it was not a common one. I did a search and found his company name was at the top of Google. I did other searches for his furnace and boiler-related keywords and found he was well place in generic terms as well. My basic search engine optimization (SEO) had been serving him well — even if he didn’t realize it.

We played phone tag in which I explained that I just checked and he was in first place for his name and 2nd or 3rd for generic key terms. His phone tag responses expressed concern that Google was not listing him. He had checked 10 pages (100 listings) and was nowhere in there. In his mind, my credibility was on shaky grounds since he felt he had the proof that Google had dropped him.

Finally I was able to get him on the phone. He is not extremely computer literate but felt he knew how to search. I agreed and patiently tried to figure out what was going on. Finally after much back and forth, I asked him to tell me what he saw in the address bar at the top of his IE browser.  He started reading  h-t-t-p-:-/-/-w-w-w-.-c-h-a-r-t-e-r-.-n-e-t.  I told him he was doing a search through Charter Communications, not Google! He insisted it was Google anyway because it said it was a Google search. I went to Charter and found they have a Google logo and “Enhanced by” in tiny font above the Google logo. Not sure what that meant, I did a search and instead of Google search results,  the results also shows “Powered by Ask™” discretely placed in the left column.

My client was thinking he was using a Google search but apparently was searching some enhanced version powered by Ask™ search engine instead.I showed my client that he shouldn’t use the default search that Charter Communications loaded on his browser but rather should go directly to Google. Now he knows how and is again pleased to make sure he is listed at the top.

I still don’t understand what the “Enhanced” search is since I later went directly to Ask.com and those search results show my client at the top too. However it got enhanced, I now know to make sure it is truly Google being searched. I hope this saves you some time as well.

One Response to Clients May Not Really Be Using Google

  • Leo says:

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