If anybody ever tells you that they can guarantee you a first place result on Google, then it’s time to tread very warily. Net Age has been in the business of search engine optimisation for more than ten years, and we won’t guarantee any such thing. And frankly, you should be suspicious of anybody who does.
Ranking number one, or even on the first page of the search engine results, is always desirable. But with the sheer number of domains and pages on the internet, it’s not only difficult to rank on the first page, but it’s impossible to guarantee.
To put it into perspective, think about Wikipedia. One of the largest sites online, with millions of pages, and as many links pointing at it, and yet it still doesn’t rank first in every search.
Why Do You Think You Can Rank First?
* There are 500,000 registered domains in South Africa alone.
* Google.co.za has indexed over *58,000,000* local pages.
With so many pages, and so many sites, no matter what word or combination of words people use to search for you, there will almost certainly be tens of thousands of competitors.
Keywords Are Competitors
Just because only 50 companies sell the same product or services that you do, it doesn’t mean that you’re only competing with 50 websites to show up on the first page of the Google results.
On the contrary, results are based on the keywords that users are searching for. And Google sees every page that contains those words. So it’s those keywords that you’re competing with.
Don’t believe me? Lets search for a simple product like “hp printers.”
36,300 results. 36,300 pages in South Africa that mention the words “hp printers.” And you want to appear in the top ten?
Of course, not everybody is _selling_ hp printers. So let’s repeat the experiment with “buy hp printers.”
Only 22,300 results this time. Test this out by searching for your own product or service, using the words that customers will use to find you. The number of results you see are the pages that you’re competing with for a spot in the top ten.
Or You Can Pay
Of course, there is always the paid route. Sign up for Google Adwords, and bid on how much you’re willing to pay per click. If your bid is the highest, Google will place your advertisement at the top of the search results whenever somebody searches for the keywords that you’re paying for.
But that’s not search engine optimisation.
Search engine optimisation for good ranking on the results page is a fundamental part of the design and development of your website. But obsessing over ranking first on Google is not only futile, but unproductive.
Bear your important keywords in mind, and remember that it’s better to rank anywhere on the first page for many different search terms, than to rank as number one for a single term.
Your customers are individuals, and every one of them will search differently.