The Fairy Tales Of Page One Google Rankings

When it comes to being found by potential customers and interested parties, there is nothing to compare with being on the first page of a search engine. There are a few search engines to choose from, and Bing is improving in gaining in size but let’s be honest, when it comes to search engines, it is Google or nowhere. Recent figures suggest that even with increased competition, Google still welcomes over 93% of the search engine traffic in the world. This is why being ranked highly on Google is so crucial for websites and businesses. If you can be placed highly on Google for a relevant keyword or term, you stand a very good chance of significantly boosting your traffic.

In 2013, Chitika revealed findings that indicated having the number 1 ranking on Google for a particular phrase or term meant that you received around 33% of the traffic searching for that term. Depending on the volume of traffic, this may be a sizable or small number but the important thing is, it is the largest share on the web for people looking for the keyword that you are ranking on. When it comes to receiving targeted traffic, you cannot do better than this.

The thing is though, it seems as though being number one is everything because there is a very big drop off as you move slightly down the Google rankings. By the time you reach the 10th ranked option for a particular phrase you receive less than 3% of the traffic share. If it is a popular term, 3% can still represent a large volume of traffic but the drop from 1st to 10th is huge and it means that competition for high ranking on Google is massive.

High competition drives search engines

The fact that so many different people are battling to rank highly on Google means that you can discount any promise an agency has about guaranteeing you a place on the first page of Google. Yes every agency should be aiming for that accolade and if the keyword is in a niche market, there is a very good chance that success can be achieved. However, there is no way that success can be guaranteed, not with Google placing fewer rankings on their first page.

If you operate in a competitive industry, you have to imagine that your peers and rivals will be looking for success in the same way that you are. If you have a minimum of 8 to 10 rivals in the same field, who would be using the same keyword terms, someone will miss out on the first page. Even if there were no other firms, businesses, pages or sites that could force their way onto the first page of Google for a particular keyword phrase, a very limited marketplace would ensure that there was competition to be ranked highly on Google.

Google says that no one can guarantee a thing

If you manage to operate in such a niche market, good luck to you but for most businesses, especially the ones that desire to be ranked on Google to improve their chances of being found by customers, competition is a major part of their everyday work. If any agency or SEO firm promises you a first page Google return, all you need to do is look at the search marketing guidelines provided by Google and read (and re-read if needs be), the line that says “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.”

The variable nature of the rankings and algorithms means that just because a tactic or strategy worked once doesn’t mean it will work in the same way again. There is also the fact that the every updating nature of the search engines means that you may have new competition all the time.

By all means carry out your research on firms offering SEO services, and determine which one is best for you. There will be firms that will work hard and who have a track record of success but you shouldn’t be swayed by firms making SEO promises because these aren’t worth the webpages they are written on.


  1. Melanie Crawford

    Another good article explaining Google Search Engine and the myths associated with it, particularly the “guaranteed first page ranking” myth.

  2. Moodley

    The Google search engine rankings are looking well explained. It reflects that SEO is really necessary as an ongoing, well updated project rather than a one off endeavour.

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