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122 reasons why you aren't ranked first in Google

Achieve high search engine rankings through content marketing

There are four things that are absolutely certain in the lives of web developers.

  1. Death
  2. Taxes
  3. The fact that our customers want to be number 1 in Google
  4. The fact that our customers tend to beat us up when we don't deliver on number 3.

With that in mind, this post looks at 122 reasons you might want to go a little easier on your web developer when you're not #1 in Google's search rankings.

The chart below comes from a website called, formerly known as SEOMoz. Moz is a great source of information on search marketing that I've been following for over five years. Of all the resources online for search engine optimisation and search marketing this is one of two I rate as extremely trustworthy when it comes to the advice they dispense (Portent being the other).

This chart reflects the results of a survey of 122 search marketers, where Moz asks them to provide their opinions of the importance to search engine results of 122 different search ranking factors. If nothing else, this chart should indicate to you just how complex Google's search and indexing algorithms are and, therefore, how much a search marketer needs to consider when trying to achieve high rankings on your behalf.

If you look a little more closely, though, you'll get a feel for what really matters to Google. Right at the top is Page Authority. This is a measure of how much "authority" each page on your site has on the web compared to other pages it might be competing with. In other words - how trustworthy the content is, how authoritative, and how well rated by other it is.

It's worth nothing that a lot of the factors that fall immediately below it are contributing factors to Page Authority. In some respects, then, this list isn't as long as it looks.

More importantly, Page Authority isn't something you can influence directly, whereas the factors beneath it are. For example, Google +1's is listed second. You can gain more +1s for your website's content by publishing great content that other people wanto to share. The next 12 all relate to inbound links in some way, which is also something you can actively drive up by ... publishing great content that other people want to link to.

In fact, as you work your way down the list, what is obvious is that achieving high search results can best be achieved by publishing great content that other people want to share or link to. By implication, it's also the best long-term strategy for driving traffic to your website. Page Authority isn't something that goes up - or down - overnight. It takes time to build it up (which is why it takes time for new websites to rank well), and so whilst short-term traffic generation strategies such as Google AdWords might work, they won't have same impact in the long run.

And so that is why Content Marketing has become the foremost discipline for online marketers who need to drive more traffic to their website. And it's also why I strongly recommend that all business websites include a blog, or some other channel by which you can publish new content on a regular basis, such as a News section or a Frequently Asked Questions page, even if you need to outsource the writing of that content to someone like us.

Anyway, here is the chart for you to read and digest!