The Myth of "Guaranteed #1 Ranking" in Search Engine Marketing

Written by Dale Goetsch

You've seenrepparttar ads: Guaranteed #1 Ranking! There are no guarantees in search engine marketing and website promotion. If anyone tells you different, you should check quickly to make sure they don't have their hand in your wallet.

Suppose you sell widgets. You want to sell more widgets, andrepparttar 128140 way to do that is to make sure that more people know about widgets, and that you arerepparttar 128141 place to buy their widgets. You might decide to buy a half-page ad in a national magazine to tell your story. When you place that ad, you are "guaranteed" your position.

With a magazine advertisement, you know whatrepparttar 128142 magazine's circulation is, who reads it, and which page will feature your ad. The magazine can guarantee all that, because they ownrepparttar 128143 medium.

Search engine marketing is qualitatively different. When you work with a search engine marketing firm to promote your website, they cannot guarantee where your listing will appear. Certainly there are types of online ads where there are guarantees in place: banner ads priced at "cost per thousand impressions", pop-up ads, and so forth. These are like traditional media buys, where you are working directly withrepparttar 128144 owner ofrepparttar 128145 medium whererepparttar 128146 ads appear, but this is not search engine marketing.

Even so-called pay-per-click search engines cannot guarantee your position. In Google AdWords, for example, it is not justrepparttar 128147 price you pay for a given keyword that determines where you will rank. They also bring in other factors, including how often your ad is clicked-on, to determine which ad will be listed first. Just throwing money at them will not necessarily get you intorepparttar 128148 #1 spot.

The bottom line is this: search engine marketing professionals do not ownrepparttar 128149 search engines. They can tell you that you will achieve #1 ranking on a given search engine, or they can tell you thatrepparttar 128150 moon is made of green cheese, but there is no way they can make either of those happen. When you tell Time magazine you want your ad to be onrepparttar 128151 back cover, and you pay them enough money, they will guarantee yourepparttar 128152 back cover. If you tell your search engine marketing people you want to be #1 in AllTheWeb, they cannot guarantee you that result. They can recommend changes to your site that will increaserepparttar 128153 likelihood of your ranking higher, but that is a long way from a guarantee. If you don't controlrepparttar 128154 medium, you can't guaranteerepparttar 128155 result. Since your search engine consultant doesn't controlrepparttar 128156 search engine, there is no way they can guarantee your position.

The ranking algorithms ofrepparttar 128157 search engines are a closely-guarded secret. The search engine wants to give top ranking torepparttar 128158 site that isrepparttar 128159 best match to an individual visitor's search query, not torepparttar 128160 site that was able to "beat"repparttar 128161 system. That is whererepparttar 128162 value of real search engine marketing comes in.

Search Engine Options: Getting Your Site Listed by the Search Engines

Written by Debra Bellmaine

Although all of my clients are happy that they now have a website and can view it onrepparttar Internet, many of them are initially surprised to learn that their site cannot be found viarepparttar 128139 search engines—even if they search onrepparttar 128140 domain name itself! If you have decided to invest in a website for your business it is important that you have some understanding ofrepparttar 128141 Web terrain.

So Now You Have a Website

When a website is built for your business you must register a "domain," which isrepparttar 128142 address of your website onrepparttar 128143 Internet. Technically speaking,repparttar 128144 actual address is a set of numbers, but just imagine how impossible it would be if your prospects and customers had to remember a 12 digit number in order to visit your site! To make this easier, a system was devised that allows you to choose a word or phrase to represent these numbers. For example, "" is a whole lot easier to remember than "218.19.351.43."

After your website has been built and published to your domain, you can visit it and you can let others know how to visit it by giving them your domain name. However,repparttar 128145 search engines, such as Google, MSN Search, etc., need time to learn about your site. It's roughlyrepparttar 128146 same situation as when you move to a new city and get your new telephone number. Your friends and family can certainly call you onrepparttar 128147 new number, but it isn't inrepparttar 128148 current phone directory, and won't be untilrepparttar 128149 new directory is published.

The good news is that unlike your local phone directory, you won't have to wait until next year for your site to get listed. Even if you take no action at all,repparttar 128150 search engines will discover your site, although it will probably take several months. The bad news is that even whenrepparttar 128151 search engines finally list your site, it may be so far downrepparttar 128152 list that it doesn't matter anyway.

What do I mean by "downrepparttar 128153 list?" If you search for "cars" using a popular search engine, such as Google, over 25 million listings will be displayed. If your company sells air fresheners for cars and your website is listed after 24 million others, it just isn't likely that anyone will locate your website by these means. In fact,repparttar 128154 likelihood of anyone finding your site drops off sharply if your site is not inrepparttar 128155 first 30 or so listings displayed by a search engine.

There are two main methods by which your odds for visibility can be improved andrepparttar 128156 remainder of this article will explain these so that you can understand what your options really are.

Search Engine Positioning & Search Engine Optimization

Search engine positioning mainly consists of 1) identification of optimum keywords (or search terms), 2) optimizing your web pages for those keywords, 3) getting links to your website added to as many other websites as possible and 4) submitting your site torepparttar 128157 search engines. I'll take each of these actions and describe it a bit more.

Identifying Keywords. Your business, no doubt, sells specific good and services, andrepparttar 128158 obvious keywords, or search terms, would at first seem to berepparttar 128159 name of those goods or services. Such as "mortgage" if you are a mortgage broker. While it is important to include these obvious terms, there are easily millions of other websites also selling mortgages onrepparttar 128160 Internet, and your site needs to distinguish itself fromrepparttar 128161 others as much as possible. The key here is to find a word or phrase for which, per statistics, there are lots of searches being done, but for which there are not millions of other websites being listed as a result of those searches. To make this clearer I'll give you an example. On Google each day there are over 2200 searches for "mortgage" (very good), andrepparttar 128162 search engine will display around 17 million listings for this keyword (not so good). This amount of competition seriously lowersrepparttar 128163 chances of getting your listing nearrepparttar 128164 top.

Instead, using professional analysis tools, we will identify related keywords and phrases that lots of people are searching on, such as "todays interest rates." If it turns out that there are relatively few other sites that containrepparttar 128165 text "todays interest rates" in their pages, this would be a good keyword to use. We repeatrepparttar 128166 keyword identification process until we have a sufficient number for use inrepparttar 128167 next step.

Optimization. Now that we have identified a number of keywords, what do we do with them? For each keyword, we will either already have a web page that primarily discusses that topic, or else we will create new pages forrepparttar 128168 purpose. Each of these pages is then carefully looked at in terms of whererepparttar 128169 keyword appears, how often, how nearrepparttar 128170 top ofrepparttar 128171 page, etc., and changes made torepparttar 128172 page so thatrepparttar 128173 keyword usage is optimum. This isrepparttar 128174 actual process of "optimization." Furthermore, there is also an optimum amount of text for a page—usually around 300 to 400 words—and ifrepparttar 128175 page has too little text it will not really be possible to do much to optimize it.

It is important to note that there are certain web design choices that can make future search engine optimizing difficult or impossible. These include: ·Excessive use of graphic images instead of actual text. The title of this article is actual text. However, if a fancier-looking title had been produced as a graphic image, it would makerepparttar 128176 page less optimum in terms of search engine appeal. When it encounters a graphic image, a search engine is unable to "see" whatrepparttar 128177 image represents—it just knows that there is an image in that space. ·Anything contained in a Flash animation. Flash can create real pizzazz on a site, but similar to graphic images,repparttar 128178 search engines are completely shut out ofrepparttar 128179 picture (in fact quite literally). This doesn't mean your site shouldn't use Flash, but not torepparttar 128180 exclusion of a sufficient amount of real text and other page elements. ·Web pages that use frames. You've probably visited sites whererepparttar 128181 pages were divided into separate areas, each with its own scrollbar. Those sites use frames, which in most cases completely stymierepparttar 128182 search engines and prevent them from discoveringrepparttar 128183 content of your site.

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