It is common for us here at South Downs Web, to receive emails from potential clients asking if we can get them to the top of Google?
Now this once wasn’t actually a misguided question because in the early days of Google, Yahoo, Bing there was really only one search results page (per search engine) and indeed it was very possible to be “top of Google”.
Times have very much changed and the mentality of “number one on Google” needs to be rethought and in most cases dismissed completely. When a client asks us to get them to “top of the search results” we now explain to them that search encapsulates a wide range of global options.
It is highly likely that no two searches for an identical phrase will return identical results on different machines; or even identical machines.
These screen shots below were taken within minutes of each other. A Google search for an identical phrase was carried out on the same laptop.
What Influences Search Results?
These images above are just three quick examples of how searching on Google for an identical phrase does not return identical page results. You can see from the screen shots that Google suggest results based on not only your geographical location but also your previous interaction socially with the list of results.
You can see in the middle example that Google has chosen to display results from public Google+ posts and also has displayed a large info-box with details of a suggested Google+ Page to follow.
You can also see in the middle image examples of “Google Authorship“. This is obvious by the small profile “head shot” image alongside the search result.
Mark Traphagen explains more about Google Authorship on his G+ profile post.
Many factors need to be considered when analysing your own site search results. The follow items need to be taken into consideration;
- Geographical location of the person searching.
- IP address of the person searching.
- Are they signed into their Google account.
- Do they follow you on Google+?
- Are they searching from their country default search engine?
In order to have the best chance of ranking highly in search you need to optimise your site for local as well as global results. The example images show that even for an identical search phrase the “top spot on Google” doesn’t always remain the same. In addition there might also be social links displayed as well. Depending on your interaction across the web.
South Downs Web understand the many factors that drive traffic towards websites. We understand local as well as global optimisation and we can help you see great results across all of the search options.
Author by Malcolm Oakley