So, you got an email or phone call from someone claiming they can get your business to the top of google search results for a paltry sum. You’re no SEO expert, but something just doesn’t feel right (probably because someone once told you “if it sounds too good to be true…”). Technically speaking, there is a lot wrong with making a claim like that. But, let’s look at the common sense side of the equation, starting with the logistics of how a company can blindly promise everyone that they will get the top spot.
As you’ve probably already guessed, you weren’t the only one who got that email. If your competitors are on that list, they got it too. The first problem is, there is only one “top spot” for any one search query. So promising multiple people in the same industry to get the same “top spot” is not only impossible, it’s dishonest. Secondly, if it was as easy as just shelling out a few bucks, everyone would do it! So then who gets the top spot? Search results would just become a bidding war and quickly lose any value to the person trying to find unbiased information.
Technically speaking, that is just not how Google or other search engines work. If google’s search results we’re based on the highest bidder it would lose all credibility as a tool for users and create a hole in the market for an honest search provider. If you think KFC takes herbs and spices seriously, the Colonial has nothing on how closely guarded Google keeps the algorithm they use to determine search results. While they may divulge some of the factors that can effect search rankings, such as the quality of the website and it’s “page rank”, they never say exactly how they determine search rankings. Part of that is protecting a trade secret, but another part is that search is constantly evolving. On average, google updates their algorithm twice a day. Which means some factors that carry a lot of weight today, may be diminished tomorrow.
So that leaves the question, what can get you to the top of search rankings for applicable keywords? There is no definitive way to answer the question, but our advice is always to focus on the user you want to attract and think about the type of information he or she might be looking for. Let google worry about search rankings. You know your customers, provide the content that answers their questions. Organize the information in a logical manner, so it’s easy for users to explore. Make sure the website is updated regularly, not only with content, but also to stay compatible with the evolution of internet-based technology, like internet browsers. If you’re doing those things, google wants to get you to the top for applicable search terms because good search results is what keeps users coming back.
How search works:
2:00 minute mark for mention of search integrity
How Google makes improvements to its search algorithm: