Thanks, Google

Isn't it always the way? A week into starting my SEO blog, and Google launches one of its own. Inside Search started yesterday and gives the world's largest search engine an outlet to discuss its algorithm changes and anything else it feels like talking about.

This is good news for webmasters - it means the next time there's a Panda-like update, we won't all be scrabbling for information across Google's various webmaster, analytics and advertising blogs.

It's not actually such bad news for me, either. Despite the fact that the industry's biggest company has just launched a direct competitor to my own blog, it's actually an opportunity.

The connected nature of social networking - including, but not limited to, blogging - means commenting on what competitors are doing can actually be a good way to get involved, tap into an existing pool of potential customers, and generally seem like a well-balanced brand that's not afraid of its rivals.

I'd be a fool to pretend I can compete with Google, but in reality I'm not trying to. The services I offer on this site - copywriting, social media marketing and so on - are complementary to Google's own core search market. Combining the two gives webmasters a way to improve their search visibility, while not harming the quality of their site content.

Google's own first Inside Search post notes the importance of this - the search engine talks about how it strives to provide searchers with the information they need by improving its algorithms. While there are plenty of black-hatters out there trying to force their content to the top of the SERPs, the fact is that the best long-term strategy is to produce the best-quality content possible, while doing all the 'good' things available to raise its search visibility.

If you get it right, you're left with a site that stands in its own right as a decent destination for type-in visitors, as well as rivalling its peers in the battle to retain the top spot in the search results.

So it's a cheery hello to Inside Search - I'll be keeping an eye on what Google has to say via its newest voice, and it's good to think there's finally a single point of reference for all the things the search engine's development team most want us to know about how its results are tabulated.