You know those people, the ones that never miss an opportunity to tell you that they rank number one on Google for all of the keywords relating to their business. I have a friend who is one of these Google Braggers and he uses this line to woo new clients who don’t know any better… Ah the illustrious promise of the Google Promise Land.
Here’s the problem with that. Those statements 99.9% of the time are FALSE!
Here’s the even bigger problem: the people claiming to have reached this state of Google Nirvana with their site ranking number one for every keyword, usually have no idea that they are making false claims because they don’t understand search engine optimization (seo) and rankings.
Take for example a local Sacramento company that makes this claim often. After about the fifth time I’ve seen them make this claim both in person and on Facebook, I decided to check it out. I cleared my browser history, I cleared my cache, I logged out of Google and I searched. Yes, they ranked number one for their business name and the two owners’ names — which should be the case, after all, it is their business name (duh). Then I searched for them under the top seven keywords and key phrases I could think of that would fit their business and they didn’t even crack the top three pages. For several keywords, they didn’t even crack the top ten pages.
Here’s what you need to know: Your search results are relative.
The sites that come up in the results when you search for something are affected by your browsing history, the links you click on, whether or not you’re logged into Google, your location, whether you search for yourself 100 times a day, and more. That means that just because you come up number one when you search for yourself, it doesn’t mean you will when other people search for you.
Now, you can log out of Google, wipe your browser history clean, and clear your cache, etc. to get a fairly accurate and clean look at where your site stands. You also can use Google’s Webmaster Tools and other tools available to see your true stats.
If you get one thing out of this article, I want you to understand that everything online is relative and as we move more toward the socialization of the web, it will become even more so.
Also, don’t get sucked in by the promises of reaching the number one spot on Google for every keyword that applies to your business. There are companies that get paid millions of dollars a year to achieve that and if they have a hard time getting it done and have to work on hitting that goals day in and day out, your local entrepreneur, for whom SEO isn’t even a part of their business, isn’t going to make it happen.
What you can do, is hire a reputable company to do some keyword research for you and provide you a report back on the appropriate keywords and key phrases for your business that you can successfully compete on, and which keywords and key phrases that, no matter how hard you try, there is just too much competition in the market to be successful without a lot of money and a lot (and I mean a lot) of effort. That way you can get the best results for your efforts.