Why It's So Hard To Rank Keyword In the First Page of Google?

Why It's So Hard To Rank Keyword In the First Page of Google?

Google rolled out the Panda update. Up to 12 percent of search results got affected. Google went against content farm sites. As a result, some business came to a standstill.

Then came the Penguin update in April 2012. This time, Google penalized the websites that incorporated webspam techniques.

And after that, SEO was never the same again. Many SEO professionals are now following the Google guidelines for SEO. Google tells us quality content and trustworthy backlinks are enough to climb the rankings.

But is it as easy as it sounds? Probably not.

Creating content is no easy
Usually, content creation is missing in the executives' top priority list. Instead, it should be the topmost agenda after the sales and customer service. The lack of understanding of the content role in search engine optimization makes even harder for marketing head convincing top management to hire content writers.

The challenge does not just lie within the organization. Human resource team finding equally hard recruiting industry expert content writers.

Unlike coders, writers need more help from organizations to create quality content.  Writers are made to work in silos. The lack of reasonable efforts connecting between writers and sales, customer service, the delivery team is glaringly visible in many companies. Besides, few companies are creating researched content. The polls, surveys and collaboration with external agencies to create the thought leadership whitepaper content are missing.

Why It's So Hard To Rank Keyword In the First Page of Google?
Why It's So Hard To Rank Keyword In the First Page of Google?

The old ways of link building are not working
When I was working in the first agency, the strategy was simple. Go and get as much as directory links. The submission based link building was a widely used tactic in 2005 to achieve rankings. Post-Penguin update, Google penalized sites that had classified, blog commenting, article directory social bookmarking links.

Now link building program centered around content marketing. Implementing a white hat link building strategy is more difficult because there are so many resources involved.

We spend hours outreaching through emails requesting to guest post on high-quality sites. Popular websites like Entrepreneur, Inc, Forbes and Huffington Post receive hundred of article requests daily. So a high-quality article is most likely to get chosen.

Recently we spent more than 30 hours just to get one backlink. Our content writer rewrote the entire content upon request. If we go by these standards, we can get 10 or 15 backlinks in a month.

Another safe bet is to create eye catchy informative infographics.  Outreach via emails and at the same time roll out paid social media campaigns. Outsourcing design costs anywhere around 500 to 1000 dollars.

SEO is Time Consuming
The client often asks one common question: "Why it takes so much time to rank on the first page of Google?"

SEO is not just fixing the problems of the website. It requires research and analysis. It takes a month to create a couple of landing pages. Convincing the webmasters for a strategic backlink may take more than two months. A day goes off analyzing one of the competitor's backlinks. Imagine your top 10 competitors are having more than 100 pages of quality content and 10,000 high authority backlinks. Are 6 months enough in this scenario? Perhaps we need more time.

Ranking keywords is a part of the SEO KPIs. Increasing referral traffic, reducing bounce rate and improving conversion rates are some of the other key SEO KPIs. More time is needed to achieve the above KPIs.

Google has set the standards pretty high
Google has more than 200 ranking signals. Some of the ranking signals change every month. The ranking factors are centered around links, content, user experience and rank brain. In addition, Google comes up with one or two big algorithm update every year. The recent updates include the mobile-friendly website, hummingbird and interstitial ad penalty.

Competition is so high
There is a cut-throat competition in local SEO. Google has trimmed down to three listings from seven. Recently, Google is showing the four text ads in the search results page above organic listings removing the right ads. This has created more fierce competition.

For small-medium business, it 's hard to compete with Fortune 500 companies. As large size companies have a bigger team and better resources. It is like fighting in the war field with the bigger army and better weapons.

If you are a new kid in a town, let us say a start-up, you will have a slew of online competitors.

You can't game Google
Google is now smarter than spammers. The keyword stuffing no longer works in SEO. Google penalizes the over-optimization tactics: keyword stuffing in title tags, junk backlinks, optimizing exact match domains and shallow content promotion. With Google Panda and Penguin updates, low-quality content and cheap backlinks fail to achieve higher rankings in Google.

SEO is a lot like a war: need regular content ammunition and backlinks support. Without that, you can't outsmart your competitors. Time, money and resource are involved in optimizing the site for better rankings. Happy optimization.

Why Are Popular Keywords So Hard to Rank for with a New Website?

While digging through our analytics for question keywords, I found the following question: Why are popular keywords so hard to rank for with a new website? It’s a good question, although the longer you work in search marketing, the more obvious the answer becomes.

New websites have difficulty ranking for popular, high-volume keywords for two primary reasons:

New websites don’t have much site authority yet. The amount of on-page optimization you do when targeting a specific keyword is only half the battle. The Google algorithm takes site or domain authority into account when assigning rankings. Your site’s authority depends on factors like age of the domain (hence, new websites necessarily have less authority) as well as the number of inbound links your site has accrued and the authority, in turn, of the sites that link to you (aka PageRank).

The competition for “popular keywords” is that much stiffer. By definition, more sites are competing to rank for more popular keywords, so your site authority is even more important if you want to rank on the first page or anywhere near it. Think about it: There are sites that have been around for a decade or more, working to rank for valuable popular keywords (like, say, “car insurance” or “local weather”). It’s unlikely that some newbie is going to be able to stroll in and take one of the top spots just because they want it.

The web is growing all the time, and the huge increase in the number of unique domains each year – in 2011, over 50 million new domains were created! – means that popular, high-volume search terms (i.e. terms with high keyword difficulty) get exponentially more competitive over time. So yes, it’s true that it’s very difficult for new sites to rank for these keywords – unfortunately for you and your site, but perhaps fortunately for users. Search engine users want the best information first and fastest, so Google ranks sites that are already vetted through the “votes” of links.

If you have a new website and you want to rank for a popular keyword, you’ll have to prove your site’s worth to Google first. Here are some tips for getting there:

Target Long-Tail Keywords First
Longer, more specific keywords – known as long-tail keywords – have lower search volume than head terms, but they’re much less competitive to rank for. For example, a new website has next to no chance of ranking for the head term “insurance,” but would have much better luck with a niche keyword like “business overhead expense disability insurance,” because fewer websites are competing to rank. Long-tail keywords also have added the benefit of revealing more intent, making it easier for you to create content that meets the user’s implied needs.

Develop Real Content
SEO “content” is whatever it is on your site that might rank for a relevant keyword – whether it’s a blog post that answers a question (like this one), a video that shows viewers how to do something, or user-generated reviews of the products you sell. By “real content,” I mean content that is genuinely useful to people. Your content marketing strategy should follow naturally from the type of business you run, the types of keywords that your prospects use, and where your expertise lies.

Practice safe, honest link building
Google is in full-on battle mode against SEO spammers, so be safe when building links (and I don’t mean giving your in-house SEOs condoms!). Don’t purchase links in bulk and don’t waste your time with low-quality websites that are irrelevant to your niche. Spammy link tactics are unlikely to work in the long term, but you do still need links to show Google your site is rank-worthy. So leverage that great content you’re creating and do smart link outreach to bring attention to your site.

Stick with it
As mentioned above, part of what matters to Google is the age of your site. So there’s no fast track to great SEO rankings – to some extent it’s just a waiting game. But domain age alone isn’t worth very much – your site should be growing and improving all the time.

While you’re working to improve your site’s authority and organic rankings, consider leveraging paid search marketing, or PPC, to drive traffic. It’s generally faster and easier to place ads on the results pages for your target keywords than it is to rank for them organically, so you can use it as a stop-gap measure while your site is new and as a supplement to organic traffic later. Your PPC account will also provide invaluable data to help you better execute organic SEO.

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