How many times have you received those annoying emails that begin with, “I thought you might like to know some of the reasons why your site is not getting enough Organic search traffic”, or “We can quickly promote your website to the top of the search rankings with no long term contracts”?
My guess is you’ve seen your fair share of these emails.
I can tell you personally that there are few things more annoying than seeing these spam emails try to instill doubt in my clients about their website’s search engine rankings. Many times, these spam emails offer quick, band aid solutions that will increase rank temporarily but no more than that. Nevertheless, these spam emails sound convincing. So, let’s break down how search engines processes page rank and the real ways to ensure higher rank.
No One Sees the Same Results
Many times, small business owners shy away from new developments they don’t fully understand. This is especially true in the world of SEO. This is when spam emails pounce!
There’s so much work that goes into optimizing a website for search engines that people don’t realize. Optimization isn’t just about keywords, and page rank can differ by the day depending on a variety of factors. Spam emails are preying on the website owner’s lack of understanding of SEO, to scare them into doing business with them.
I often have clients reach out to me, after receiving these spam emails, saying, “They’re right! I just ran a Google search for this product of mine, and I’m not showing up on the first page!” What many people don’t realize is that their online searches are personalized. Two different people won’t see the same results pop up in their search results. Even the same person won’t see the same results if you search on your smartphone versus your desktop. Test it out! Do a generic search on your smartphone and then have a friend do the same. See what you both come up with. You may have similar results and even some of the same results, but they will differ in some way.
Google, and other search engines, actually customizes your search results based on your past search activity and location in an attempt to provide the best search results per individual. Your favorite search engine knows more about you than you might think. Unless you clear out your browser history and cookies, search engines will use all that information to tailor your search results specifically to you. That’s also why targeted ads with products you’ve previously searched pop up while you’re scrolling.
What I’m saying is, a scammer can’t possibly deliver on their promise to instantly increase your ranking on a search engine, because searchers all see different results anyway. The only way you’ll remain a consistent presence in SERPs is through careful and calculated SEO techniques.
What You Can Do
The first aspect your need to know about Google’s ranking formula is that is changes almost everyday. There are major, well-popularized updates (like Hummingbird and Panda), but there are tons of smaller updates that go unnoticed all the time.There are of course, steady ranking factors that never change, but to know every little detail of how Google ranks results, you’d need to work for them. Google changes their ranking factors to make sure the results they list at the top of the SERP do in fact deserve to be there.
A bad website optimized with blackhat SEO techniques may rank well for a day or maybe even a few, but every quickly it’ll drop in rank never to be seen again. What’s more, Google could penalize that website to make it difficult for it ever to rank well in the future as well. The risk definitely doesn’t equal a reward when using back alley SEO. True SEO techniques take time and require constant attention, but your ROI is high.
Your focus should be on creating and maintaining a steady flow of quality search engine traffic to your website, and tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPI) like leads/sales generated, average order value, content downloads etc.
These are some of the top ranking factors your website needs to be optimized for:
- Mobile search
- Quality content
- Keywords and related keywords
- Local search
Make sure you’re digging into your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts to get the best tracking information you can for your website and webpages. Optimization isn’t something you can just do once and have it over with. You will need to consistently optimize, and then re-optimize your pages going forward as new search engine updates come out.
So, next time you receive one of those scam emails and are tempted to succumb to their promise of gaining high rankings quickly, remember that there’s more to SEO than just rank. High rankings can only be achieved over time through building quality content and following SEO best practices.