Why Did the Tortoise Beat the Hare In the SEO Race?
Getting on the first page of Google has never been more important for a business than it is in today’s increasingly digital world and sluggish economy. Where can a business turn for growth solutions? The clear answer is the internet, at the helm of which is the Google search engine. Google is generating approximately 2 billion searches per day, and that number is increasing every year as more and more people worldwide have internet access and realize the convenience of searching for information online. The number of monthly visitors to Google exceeded 1 billion in 2011, and that number continues to steadily increase. Sifting through books or the yellow pages is slow and ineffective when looking for information about a business or topic; in addition, the information found by such efforts is generally outdated or lacking the details required to make an informed decision about that business or topic. The internet provides robust and up to date content that is constantly improving as thousands of pages of content are written each day.
Failing to secure a place on the first page of Google for search terms relevant to your business means that you are not getting the clicks that your competitors are getting. The following statistics tell the entirety of the story:
-34% of clicks go to first result
-17% of clicks go to second result
-11% go to third result
-10 results on the first page
-94.75% of clicks go to sites on the first page
-99.8% of clicks go to sites on the first two pages
-10th spot gets 2.71% of clicks
-11th spot gets 1.11% of clicks
-By jumping from the first spot on second page to last spot on the first page you receive a 143% increase in clicks
-65%of people use Google as their search engine, 15% Bing, 14% Yahoo
One of the most widely abused ways of getting ranked high on Google was paying for links because having more links to your site is a major component of Google’s Algorithm. In fact, because link-building is such a dominant way to acquire a high rank on Google most SEO companies simply focus on link building and neglect other components of SEO. A great example of this is JC Penney. JC Penney garnered the top spot in numerous search terms, such as ‘dresses,’ ‘evening dresses’, and ‘bedding’. They were even number one in ‘Samsonsite Luggage’ ahead of www.samsonite.com. This feat was accomplished by paying for the presence of links to their homepage on various sites. The link would have a term such as ‘casual dresses’ or ‘rugs;’ clicking on it would send you to the Penney’s homepage. Once Google found out about this, however, Google dropped Penney’s ranking to the sixties or lower—this goes for many other sites that have done what JC Penney has done.
BMW’s German site was removed in its entirety from Google search results when they were caught doing the same thing. Another site, candy.com, was ranked number one when you searched for the “candy” search term above major companies like Hershey’s and Jelly Belly, yet they have also been removed, most likely for link spamming as well. Thus, finding quick ways to beat Google’s algorithm using spamming methods may work in the short term, but it could lead to grave consequences for your website in the future. Google is now taking steps to crack down on paid links and link spamming so that people who organically generate links to their website are the ones that are rewards, and they should be.
Getting ranked in a high position on Google takes time, but generating organic links is the most rewarding path to such success, because Google will take notice if you go from 5 links to 1000 in a short period of time. Adding content that allows user comments is a great way to get more links to your site and generate traffic so that you can organically move up search rankings of Google, as well as those of Bing and Yahoo. Paying for links or link spamming will ultimately hurt you in the long run. So remember: It is the tortoise, not the hare, who wins the SEO battle.