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  • Writer's pictureGeoff Schalow

What is a Business to Search Engine (B2SE) Relationship?

Updated: Sep 12, 2023


a human hand and an android hand reaching for each other. This signifies the relationship that business owners have with search engines.

Relationships are what drive business. No matter how much technology advances, relationships will be critical to a company's health. Why do people commonly ignore the most beneficial business relationship in history?


Only one referral source seeks to bring leads to companies 24/7/365, and small to midsized businesses run from it. Keep reading to learn:

  • What is the most beneficial business relationship?

  • Why do people ignore this business relationship?

  • How do I develop a B2SE relationship?

The most common business relationships are Business to Customer (B2C), Business to Business (B2B), and Business to Government (B2G).However, there is a fourth pivotal business relationship. We refer to this relationship as Business to Search Engine, or B2SE.


When most of us think about search engines and algorithms, our minds start exploding, and we start sweating. Fortunately, all that fear of the unknown is unnecessary. The "scary algorithm" is just a part of what makes the relationship work. You may wonder if a business can have a relationship with an algorithm, and the answer is...absolutely!


What is a Business to Search Engine (B2SE) Relationship?

Imagine that you are at a Chamber of Commerce event. You do not know many people because you recently moved to the area. As you mingle with other business-minded people, you get several business cards and a few requests for business referrals.


Some of the guests at the event seem more reputable than others. But you have yet to develop a relationship with any of them. How likely will you put your name and reputation on the line to refer a stranger? Probably not very likely, right?


A Business to Search Engine relationship is just like a professional relationship. The most prominent exception is that you will never shake Google by the hand, grab coffee with Google, or share similar childhood experiences. However, you can build a reputation with Google, which is basically what a B2SE relationship is. Google requires a measure of trust before they refer a business.


Why Is Trust Needed?


Think back on your experiences during the COVID outbreak. For example, did you ever visit a restaurant only to find it closed? The Google Business Profile showed they were open for several hours, but the building was dark, and the parking lot was empty.


How would that experience make you feel? Would you still trust Google Maps for hours of operation? Probably not. Let's review a couple of perspectives at play here.


First, Google stakes its reputation on the companies it serves up in results. So they try to provide only the most accurate information.


Secondly, it is the business owner's responsibility to update their hours and website. It is a collaborative effort between the business owner and Google.


When the business fails to keep its info up to date, Google loses credibility along with that business. When Google faces a setback, they take the same actions as you and I would. They distance themselves from the company that provided the poor customer experience.


Why Do Business Owners Neglect To Build a B2SE Relationship?


There are several answers to this question. Most answers revolve around unfamiliarity with SEO and how it works.


Since SEO is as much an art as a science, we cannot blame them for their apprehension. A person's perspective is their reality, whether it is correct or not. This is why intelligent people seek advice from a professional when they are looking for information on a topic they are not familiar with such as insurance, legal matters, and SEO.


Let's look at a few concerns and think through them from the business owner's perspective and an SEO's (Search Engine Optimizer's) perspective.


I Don't Need a B2SE Relationship


Personal connections are critical to a company’s success. But no matter how strong a network we have, tapping into our competition’s network is becoming more necessary to gain or maintain market share.


The trap that many business owners fall into is that of single-mindedness. They find one avenue of promotion that works and put on the horse blinders to anything else. This mindset overlooks the benefit of several means of promotion that all work together to make them the obvious choice above and beyond anyone else. Here are a couple of different examples.


Small Business Owner's Perspective

Word of mouth marketing has always worked in the past, and it always will work for me. Online marketing is not something I need.


SEO Perspective

Word of mouth has always been a significant marketing avenue. Even today, word of mouth reigns as king. However...the way word-of-mouth marketing functions has been evolving for a while now.

Good, old-fashioned word of mouth is still alive and well. But the most powerful word-of-mouth is that of Google Reviews.


Everyone from Gen Z to Baby Boomers looks for company or product ratings on Google when making a purchasing decision. This phenomenon means that instead of sharing a positive experience with just one friend or family member, your customer shares their experience with thousands if not millions.


As a result, Google reviews are a massive part of your B2SE relationship.


A Google Review is word-of-mouth marketing on steroids. You need a B2SE relationship. You cannot afford to lose entire generations worth of business.


I Don't Have The Time for a B2SE Relationship


This is one area that both perspectives kind of agree on. The difference, as you will see below, is that so many business owners see this as a barrier to entry. Lack of time does not have to keep a good thing from happening. In fact, B2SE is an area that even the most "type A" personalities will not touch.


Small Business Owner's Perspective

I am very busy working within my profession. I do not have time to learn and implement something new.


SEO Perspective

We completely agree. Small business owners have too much to focus on. But you need to keep your competition from scarfing up all the online business. Here are two options to solve this problem without the time investment.


A small red clock on a weathered wooden plank to signify the lack of time a small business owner has to build a B2SE relationship.

Hire an SEO

Hiring a professional is the best option for a couple of reasons. First, you can rest assured that you won't have to worry about people bombarding you with questions about the process. Your marketing professional will want to tap into the knowledge you have built over time in your industry. But they should be able to take the reigns from there.


Second, a professional search engine optimizer should get you significantly better results than you could get on your own. This option comes with a financial investment. However, you will see the return on investment once you establish that B2SE relationship.


Delegate To An Employee

If you have staff with pockets of "free time," you could have them do minor SEO tasks. The most significant caveat with this approach is that you must put them through a course or workshop. They need to have a basic understanding of how to build that B2SE relationship.


Another thing to consider is that you will get less good a result. Your employee is not at fault. They will have less experience in the art of SEO.

Most small business owners legitimately do not have the time to do their SEO. However, someone has to do it if they want to retain business.


I Am Not A Techy Person


Knowing your limits is a strength! Understanding what we need to outsource is paramount to success.


The other side of that coin is that entrepreneurs worry about contractors taking advantage of them. That is one of the reasons we mentioned joining a workshop. If you get a basic understanding of what should be happening and why, it will be much more difficult for a con to pull one over on you.


Small Business Owner's Perspective

I barely know how to get online. I could never build a B2SE relationship.


SEO Perspective

Everyone has a different way of approaching SEO. I like the relational approach because it provides an immediate base understanding.


Successful business owners of all generations know how to build and nurture relationships. When it comes to building a relationship with Google, many of the principles are the same as any other business relationship. The paragraphs below will explain the basic process of building a B2SE relationship.


How To Develop A B2SE Relationship


Like any thriving relationship, we must understand what our prospective partner wants most and help them achieve that result. To keep it simple, we will use Google as the example for all search engines. However, the dynamic is the same for them all. So, let's answer a few questions to uncover this mystery.


What does Google want most?


Simple. Google wants to please its clients better than its competition. Since Google is a Search Engine, its purpose is to provide users with the information best suited to their search criteria. Let's take a closer look at providing Google with what it wants.


Who are Google's clients?

People worldwide who are looking for:

A pile of Post-it notes. The top one is neon green and has the words "help others" written in black sharpie. This signifies that SEO is about helping others first.

  • Educational information

  • Products

  • Services

  • Information about products and services

How does Google achieve its goal?


They provide information best fitting the searcher's intent in the fastest way possible. Achieving the goal of being the best search engine brings traffic. That traffic is what Google leverages to charge money for their AdWords campaigns. People commonly know AdWords as Google Ads or Pay-Per-Click (PPC).

We have covered a lot of ground, including what Google wants and why they want it. So, to create a relationship with Google, all we need to do is help them get what they want. So far, a B2SE relationship operates like the core three: B2C, B2B, and B2G.


How does a business help Google


The simple answer is that we help Google provide the best search result for their clients by setting proper expectations for the content on their website. When we type something into Google, we have a specific purpose or intent for that search. Local businesses can ensure that people avoid accidentally stumbling into an article that does not meet the searcher's needs or intent.


What is searcher intent?

Searcher intent is best explained with an example.


If someone wants to buy a water filtration system, they likely hope to get search results highlighting water filtration service providers. However, if that same individual is looking for information about how water filtration works, they would likely expect to find blogs or articles that provide information on the subject matter. Lastly, the searcher who wants to install the filtration system in their home will likely seek product information. They would want search results that include price, specs, and product ratings.


Searcher intent is best explained with an example.

If someone wants to buy a water filtration system, they likely hope to get search results highlighting water filtration service providers. However, if that same individual is looking for information about how water filtration works, they would likely expect to find blogs or articles that provide information on the subject matter. Lastly, the searcher who wants to install the filtration system in their home will likely seek product information. They would want search results that include price, specs, and product ratings.


If a business accidentally or intentionally misrepresents the subject matter of its content, the searcher will leave the website quickly or "bounce." A bounce signals to Google that your web page could be more straightforward (at best) about its purpose.


It's About User Experience


While the process of building trust with Google can be complicated, the premise is very simple. If we please Google's clients with what we offer, Google will show our material to more people. A few ways to please those using search engines are:

  • Write interesting, unique content.

  • Include pleasing images that add to the reading experience.

  • Make sure your website is up to date. No one wants outdated information.

  • Layout your pages in a way that is easy to read.

  • Create accurate Title Tages and Meta Descriptions.

When Google trusts that you are an authority in your field, they will be more confident in showing searchers what you have to offer.


The reason a B2SE relationship is the most important relationship a business can cultivate is that Google will introduce searchers to your business that would never have found you by any other means. Traditional word of mouth spreads but only originates from those who have done business with you. Search engines connect you with anyone looking for what you have to offer.


Hopefully, you find the information in this article helpful. Horizon Business Strategies is passionate about helping business owners succeed online. Digital marketing has evolved in its execution, but the general purpose has remained unchanged.


If you have more questions on this topic or would like help building your B2SE relationship, please call us at 616-206-7952 or set a meeting with our founder. We are happy to develop or strengthen your reputation with Google.

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