Google has created a club that everyone wants to be a member of.
Every one using social media wants to be number one on Google or at least get to the first page and Google has devoted much of their press to creating the idea that Google ranking is important. However I had an interesting experience when discussing a social media campaign with a real estate client. I had completed some research on the client’s site with a keyword phrase through SEOMoz’s page ranking toolhttp://www.seomoz.org/rank-tracker and determined that the real estate business was ranked numbered 45 for the phrase. Of course this means that anyone searching with the phrase would have to go through 44 listings before seeing the realtor and most web surfers would probably not search past the first three pages.
During my meeting with the realtor we accessed her site several times as I discussed and advised on improvements to design, content and engagement for the site. At the end we did a final search by the keyword phrase to check out the competition, surprisingly their site was listed at the third place spot on the first page.
I was a little surprised at this since we had not made any changes to the site until I saw under the listing there was the line showing “You have accessed this site 18 times.” It was the first time I had seen this line and it is a line that still does not show up for me in Internet Explorer, but it was obvious that the site had been moved up based on the usage either through the browser cache or through Google tracking the activity and displaying results based on the personal usage of that specific computer.
Which means the ranking of the site for that keyword search had not changed except for that user on that computer? Now you might just say “So what?” as I did, at the moment. However after thinking about it later I realized that this could be a devious tool in the wrong hands.
After all it would be possible to access a prospective client’s site before meeting with them on your own laptop, or IPad and rank the client’s site to the first page on your device. Then when you meet with the client asked them to do a search for their site on their device, talk about what you could change for them, pretend to make changes from your device and then do a search from your device and show them that they are now on the first page.
It is not something that I would do and I am sure no one else would do something so underhanded but I am just saying that there is more than one way to get into the Google club.