Your Sales Dropping as Your SEO Rankings "Soar high?"
- Part 3
By John Alexander
If you have not read parts 1
of this article you should review these first.
In the future as the "personalization of search"
continues to play havoc with traditional rank checking
methods, it is important to under stand the challenges so
you can understand the solution. Here is a quick overview of
what has been happening in the last few years, most recently
in 2008 and 2009.
Personalization is not some new shifting of the algorithms,
but rather it is a personalized shuffling of results based
on each users search history. This means if 3 people sit
down at the same computer, they could potentially see
completely different results (even for the same keyword
phrase) based on their own search history. The next thing to
be aware of is that ranking "in the traditional
sense" of the Top 10 or the Top 30 results can no
longer be determined, since the search engine is delivering
up results based on each individuals search history.
Some will be quick to condemn ranking tools saying that
ranking tools all seem to be broken and delivering up
conflicting reports. The challenge is that the ranking tools
are not broken, but the search engines are not operating
quite the way they use to. Some might say, "I just won't turn personalization
on." That solves it!
Actually, if you have any free Google service such as
Google's Gmail or Google Analytics then Personalization IS
turned on by default. The challenge is that Personalization
of Search actually does work over a period of time and
people seem to like it because it gives them results more
personalized to their interest.
Personalization of search is described by distinguished IBM
Engineer, Mike Moran as:
"One of the biggest changes in the SEO industry since
the introduction of PPC."
Think about it.
What will your 2009 look like?
What kind of results are SEO students getting when
invest in their own skills?
Read some recent reactions.
If you see yourself in "Number 1" position,
you won't be sure that the rest of the world sees you as
number one or not. Or maybe you see yourself ranking
number 5 and you are doing everything you can to get to
number 1 spot (not realizing that perhaps to the rest of the
world you are already showing up in top spot - until you
make the changes which spoil your advantage.
In other words, someone who visits
similar Web sites to their own and then sees their own site
ranking number 1 because of their own personal search history
- may be surprised when it looks like they're number 1 but
they are the only ones who see their site in first place. Thus,
what looks like a high top ranking to them - may in reality
be number 80 to the rest of the world, so your sales drop off to zero
because the rest of the world cannot find your Web site.
You are flying completely blind-folded and maybe did not
even know it.
It's the implications of personalization and "shuffled
up" results, based on each individuals search history.
So it's important to realize that traditional rank checking
is finished finished with. Now some marketers will put a
different spin on this and say "rankings are dead"
or "SEO is dead."
Listen up now. "Ranking" is not dead - it just needs
to be understood in a different light. I'll say it
again, ranking is not dead - it's just different than you
thought it was. In the future, it will continue to become
more different and for SEO professionals and business owners
to be truly successful and maintain visibility, it will
be a question of how your Web pages rank, FOR the biggest
percentage of the most correct audience AND for what
percentage of the time?
These things are not so easily measured.
But there are some powerful solutions to help you that don't have to be too
complicated to understand.
If you understand the challenge, then what is the best
Some say the solution is to watch your Analytic reports as opposed to
Is the solution really to watch your Analytics reports?
That's what some people will tell you.
Actually your analytics will tell you that your business is
Analytics can tell you that your traffic is falling.
Analytics can tell you that you that you have a definite
Analytics can detect a downward trend or reflect the history
of sales being lost.
But no, watching analytics alone cannot ever tell you how to fix the problem.
That is not the solution.
Be sure to read next week's 4th and final article:
A Solution To the Implications of the Personalization of
Search - Part 4
If you don't want to wait?
the Best SEO Educational Resources -
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Or attend one of our
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About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search
Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with his
partner SEO educator Robin Nobles, author of the very first
comprehensive online search engine marketing courses. John is author of an
e-book called Wordtracker
Magic and has
taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries world
wide. John is also Director of Search
Engine Academy with localized Search Engine Academy
training centers where the Complete SEO Mastery Workshop and 6
Month Mentoring program is taught locally to business
owners and individuals in
communities across North America and
Internationally in Asia.
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