Anytime a new website owner starts looking for an SEO, they always want to get to that precious number one spot for searches on Google. It’s hard not to want it, especially when quite a few people don’t even scroll down the page when they search for something. However, you shouldn’t be measuring SEO success by rankings.
There are plenty of SEO metrics to measure site success with, and rank isn’t near as important as you might think. Nick Stamoulis pinpointed three reasons you shouldn’t be focused on rank when you start using an SEO service.
Search is Personalized – Search engines are getting more advanced with their searches, and Google has a huge amount of user data they can take advantage of to craft search results that are personalized for every user. If you manage to show up in the number one spot for one searcher, you likely won’t for another. Rankings aren’t a concrete list of sites anymore, but a fluid collection of sites based on what you have shown interest in before.
Rankings Fluctuate – Aside from the differences in search results from user to user, Google is constantly updated their algorithms and finding new content. The web is in a continuous state of change, and the rankings evolve to match this. While Google’s big algorithm changes may make drastic differences to results, the smaller continuous updates going on can change a couple rankings for any keyword every day. Search engines also favor brand new content, so sites that have slacked off start to fall down the rankings.
Ranking for the Wrong Term is Useless – No honest SEO company will promise to get you a specific ranking. Some markets are more competitive than others, and you can’t control what Google does. That doesn’t stop some less reputable SEO services out there from promising they can get you the number one rank. The problem is, they will get you the number one rank for a keyword no one is searching for. If no one is searching for it, no one will notice that your page is the first result.