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January 21, 2010

Think You’re an SEO Expert? Google Tests Your SEO Smarts

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Let’s play a game!” said Google to SEOs and webmasters this week.

Google has challenged webmasters to test their Google Fu with a fun and educational quiz (like the “Are you a good kisser?” quiz in that woman’s magazine that you couldn’t resist taking as a teen — but I digress …)

Quiz Strengthens Webmasters’ and SEOs’ Understanding of Google

I just took the quiz and I’m sure I stumbled on a few of the questions. Luckily Google will be explaining the answers in a follow-up blog post, meaning that I’ll learn the info I don’t already know, and I’ll be able to grin proudly knowing that, hey, would you look at that, I iz Google smart. (Humor me and let’s assume that’s the outcome. It was much too painful to learn that even a Cyclops with spoiled milk breath living in his mom’s basement wouldn’t kiss me.)

A post on the Google Webmaster Blog read: “[W]e’ve tried to come up with questions and answers that reflect recurring concerns in the forum and some information that may not be well known.”

It’s always nice to know you’re not alone — a fact made sweeter when you can gain the missing knowledge that caused you grief as you tried to hunt down solutions that escaped you earlier.

Quiz Results Help Google to Better Understand the Webmaster Community

Of course SEOs and webmasters aren’t the only ones who stand to gain from the quiz. In fact, Google will probably be the biggest winner after the quiz closes on January 27. [They call it a quiz but it’s really a survey. But surveys are boring to take and there’s no competition aspect. —Susan] Ahh, true! Clever wordsmithing there, Google. —Virginia

Knowing what webmasters know will be helpful to Google in shaping their marketing message strategy. What to do webmasters already know? What initiatives should be better publicized? What SEO solutions are underutilized or misunderstood? Where do we need to step up our game when it comes to communicating with the community that relies on search (and thus, pays the bills at the Googleplex)? The direct feedback is any company’s dream.

Through the quiz survey Google is also able to get across a subtle message. Take this question for example:

question in Google Webmaster Quiz

Google’s little joke seeks to undermine the common conspiracy theory occurrences in the SEM industry. I’m not saying we break out the tin-foil for no reason, but Google is addressing the phenomenon by saying, “We don’t hate you and we aren’t conspiring against you, promise!”

(By the way, by publishing that question and its multiple choice answers I’m not spoiling your quiz results, Google. I’m just indexing and organizing your information with a representative sample under Fair Use guidelines for news reporting. Cool?)

While it’s clear that everyone benefits from Google’s knowledge share, I’m a fan of Google reaching out to the SEO community in this entertainingly educational way. On a related note, I also enjoyed hearing from Matt Cutts about his predictions for the search industry in 2010. Predictions and polls are useful in informing your SEO strategy, and of course, nothing beats trend projections straight from the source.

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