Search Engine Ranking Isn't What It Used To Be

Posted by Murray Sye

on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 @ 09:19 AM

Most businesses busy building an online presence, are convinced that they need to focus their attention on competing for search traffic by making sure their website hits the top spot on Google Page Rankings. It's understandable in a way, as for the longest time, rankings on search engines were the KPI through which to measure the success of their SEO efforts. But rankings, although important, is a short-sighted approach.


Rankings indicate performance of a website at any moment but that doesn't mean they'll rank the same the next day or week, or to any consistency over a prolonged period of time. SEO is simply a moving target. Search engine rankings will not provide you with sustainable results. Here are 5 reasons why.

1) Algorithm changes frequently
Google updates, modifies and changes its algorithm an astonishing 500 times per year. If you think you've cracked Google – optimizing your website for search – you're wasting your efforts. If you focus on rankings alone you'll be constantly struggling to recover every time an algorithmic change or updater rolls around.

2) Personalization

Personalization and local search have become more important to Google as they strive to provide users with relevant and useful search results. Search history, preference and location are all taken into account during the search process, which provides users with local listings which overstep results that would normally rank higher.

3) Risk
Reduce the risk of Google penalties by refocusing your efforts. A diverse strategy that incorporates quality content, long-tail keywords, email and social media, will not only increase your online presence, but also safeguard your brand against future fluctuations in rankings. These are far more powerful and less expensive than getting hits on Google.

Long Term Goals
Measuring success based entirely on search engine rankings is short-sited. Companies should spend less time on short term practices like link building and more time on long term success strategies, such as the creation of high quality, relevant content. Producing unique content will attract higher traffic results than will link-building.

5) Gain More

Companies often overlook easier, more accessible wins, when they focus solely on search engine rankings. Companies that focus on website optimization are missing out on a wealth of opportunity. Building conversion paths or beefing up calls-to-action could see returns that far exceed what increases in rankings may provide.

If your company is focused on search engine rankings alone, it may be time to rethink its value and start initiating a plan that's a less short term and one that is more sustainable over the long run.

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Flickr Photo Credit: by Tsutomo Takasu

Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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