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The importance of top 10 rankings

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday June 10, 2008 )

As I was reviewing traffic statistics for one of my sites today, it was again rammed home to me just how important a top 5 search engine ranking is.

In years gone by, as long as you achieved a top 30 result for a chosen term, you’d likely see an appreciable level of traffic; but those times are definitely well behind us now.

For example, I noticed that I had a no. 12 ranking out of 30 million results for what is generally a very popular term. How much traffic would you expect I’d get from that a month taking into account the snippet in the result was also highly relevant and enticing? A thousand or a few thousand visitors perhaps?

It was a grand total of 66.. for the entire month.

So what’s changed over the years?

I think primarily it’s that search engines have gotten a lot better in their ranking algorithms. Back in 2000, a search on a one word or two word term would more often than not return a ton of junk – unrelated or just purely spam; particularly on popular terms. Nowadays search engines, and in particular Google, are much better at weeding out the spam and providing more relevancy. People running searches simply find what they need on the first page much of the time and the more search savvy use highly refined queries to quickly locate what they are looking for. Folks usually don’t have to trawl through the results like like they used to.

I make special mention of this as I see many SEO (search engine optimization) firms advertising guaranteed top 20 or top 30 results. While it sounds rather impressive given the stiff competition out there, more often than not anything below top 10 just won’t get your cash registers ringing; and to have them ringing extra loud; preferably top 5.

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1 comment for The importance of top 10 rankings
  1. Just to indicate how well googles algorithms work.
    My website really sucks (I should get a worst webmaster award) but it gets updated at least weekly. My site is old on the net, in a tiny niche of a very large industry.
    I get position 4 or 5 in organic searches on google for all my main keywords.

    Comment by Ern — June 12, 2008 @ 6:33 pm

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