Importance of ranking #1 in search engine results?

  • dekanos
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm having a disagreement with a colleague regarding the importance of ranking high on a Google search (or any other search engine, for that matter). I'd like to solicit your opinions on this matter.

My colleague says that ranking #1 is nice, but not very important. As long as you appear somewhere on the first page, that's what matters.

I agree that there are many other important factors; however, I think that there's a big psychological advantage to regularly appearing in the #1 spot. I believe it helps reinforce the idea that your company is a leading expert in your field. I also like the idea of ranking in the top position, as it gives you more of a margin against sliding downward in the rankings later on.

What do you folks think
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think being in the top spot, like you said, makes a big psychological difference if you turn up in the #1 spot for a lot of searches.

My site's turning up on the first page on a lot of reptile related searches now, and I'm getting around 8,000 unique page views per day.

I'm currently in the process of implementing some changes on the site to get up there to the #1 spot, which should hopefully boost traffic even more.
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I find the top spot brings in the most hits, but #2 and #3 positions bring in a better conversion rate for sales and leads. I am thinking this is because usually people look at more than one site when purchasing products or services.
  • CazpianXI
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hmmm... I never thought about all that!

However, I never had to worry about being on number 1, 2, or 3 on the search results... I'd be happy to be ANYWHERE on the first page!
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes, just being on the first page is good. I wouldnt try to focus on 1 of the top 3 spots. Im just giving you data I have observed.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Number one is always good however as someone who shops on the internet i will look at a number of links on the 1st and 2nd page in my search for something in particular.
  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think #'s 2 & 3 often get more sales is because #1 is often way OT or doesn't have what you want, but just happens to accidentally come up top for that search.

I've noticed in Google that on many of the reptile & medical related searches I do, the #1 result isn't actually giving me any of the information I wanted, but the other 9 on the page often are.
  • dekanos
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I agree with moderator Axe.

Also, I think that when people choose #2 or #3, it's because the top few sites present comparable products or services. In contrast, if you KNOW that your product or service is superior, then it's best to be at slot #1. This gives you a chance to present your wares before a customer is wowwed by the competition's glitz and splashy effects.

Remember that consumers don't simply make reasoned decisions based on the comparative strengths of the merchants. Other factors come into play, such as positioning, advertising, marketing glitz, catchy slogans and name recognition.

This is why I suspect that being in the #1 slot provides a helpful psychological advantage. I know that I'd like our customers to think of us as the leader in our field. Now maybe I'm wrong, but I think that being listed first in a Google search would help reinforce that perception.

Thoughts? Ideas?
  • dekanos
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Oh, and also... I disagree that merely being on the first page is enough. It certainly helps, but I suspect that the top five will do better than the ones below them. They're certainly the first ones which will catch the prospective customer's eye.

Again, do remember that customers don't just dispassionately evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the products they're shopping for. They doubtlessly strive to do so, but for all of us, human psychology still comes into play.
  • CazpianXI
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Just curious - does Froogle rank sites the same way as Google? That is, if you're on the top when someone searches for a keword in Google, will you also be on the top when someone searches on Froogle?
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

No, Froogle does not work in the same way. I really wish it did, because I would probably have more sales then. You send a feed to Froogle with the Product Title, Description and Price. I might be missing something there though. Froogle does take into play your Pagerank though.

I am also not sure it really matters as with Froogle you want the cheapest price. Froogle and other shopping portals are great because they allow you to range the products by price. So have the cheapest price for an item and your on top. That is the only reason I use them at least.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Probably have a glitch in my thinking... lol, but I'd prefer to be in #2 - #5 spot. My logic for this is sub-consciously people think "this computer doesn't know exactly what I want!" and therefor they skip over the 1st site pulled up on a search engine, and choose to click on #2 - #?. They'd rather make the "choice" rather than automatically follow what the search engine thinks is best. :wink:
  • dekanos
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Interesting. How many people actually do such a thing? I know that I usually start with the very first search engine result, unless it is clearly not something that I'm interested in.
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You can also see this kind of thing in paid listings. When I do pppc advertising, I get a much better ROI in position 2 and 3 than Id ever get in position 1.
  • gemini
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I agree that increasement of traffic loweres your conversion rate, but it mainly depends on quality of your content in order to the keyphrases you're ranking on as #1. Our site is ranking #1 on main SEs for the main keyphrases - we're getting good traffic and amount of leads increased dramatically lately, but I also added good quality content and very useful tool to our site which makes people to stay with us and come back. Also, after I added quality content, I noticed that the leads we're getting now have more detailed inquiries than they were before. So, it all depends. Think about it, you don't spend more money to be #1 than #2 or #3 and you don't limit yourself with lower traffic, so what you gonna lose? But, being #2 or #3 makes huge difference in traffic. I have 3 sites on the same market and working for the same company, but look different and have differently written content - the main site is #1, the other two geting in top 5 - traffic difference from 50 to 70% less.... so.. I'm for #1 :)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am sure that it is important to be #1 if you want the most traffic, and for free listings, there is nothing to lose. With ppc, I have found that 2 and 3 positions bring in the best ROI. We track every piece of data you can imagine, and 90% of the time, this has been the case with our clients. When this is not the case, its usually due to the fact the client is in a niche market. Now this is just our experience, and we do not cover 90% of the markets out there, so everyone will see different results.

The biggest problem I see in competetive markets is that the 1st position company spometimes has an ego problem and may have to be number 1. Then you try to over take them, you start a bidding war which drives the cost alot higher than it originally was.

And one more thing I do worry about is this...drive by clicking. I was at a conference and the speaker asked how many people did this kind of thing, and 90% of the people raised their hand, and then the position that was most clicked, #1. Of course this is a small number compared to the amount of qualified traffic may click, but just another reason why I am not for 1st position.
  • DR01D
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Post 3+ Months Ago

just a thought...

do you think it is common for people to skim over the page title/description displayed in the results??? therefore wouldnt it be more effective to focus on that rather than being first??

i think if i were skimming the results i would probably click on the link that best described what i was after...
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Def! You should not sacrifice a great title for search engine positioning because even though your #1, your title has to appeal to them for them to click.

Great point.
  • stickfigure
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Post 3+ Months Ago

if im looking to buy something i generally look through the first 20-30 pages to assure im getting the best deal..

i dont even bother with sites such as froogle, because in my opinion the free search engines give the best results.. not very many people are aware with froogle yet, and obviously havent submitted their info.

sites that must willingly submit themselves (froogle) I believe have a very limited search base.
though i did read that if your site is in google you will most likely be crawled and added without having to submit yourself to froogle.

but a trend i have been noticing with it, is sites that everybody already knows of clog the results. its very difficult to find what im looking for on there.

i prefer google.com over anything.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Froogle can find your poducts without submitting them. They had 3 of my sites in the froogle index before I even knew they were there. Its just good to submit your entire product catalog to get the most up to date information and to guarantee you are in there. But, for searches, Google is still the best.

Also,

I use Froogle all the time, but only when searching for branded products. I always find the lowest prices and generally cheaper than even Ebay, especially electronics.
  • dekanos
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Post 3+ Months Ago

DR01D wrote:
just a thought...

do you think it is common for people to skim over the page title/description displayed in the results??? therefore wouldnt it be more effective to focus on that rather than being first??

Well, the two goals are by no means mutually exclusive. I think that in most cases, one can easily focus on both.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

true, true
  • discountdomains
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi,

Its always good to be at the top, but its not everything.

Some sites get more traffic from referals and links than from Search Engines even if they are at the top.

Clare
  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yup, that's true, but often the referrals are coming because THOSE sites are #1 for their respective searches :)

Personally, on my own site, Reptile Rooms, over 70% of my new traffic comes from Google. I come up top, or at least on the first page for many reptile related searches, and without that, I'd be gettin a lot less hits than I currently do (about 8,000 unique page views per day).
  • amabaie
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Post 3+ Months Ago

How important the top spot is depends on the specific search term.

For instance, people searching for "Martian mating habits" will probably visit many sites to gather a complete picture. Being listed #15 might get you, say, half the hits as being listed #1.

However, someone searching for "martian aphrodesiacs" will click oon the first site that looks like it has what they want (#1 if the description is good). Being ranked #15 for such a search would be as useless as being ranked #1,000,015.

Anyone here supply Martians? :twisted:

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