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GraphHow 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”?

If your website has a “Contact Us” form or promotes an email that allows visitors to reach out to you, my guess is you’ve seen your fair share of these emails come through.

As an Internet Marketer, who specializes in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), I can tell you that there are few things more annoying than seeing these spam (also known as junk or unsolicited bulk) emails try to instill doubt in my clients about their website’s search engine rankings.

Often in life, people fear what they don’t understand. The same could be said with regards to SEO. There is so much work that goes into optimizing a website for search engines that people don’t realize. That said, these 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 searches are personalized, and others likely aren’t seeing the same listings in the order that you are.

Many SEO experts have noted that Google actually customizes your search results based on your past search activity or clicks (which are linked through a cookie in your browser), Google+ activity, and also location, in an attempt to provide the best search results per individual. For example, the screenshots below show two Google searches for “precision machining”. The first image shows the results returned when I ran the search logged in to my Google account, with the location set to the Cazbah office’s zip code (14564 – Victor, NY), while the second image shows the results returned when running the same keyword search, but not logged-in with my location set to zip code 15214 (Pittsburgh, PA). You can see the difference in the results, outlined in red.

 

Logged In – Zip Code 14564

 Logged In - Zip 14564

 

Not Logged In – Zip Code 15214

Not Logged In - Zip 15214

 

That response is usually followed by, “That’s a relief…but how will I know where my site ranks?” Though Cazbah Account Managers have access to a number of tools which we can use to gain unbiased insight into keyword rankings for our clients website(s), it’s important to not get hung up on where your site is showing up in the search results.

The focus should be on creating and maintaining a steady flow of quality search engine traffic to your website (accomplished by providing your website’s visitors with fresh, unique content that they find valuable), and tracking Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data, such as leads/sales generated, average order value, or content downloads.

So, next time (and there will be a next time) you receive one of these emails and are tempted to succumb to their promise of gaining high rankings quickly, remember…Reputable SEO companies DO NOT guarantee Search Engine Rankings! Search engine ranking algorithms are so complex, and change so often, no one can claim to know how to manipulate them to get first page rank for any targeted keyword.

High rankings can only be achieved over time through building quality content and following SEO best practices. Don’t believe me? Even Google itself has said, “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google” (Source).

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