Why is it so hard to rank well on Google?

I have recently been involved with a discussion about ranking on Google on LinkedIn, it has become more difficult to rank highly now, but why, these are my notes on it.

Any web marketer or somebody who owns a website realises (or should realise) the importance of high search engine rankings. Any webmaster who is serious about succeeding online should know that you need to be on the first page of Google results, but more importantly you need to be at positions 1, 2 or 3.

There was a time when achieving high search engine ranks was not really very difficult, all you had to do was create content, didn’t particularly need to be useful or of high quality, dump some keywords in it loads of times and *BANG* you were done and could with little effort rank highly.

Google changed a few its indicators around 2005, so with the same content you just had to throw some links in (predominately from link farms, article networks, blog networks and directories) and you ranked well.

From about 2007, things really started to get really difficult, and as every year marches forward Google just keep making the SEO role more and more difficult.

Today, there is a huge amount of competition out there in all markets. Achieving a page one rank in Google (and the rest of the search engines) has become extremely tough, unless of course you are working smart.

Working smart will often mean here the ability to choose the right set of tools – tools that can rocket your web visibility by taking your website from the lower ends of search engine results all the way to very top. See a previous post - Internet Business Promoter (IBP) Axandra Software Review.

A page one rank is all you need to rocket your web traffic that will blow your mind, however, traffic is just one side of the coin and if you want to convert traffic then you need to look at Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), but that’s a completely different subject.

Anyway, the real reason why it’s more difficult to rank on Google is that they want to present the very best results to us searchers, and their tweaks and modifications to their algorithm is all just designed to ensure that the sites that are well liked, with the best content rise to the top – it’s that simple really.

Internet Business Promoter (IBP) Axandra Software Review

I’ll say right from the start that the way that most SEO software products try to rank your webpages doesn’t work; sure they can help you decide which keywords to use and where they should go in your webpage, but other than that they really can’t push you to the top of Google.
I’ve been working in digital marketing for more years than I care to remember and to be honest with you; Internet Business Promoter, or IBP as it is popularly referred to, is the best thing for ranking since sliced bread!
Obviously it’s a good idea to analyse your pages to ensure that they are perfectly optimised for the given keyword(s), but unfortunately Google simply doesn’t work like that.
Google doesn’t care about your optimisation in silo, they want to know how good your site is against your competitions sites, it quickly works out which sites are worthy of being on the first page of their results; so it would make perfect sense to optimise against these top 10 results – and that’s exactly what IBP does.
Once you enter you primary keyword, IBP does a search (either on Google or your preferred search engine) for that term then analyses the top 10 sites to see where they have put their keywords, how many times, are they in bold, the title, description etc., and then it presents you with the results in an easy to follow report that is your roadmap for updating your page to be as good as these on the first page.
This on-page SEO analysis isn’t the end of it for IBP; it also looks at the inbound links so you know if there is room for improvement there too.
One of the great things about IBP is that it will never offer any advice that will be a short-cut to SEO success. It may take some time (as any SEO does), but if you follow its advice your website is more likely to succeed. But remember, just like life, there is no guarantee that it will actually work.
IBP is actually a suite of tools from Axandra. These tools allow you to do the following:
  1. Research the most potent keywords in your niche/market
  2. Optimise your website for these keyword(s)
  3. Generate high quality back links for improving your Page Rank and rankings, and
  4. Track the position of your website as it improves its search engine ranks.
So all in all it’s an excellent piece of software that I use in my professional role on a day to day basis, the only thing I would say is that you shouldn’t expect magical results, the software is excellent and keeps updating itself as Google releases changes to its algorithm, but even if your page(s) were exactly like pages in the top 10 with more links into it, there could still be indicators that Google looks at that could still put these sites above yours (i.e. design, architecture, bounce rate, times on site, previous penalties etc.)
But all in all, if you are serious about ranking well on Google then you need to invest in this software.
SEO software for Windows

SEOPressor Review: How to dominate Google search rankings when using WordPress

Effectively SEOPressor vs Yoast SEO

The first time I managed a WordPress site it came with Yoast already ready for me to continue the SEO, and for a long time I really didn’t know any different; but I became concerned that my SEO work wasn’t having the effect that I needed, so I started my search for a new WordPress SEO plugin.

After a fair bit of searching and testing I landed on SEOPressor, and loved it, but if you want a little more detail then hopefully this short review will help.
Start taking a closer look at SEOPressor today, click here for more information.

So which SEO plugin is best for your WordPress website?

If you’re just starting out or you’re simply looking to make the most out of your website content with videos, articles, categories, tags etc. then Yoast SEO should be good enough for you.

On the other hand, if you are serious about marketing your website and squeezing that little bit extra out of your SEO, then I would highly recommend using SEOPressor Connect.

For the basic stuff they can both pretty much do the same thing, but never versions of SEOPressor now comes with some really great features that really does push your rankings higher.

For a FREE eBook about speeding up your
WordPress site (to improve rankings), just enter your details below.


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Choose up to 3 Keyword/Phrases
OK, it’s the free Yoast SEO plugin that only lets you choose a single keyword/phrase for SEO purposes, but to get multiple keyword focus on Yoast costs a minimum of $69. Whilst you do pay for SEOPressor, the standard version lets you focus on three keywords. Making it easier if you don’t know (or not sure) which term to rank for immediately.

Real-time LSI Recommendations

The best part of the latest version of SEOPressor is real-time LSI recommendations; it will actually recommend Latent Semantic Indexing keywords to use, this is important as Google uses LSI to better understand what your webpages and website is all about. Once you enter your primary search term(s) into SEOPressor the LSI keyword recommendations start suggesting other useful keywords and terms you should be using in your content to get Googles full attention and to ensure that you really dominate the rankings for your chosen term(s). This is not available on any other WordPress SEO plugin and is a priceless addition to WordPress.

Real-time Keyword density

If you’re heavily into your keyword density (which I’m not) then this is a really useful feature as you see your keyword density on the fly, it can be really useful if you want to get the keyword density down you can see it going down as you add more content in real-time rather than having to ‘run’ a request.

Over optimisation alerts

If you are working on a page that is overly optimised (which could seriously damage ranking), you’ll get a real-time alert letting you know that something has gone wrong and you need to look more closely at your optimisation.

Social SEO

Usually when you share content, the social platform you are using will automatically pick and display the Description of the page, whilst this can sometimes be all you need, but social channels are more personal that webpages and Google search, so it makes sense to alter key landing pages to add a little more personality into your description. This is particularly true if you sell to Businesses and Consumers – typically Businesses might only see you on Twitter and LinkedIn (SEOPressor doesn’t actually support LinkedIn yet), but you could in theory have a more professional description on Twitter to that on Facebook to help talk to your different target audiences.

Internal Link Manager

SEOPressor allows you to effortlessly fix, build, and manage the perfect internal link structure to increase your reader’s retention and reduce bounce rate.

Other great features:

SEO Score: SEOPressor let's you set a lower limit for SEO score, if the content you have created doesn't pass the limit it won't let you publish it.

SEO Checklist: SEOPressor uses a checklist approach so that it becomes easy to create great content time after time, useful if you have a team of content developers and you want the same quality from the team.


SEOPressor just seems to have been built with Google rankings in mind, and take it for someone that has been in the digital marketing space for more years that I care to remember, this works the closest to how Google actually thinks and ranks, making it a clear winner in my books.

For a FREE eBook about speeding up your
WordPress site (to improve rankings), just enter your details below.


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SEOPressor Review

This is a quick video I put together that explains some of the key differences.

Best of luck with your SEO :-)

Get Google reviews easily

Reviews on Google could have a small (and positive) impact on your search engine rankings, but more importantly they allow potential customers to see what a great service you offer, which will help drive traffic to your website and aid conversions.

We all trust what other people say about businesses (we tend to ask for personal recommendations ourselves), so the reviews act to reinforce the positive messages that you put out to the market. In addition, businesses can strengthen their relationship with their market by engaging with them directly through their reviews on Google.

Leaving a review is quick and easy to do, and can be left on a desktop, smartphone or tablet and you’ll start to see those wonderful review stars in your listings as reviews get left for you, they make your business really standout from the crowd.

Remember, people can leave a review for you on Google whether you like it or not, so you are best engaging with the reviews to ensure that you get the most from it.

Here is my simple three step process for getting more positive reviews on Google and use it to create more business for yourself.

Step 1: The most important thing is to ensure that your business information is verified on Google as only verified businesses can respond to reviews.

Here is more information on how to verify your business on Google (https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778)

Step 2: Encourage customers to write a Google review for you.

Simply remind your customers once they have had a positive dealing with you to write a review for you on Google, reviewers do need a Google account, so it can sometime mean that not everyone can write a review for you (I know, it seems crazy that some people out there don’t own a Google account!).

If they search for your business name on Google, they should see a full panel in the results with your businesses details on them, they just need to click the “Write a review” button.

You could always email them a link to your page to make the whole process easier for them!

Step 3: Be active and engage with reviewers

It helps people to decide to leave a review if they see that you engage and thank reviewers, others will see that you value the input of customers and will want to leave you their reviews too.

How to rank for RankBrain

Launched in early 2015, RankBrain is Google’s machine learning technology, it uses artificial intelligence to help Google understand exactly what you want to find with your search and delivers you highly relevant search results.

So how do you rank for RankBrain?

Actually the answer is rather simple and something that I’ve been advocating for years now, we know that RankBrain is effective for the 15-20% of the queries that Google has never seen before; this clearly indicates that these are natural language queries, typically long typed out queries or more likely voice queries asked on smart devices (smartphones, tablets etc.).

So optimising for these is easy, just write in natural language, write for humans, write for your target audience. If in doubt read your content out load to see if it makes sense (again, something I’ve been advocating for years), if it doesn’t make sense then your content isn’t correctly optimised and it need rewriting.

As a content writer, you tend to find that the highest quality content is written in a very natural way that is conversational.

So that’s it, check your content, check that it reads well and you will improve your Google rankings.

Data or Creativity?

Had an interesting chat with an old colleague of mine the other day who came through the old school marketing ranks (to be fair, so did I), he spent a lot of time in a senior data role in a telecoms company we both worked for; and he has kept the strong ethos that marketing should be strongly data-led first and foremost, it should be the driving force behind the strategy and tactics of the business.

I disagree to some extent, there are obviously times when data is incredibly important (predominately if you are doing some qualitative research on what your target market(s) think about you or you are analysing analytics from campaigns or web site etc), but this should only inform you and not be the single driving force behind any major business decisions or campaigns.

Data (just like technology) enables opportunities for marketers, but the creativity is where the real value is created.

I think we see this problem occurring everyday, big brands push their flashing advertising on us, but very little of it sticks in the minds of the consumers – they lack the creativity needed to be memorable (and therefore successful), I’m sure the data says the execution was perfect, but if it doesn’t hold consumers interest or create that desire, you’ve lost the war.

So yes, data is important, let it drive discussion and debate in the boardrooms (I’m all for that), but never let it drive business decisions; creativity is what’s needed to drive the creation of the value, and it’s this value which will ultimately decide whether your strategies and tactics are successful.

Volkswagen cannot possibly survive the emissions scandal unscathed

The emissions scandal surrounding the battered car manufacturer, Volkswagen, will hit such heights that the brand will be unlikely to survive as it is today, it will have to change.

It’s been about ten days now since the use of a “defeat device” by VW to cheat emissions tests around the work surfaced, in that time we have learnt that over 11m vehicles are affected which in turn have been spewing millions of tonnes of emissions and poisonous gases into the atmosphere.

Their CEO has already gone, and at the moment three other senior executive are under investigation, all their brands have been implemented and it will cost them £billions to sort out.

Not only will they have to recall all of their cars for fixing, but they have fines coming out of their ears and VW owners are clamouring for compensation.

Volkswagen had one of the strongest brands in the auto industry before all this, so what is likely to happen to it?

The brand impact

Volkswagen were a trusted brand, but the admission that they purposely cheated the emission tests to con the car industry and consumers will hurt them badly, VW deliberately set out to break the law.

On a positive note, it looks like consumers still some faith in the brand as retailers in the UK haven’t noticed any major dip in the public looking to purchase the brand, although now we know for a fact that this isn't just a US problem and we have 1.2m of these vehicles in the UK – this may change.

But experts do expect sales to decline considerably.

So can Volkswagen survive?

Volkswagen has promised to spend at least £4.7bn to help “restoring consumer trust” in the brands they control, my gut feeling is that they need considerably more than this.

In a statement the brand said its “top priority” was to avert damage to customers and it will inform the public constantly and transparently on further progress.  They want to win back trust and credibility.

But whilst the Volkswagen brand is unlikely to die as a result, it’s not impossible that it could disappear!

What is more likely is that the country could be restructured and broken up, some of its brands could be sold off.  The global fines could be anywhere between £15bn and £25bn – selling off parts of the business could help the Group to recoup much of that money.

It could turn into a case of not just protecting the brand, but protecting the car business from going under!

Link Building in 2015

Links, the lifeblood of websites, without these your website will not not highly on search engines, if you can't be found on search engines then you'll not get the visitors your business desperately needs.

Link building is fraught with difficulty, recent Google updates mean that if you get links from a poor website, then it will negatively effect your ranking.

But how can you get these all important links?

Two recent posts on LinkedIn help show the way:

These articles offer practical advice to help you improve your search engine rankings.

Good Luck