The Problem With ‘Ranking’ in Google

> “Why isn’t my site ranking for it’s brand name in Google?”

While the answer may be complicated I suspect the vast majority of people (many SEOs included!) would claim the question is fairly straightforward. Let me explain why this question is becoming virtually impossible to answer:

##The First Website or the Top Result?

Consider some of these beauties we have to contend with as SEOs:

buy sofa

Yep - those are Google product links which Google is starting to display before the organic results. (Imagine if those were products actually sold by Google...)

when is easter?

Google often steals your traffic and gets there first by providing you with the answer to your question.

web design london

What about the new Google local results? You can be ‘number 1’ behind 10 links now :-) (personally I think these new local results are much worse than the old ones but what do I know?)

Spain

Hey look, Google decided to steal my traffic with some pretty pictures! Google knows I love pretty pictures!

##Porn isn’t for everyone

pron

Yes, that’s right folks, Google knows where you live, what you eat for breakfast and even how you spend your free time. When you search while signed in with a Google account you’ll end up receiving ‘personalised results’ a lot of the time. That means that what ranks number 1 when I search might not be number one when someone else searches because Google will ‘intelligently’ determine what I’m most likely to be interested in.

##Where’s Wally?

If your name is Wally where are you? And where did you search from?

SearchBuscarCercaSucheRecherche

There’s really two aspects to this - firstly which search engine did you use? Did you use Google.com? Google.co.uk? Google.fr? And where in the world are you located (based on your IP address)?

For example, consider someone searching using Google.fr from the UK. What results are most relevant to them? Are they going to see the same results as someone using the same search query searching Google.fr from France? (The answer is no!)

##Parlez Vous Anglais?

Say what? What language is your search phrase?

JP

Combine this with the above point regarding location and you get very muddy waters indeed. What happens if you search in Google.fr in Spanish? What if your IP address is German?

While that example might seem far-fetched (though believe me it’s more common than you think) consider someone searching Google.com in English from Canada Vs someone searching Google.fr in English from Canada. Do they want the same results? Are they looking for the same thing?

So, if you’re looking to ‘rank top of google’ then go talk to someone else. If you’re in the business of getting more traffic then why not consider our SEO services.

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2 Comments

  1. I've noticed that my site "ranks" differently using the same search terms, depending on whether I search from home or work - a couple of miles apart. What's with that?

    reply >
  2. As mentioned in the post - could be any number of reasons! The most likely causes are either:


    being signed in on different accounts at home and at work
    searching on different data centres when at home and at work.


    Or it could be down to the geo-location of your IP address. Sometimes even though you're only a few miles apart different IP addresses can be associated with locations great distances apart.

    reply >

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