copyright © July 14, 2005
I am ranked #1 for that silly phrase at Google. So What?
Here's a secret. You can be ranked #1 at Google for phrase "Waterfall Watches" if you put phrase on your page 4 times and in metatags twice. How do I know that? I did it in 2001 and still rank number one in Google for phrase in 2005. On another of my sites I rank #1 for phrase "Screeching Camels" by simply putting it on page once in a comment about silly SEO guarantees.
I'll wager that many phrases you've targeted for your business are almost as silly and deliver NO traffic to your pages from search engines. Don't take that too personally. Simply look at your traffic statistics to see what phrases are bringing visitors to your web site. If your logs show no delivered traffic for keywords you thought were golden, you've targeted wrong phrases.
I'm always fascinated when discussions of search engines focus excessively on ranking of a particular site in one particular search engine without checking corresponding statistics about referred traffic delivered to site from targeted keyword phrase. Referred search visits from engines is not taken into account. Anyone who looks at their rankings without looking at how much traffic is referred and DELIVERED to your site through rankings is missing most important part of story!
When you check your site traffic statistics for where visitors are coming from and in what numbers, for which keyword searches and from which search engines, you will be astonished to see that things you think are important are sometimes not so important. I've struggled for years to gain top rankings for "Small Business Ecommerce" and have achieved #1 at Google #5 at MSN and #13 at Yahoo (at this writing).
But guess what? Nobody searches for that phrase in significant enough numbers to deliver any traffic from it! I'm not saying that this was wasted effort, because in over 1000 pages at WebSite101 we have enough related phrases that targeted phrase contributes to rank of hundreds of related phrases. "Open Source Ecommerce" gets huge traffic for one single page, ranked at # 29 in Yahoo, #7 at MSN and #1 in Google (as of this writing).
But really interesting thing is that even on phrases that rank equally well across all three major engines, Google delivers referred traffic at a rate of 65% compared to MSN at less than 1% and Yahoo about 5% of all referred visitor traffic. In NO case does Yahoo or MSN refer any clickthroughs at higher than 10% of all referred traffic.