Why Is Important to Be On Top in Google?

February 22, 2010

On any given day someone will use Google search 14.6 times, that according to myself, my best guesstimate, and the number of times I actually use Google each day! Really, the number might be competely off but the fact is we use search engines often in the day. What happens when we use those search engines though? Do we analyze the results that come up? Do we read the abstracts of each result and then pick out which result we like best? The answer, not suprisingly is no! We trust the first results of what comes up more than anything else the search engine gives us.

A fairly old study from the University of Indiana tells us that we trust rank more than relevance. The abstract of the study states:

An eye tracking experiment revealed that college student users have substantial trust in Google’s ability to rank results by their true relevance to the query. When the participants selected a link to follow from Google’s result pages, their decisions were strongly biased towards links higher in position even if the abstracts themselves were less relevant. While the participants reacted to artificially reduced retrieval quality by greater scrutiny, they failed to achieve the same success rate.

Further, one search shows us the difficulty in getting to the second page of Google. Let’s look at the word “Olympics”, go ahead and Google and see if you see the same thing. Here are some facts we can draw from this one search:

  • There are 14,100,00 results. I look at the first 3 or 4 when deciding what I want to click on.
  • The first things I see are the “natural” and “sponsored” search results.
  • There are a total of 9 different websites that I could visit.
  • Halfway through the page are “news” results.
  • Then before I even get to the link to the second page, MORE “related searches” are given to me implying that I wasn’t able to find what I wanted on the page so I should try another search!

We can conclude from all this how important it is to be on the FIRST PAGE of Google! Even if you have the best website, with the greatest offers, and services the world needs… if you’re not showing up first no one will ever know. So if you are on the second page of Google or even further back it looks like it’s time to invest in some SEO or some PPC! Contact me if you want to know the name of a great company 😉

-Luke

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