A number one spot in any major search engine, be it Google, Yahoo or Bing, is the tip of the iceberg for most websites. It denotes excellence and success – or at least, an excellent and successful SEO campaign. But what if that No.1 rank was not quite as it seems? What if it was pointless and misleading? Read on to discover why that top spot may not always be as good as it looks.


Irrelevant and Fruitless Keywords

Achieving a No.1 spot in Google for the keyword phrase, “emperor penguin foot warmer”, would probably not be too hard, nor would it do any good. Selecting a long-tailed keyword phrase that gets zero searches a month does not serve any purpose and would require minimal SEO skills. Likewise, ranking for, “tooth surgeon in Alabama”, would be pointless if everyone is searching for, “dentist in Alabama”. Do not bother picking keyword phrases that no one searches for just because you think you may rank for them. Try variations of the popular terms that could still be entered into a search engine, like “Alabama dentist”. A top rank is worthless without searches.

When Your Computer Lies

After searching on your computer for your chosen keyword and seeing your website flying high in the Google rankings, you may think you have hit the big time. Sadly, it may all be an illusion – a sad mirage instigated by your computer, cookies, and a little Google trick known as ‘personal settings’. What this means is that your computer remembers the fact that you have searched for this phrase before and displays similar results, so your website may show up as the top search repetitively, even though in reality, it has slipped down the rankings unbeknown to you.

The remedy for this is to get someone else to check for your chosen keywords and check the results. If that is not an option, use independent rank checkers that are available – search online to find these.

The Infamous Google Dance

At some time towards the end of every month, Google search results are flawed by its now accursed ‘Google dance’. This strange happening has been known to take place whenever the search engine is performing its latest results checks and implementing any changes in positions. A website that had previously been in the No.1 spot suddenly disappears from site and vice versa – a site that was nowhere to be seen is now sitting proudly in top position. The mysterious event only lasts for a day or two but be aware of this if your site gets to page one overnight, after being stuck on page 10 for the last month. One way to check for this is to use ‘www1’ or ‘www2’ instead of ‘www’ when typing out your website URL, if you think the results have gone crazy.

Wrong Place, Wrong Search Engine

There is no point in putting all your effort into mastering the intricacies of Bing, or Yahoo, if all your traffic comes from Google. All the major search engines have their own little nuances and by learning and manipulating these, you can improve your chances of reaching top place for any one of them. But putting all your efforts into reaching the heady heights of top spot on page one can be a waste of time, if you do not monitor where you actually get your visitors from. Yes, Bing may be easier to rank on, but the majority of searches are done via Google.

Always Double Check before Boasting

Getting to number one spot in a big search engine is thrilling and can be a great reward for hard work and clever strategy. But getting excited too early can lead to a severely deflated ego, if that rank then turns out to be false or worthless.

Remember to check your traffic and where it is coming from. Ensure you have performed your keyword research correctly in the first place and chosen workable, keywords with reasonable searches, and be aware of search engine discrepancies and irregularities. If you are going to get to top spot, make sure it is for the right reason.

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