Archive for September, 2013


Putting a Value on the Top Spot in Google

I heard an SEO nerd-type joke not too long ago:

Where do you hide a dead body? Page three of Google search results.

While it is funny to those of us who do SEO and online marketing for a living, it does make an important point. The further back you are on search result pages, the less likely anyone is going to find you.

It can be hard, however, to explain this to business owners and potential clients. These are intangibles that can take a long time to build up. A recent study released by Chitika works to quantify the value of number one position in Google.

According to the study, a website with the first position in the search results contributed to 33 percent of the traffic, compared to 18 percent for the second position. The third position drops to 11 percent and the fourth is a dismal 5.4 percent.

So what does this mean?

There is a a direct correlation between the rank in search results and the amount of traffic a site will receive. And as we all know, the more traffic a site receives, the better the chances of a closed sale or potential customer.

Now this doesn’t mean that getting to that top spot, regardless of the keyword or phrase, will be easy. This is where having a solid SEO strategy and quality website content comes into play. But this study just provide proof that it is worth the effort.

Spam Comments and SEO

Image credit: Siddartha Thota

I will openly admit it – one of the hardest parts of SEO for me has always been link building. Mainly because I always want to make sure the links I create are high quality and not considered “spammy.” In light of Google’s rollout of Penguin, it confirmed in my mind that I was doing the right thing. So I am stunned when I see comments with links like this:

“What a wonderful piece of information Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer! I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. Thumbs up!”

For those of you who aren’t aware, I have a blog that talks about fiber arts, crochet, yarn spinning, and the like called The Fiber Forum. This is a comment I received on a post about a book review. Obviously this has NOTHING to do with my blog and is a failed attempt at getting a link. I wouldn’t do that to someone else’s blog and I am always annoyed when someone tries to treat my blogs as link building opportunities.

Now I will say I understand how frustrating it can be when you are working hard to build a solid website following white hat techniques and you don’t get any traction in search engine results. It can be even more stressful when you have a client that expects to see results quickly and those of us who do this for a living knows there is no such thing as an “overnight success.” Can it be tempting to go black hat? I guess. Is it worth it? In my opinion, absolutely not.

As frustrating as it can be, I will definitely continue to follow the moral of the story of “the tortoise and the hare.” Slow and steady wins the race.