My wife’s real estate website is in first place! Neat. Free traffic.
Cool? Or so what?
If and when it ever happens to you, it’s pretty cool.
But it’s a terrible business plan.
Because Lord G can drop you from #1, at any time. And He will. Trust me.
And if your business model has been based on “free” traffic from your #1 listing, then you’re screwt!
In September 2009, I got obsessed with natural rankings. (See 5 Steps to SEO Dominance, and a handful of other posts on this blog.) I became convinced it was the number 1 thing Jigsaw Health needed to do.
Along the way, I hired several SEO firms. Most notably, ThinkBIGsites, which I reviewed — and finally updated that post today about why I stopped using TBS (and all other SEO firms) trying to game the rank.
Can Anyone Ever Stay in First Place?
As I point out in the update on RE: ThinkBigSites, gaming the ranks is like hiring an expensive contractor to build your house on sand.
As you can see below, Ashley’s site has bounced between #1 and #6 in the past 30 days.
Ashley’s Winning Strategy?
Ashley gets 2 to 4 home buyer leads per day at a too-low-to-disclose-publicly cost all through Google Adwords Pay-Per-Click. Sure, the clicks cost money, but it sends them to a landing page that converts 30% of the traffic, a page that would probably never work as the home page.
We both like this strategy A) because it’s been working like a champ, and B) because we can turn it off and on if and when we need to.
The Bottom Line
Google natural ranks can be great, but beware of building a solid business on generic traffic.