In the past decade, a new “science”, or should I say profession, has emerged. It is called SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization. This includes everything you might do to make a website rank better on Google, preferably in 1st position... and, if possible, for every single search term you can think of.
There is something almost magical in this field and only an enlightened few know and understand how it works...almost.
Today I will reveal the magic behind the scene and I will tell you the truth about SEO so keep reading.
SEO is not magic. SEO is not an exact science. It is somewhere in between.
So how does SEO work?
Google has a ranking algorithm which has been updated every year since the company’s foundation. At first, Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google founders) were extremely interested in the problem of extracting information from large data sets. In the beginning, they presumed that the most popular data was the most useful, so they built the algorithm based on this theory.
Then, they started to improve the algo with every single update. And there were a lot of updates. They have added new ranking factors and now they are more than 200 of them. Insane, huh?
In a way, this is an extremely exact science.
But...it is an exact science for the people who KNOW how the algo works - this means Google’s dedicated team. For everyone outside of this team, it is a highly guarded secret.
Here come the SEO specialists / pros / experts / gurus
When Larry Page and Sergey Brin created the most used search engine - Google - a few smart people figured out they could play a few tricks, understand how Google works, and deceive it in order to push their websites to the first positions. Then, they started to do it for customers and taught other people how to do it.
Bad, bad people!
This was the start of an endless game. On the one hand, Google strove to serve the most relevant and useful content to its users. Оn the other hand, everyone wanted to be on Google’s first page because this means more traffic, more leads, more customers and higher income.
So, SEO specialists worked hard to understand how Google worked and when they had found something, Google would have updated the algo to prevent the SEO experts from manipulating the results.
And this game continues nowadays. As I said, there are more than 200 ranking factors and Google becomes smarter every single day.
Why am I telling you all of this?
More and more people are looking for SEO services these days. And, let’s admit it, every SEO agency or a freelancer wants more customers. All of this is absolutely normal and to be expected!
Another normal and predictable thing when people search for SEO services is that they will ask, “When I will get on the first page?”. Everyone wants to know when they will see the results they are paying for, right?
Here comes the bad news
No one can actually tell you when your website will rank on the first page, let alone in first position. This is due to 2 factors:
- No one actually knows how Google works exactly and what updates they will implement in the future.
- Your ranking position depends on your competitors. You don’t know what they are doing. And as I’ve already said - there are more than 200 ranking factors, so there is a big chance they beat you on some of them for some of the time, then you beat them on some other ranking factors.
Your position on Google depends on 2 things you can’t control and can’t predict. You can only count on the tricks and knowledge you can implement on your own website.
SEO is like a continues tango to a song you’ve never heard before. You make few steps forward, then your competitors make few steps forward and you - backwards. Then the rhythm changes and you are the one who steps forward again.
Of course, SEOs who work in your target market and niche can have some observations how the websites “dance” on Google’s results page and may have some rough idea how much time your website will need to rank on the first page, but no one can tell you for sure when you will nail the top position.
There are constant trials, errors, and new trials, and this never stops. You may nail the first position, but your competitors are testing and learning too. Soon, they will find out how to outrank you. Then, you continue testing and learning and the dance never ends. You may have few pauses between the songs, but those are brief.
When you are looking for SEO services, bear in mind that if you insist on knowing when you will nail the first page, you are forcing the SEO specialist/company to lie to you. You may ask for an approximate time frame, but even this time frame may be shorter or longer than expected. Arm yourself with a lot of patience, because SEO needs time. Expect to have “dancing” rankings, as you will never be anchored on the first position forever.
Moreover, when you go for SEO with the right expectations, you can plan your business more accurately and you won’t get caught by surprise if your ranking drops. You will know it is just part of the dance and you can outrank your competitors again.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, check the article “11 Steps to Create a Successful Website”. All of the steps you have to make are connected with the SEO of your website. Have you taken all of them?
P.S. If you have friends who are about to hire SEO services or want to build a website, share the article with them. It will save them a lot of money, time, and frustration. It is always good to know what you should expect.