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Smart SEO is Not just about #1 Ranking

Still not convinced that ranking is not everything? At PubCon 2008, Bruce Clay made a claim that “ranking is dead.” And Matt Cutts said ranking is not as important as it used to be.

Cutts said, “I’m not sure I would say ranking is dead but it’s not as important as it used to be. The fact is the smart SEOs are not just necessarily looking at the rankings. They are looking at conversion, they are looking at their server log. It’s great if you’re ranking for a phrase but unless that leads to sales that doesn’t help you very much.”

“The challenge is not to pay so much attention to ranking, pay attention to traffic, pay attention to conversions and keep building good content and don’t worry about ‘can I show people that I rank number one for my trophy phrase.'”

Ranking is Dead

Ranking is dead… because of personalization and intent-based search. Spiders are getting smarter. Now, you may want to have video and Flash on your web page.

Smart SEO is more than just ranking and traffic; it’s about your customers and conversion!

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Virendra 5 Jan 2009, 8:55 pm

    This is the fact whatever mentioned above. I puzzled when in IT company every people say “I can do seo. Its not a big deal and seo just include directory submission, article submission etc.etc”

    I think every person who say like this must be read this posting.

    Great message !!!

  • SEO Web Designer 14 Feb 2009, 3:04 am

    Yes absolutely right! The true SEO is not about ranking no1. At least I would say is about the traffics you get is it targeted? And is the traffics you have is it able to turn into conversion. Lastly I would say rank well in more niche and long tail keywords is still better than fewer keyowords in no.1 ranking 🙂

  • SEO 23 Oct 2009, 5:45 pm

    Good article, and smart comments of course.i really appreciate the effort you have put in this article.Its very helpful to me because I am new in SEO field..Thaanks!

  • SEO Malaysia 19 Dec 2009, 12:05 pm

    Unfortunately, this does not always work in the real world …even with customers.

    Some customers don’t care about conversion, they just want to rank #1, or at least higher than their close competitors.

    Infact, some customers don’t even care about rankings or conversions, they’re just doing it because they’re competitors are doing it and they don’t want to be left out.

    Tracking conversions is also easier said than done, despite what Google tells you. Because not all sales leads or purchases come in through the website – some through phone, walk-in and even word of mouth. How are you going to track that?

  • Ian Cheow 23 Dec 2009, 3:13 pm

    I guess in order for conversion tracking to be accurate and effective, agencies & consultants need to work hand in hand with the client. However, I 100% agree that in the real world, some clients will not be too cooperative in measuring conversions.

    They tend to go for easier KPI when it comes to SEO, such as a ranking for a particular key phrase. Now is up to us to preach what we believe in 🙂

    I am a firm believer in ranking well for long tail key phrases which definitely convert better than some of the more generic ones.

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