Why you're never going to rank number one on Google - and what to do about it
Number one, like most things in search engine marketing, on top of the heap is the best spot to be. Depending on the niche you operate in, you will see around 42.13% of the click marketshare of a particular keyword if you rank number one, 11.90% for number two and 8.5% for number three.
Ranking number one is almost an unfair advantage - and that’s why great businesses rank there.
But now for the bad news. For Australian SMEs, ranking number one in Google is often a pipe dream.
Plenty of search marketers spin a lot of stuff about what it takes to rank number one and basically create a whole lot of work for themselves.
I’m going to make this nice and easy, and pull back the curtain of what is important and why you are not going to rank number one.
It’s simple really – it’s all about better links.
Your competitor has better and more links pointing into their webpage than yours, on a regular basis.
Let’s break down that statement, looking at the elements I’ve highlighted.
1. Better links
2. More links
4. On a regular basis
1. Better links
All links are not created equal. One link is better than another when it has the following qualities. Better links come from:
A trusted domain - A trusted domain is a domain which Google knows won’t spam and isn’t doing dodgy things – good examples are Wikipedia, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Adobe, Dmoz directory and Botw.org directory. If your link comes from CialisGetsYouMoreGirlsOnAFriday.com then you’ve got a less trusted domain and your link is less valuable. Stay away from PPC (Pills, Porn and Casino) links.
Sites that have lots of other links pointing to them – If loads of other websites that are relevant and trusted are linking into the page that your link is on, then it’s more trusted and therefore more powerful. It’s a bit like a party – if one of the popular people singles you out and makes a recommendation that you are really good, it carries more weight than the drunk dude in the corner saying you are great. You want your website to be hanging out with the popular websites that are trusted.
Sites with related content – Another problem is when the webpage that your competitor has their links on has related content to the keyword you are competing for. If you are trying to rank number one for home loans then you want a load of content about houses, homes, interest rates, buying a home, refinancing, government grants and conveyancing on the page you have your link from. Imagine if you were a parrot, you would normally find you in the jungle. It would be really strange if you were flying around in the middle of the Australian desert. You want Google to find you in the places that house your content – it will pass more power. To find websites which house your content, you can search for them in Google, in directories or local industry directories.
Domains that are related to the keyword you are trying to rank for – Your competitor’s link is located on a domain that has the keyword you want to rank for in it and has a load of content about the keyword. If your link comes from SoupSeals4EVR.com and it has two pages of content, your link is beat. Essentially you want votes from websites within the same keyword set which are already ranking in Google. What can you do? Search through Google Blogs and find sites which might be interested in partnering with you to get some links back to your site, perhaps provide them with some content or some other compensation to get a link.
2. More links
You want more of these links:
Trusted, relevant domain with relevant content on the page links – As above. If you competitor has better links than you, you are going to struggle.
Keyword in the anchor text - If your competitor’s links pointing into their page have the anchor text of the keyword you are trying to rank for and yours have “click here” or just “YourDomainName.com.au”, you are going to be beat. If you are selling LCD televisions, the link should be connected (anchored) to that phrase. What are you going to do about this if you’ve stuffed up? Go back and try and change the anchor text that the other websites point to your page with. Send emails, call people or just build more links with the relevant anchor text.
Less crap links – Just as more of a good thing benefits you, if your site has a load of links which are junk it dilutes the value of your good links. I have websites with 100 links outranking sites with 100,000’s of links, because they are higher quality. Untrusted sites tend to link to other untrusted sites, so the less links you have from them, the better your site will perform. You want a load of high quality links coming into your site on a regular basis. Forget the crap links and focus on the good ones.