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Getting to the top of google: pt.1

DAY: 01
GOOGLE POSITION: 162

A brief introduction…
allow me to introduce myself. my name is james vanderzee. not a very common name I’m sure you’ll agree.

If and when people go to look me up on google they’re often surprised to find a very different james vanderzee, as you can see below.

google search 181108 1
As you can see I’m not on the first page. I’m not even on the second page… do you know what?

As at 18th November 2008 I don’t appear on google for my own name until the 17th page, 162nd of about 95,300!

Now this james vanderzee is a 30-something, digital marketing professional with more than 10 years' combined academic and commercial experience in his specialist field. that james vanderzee was an african american photographer, born at the tailend of the 1800’s, was (and still is) best known for his portraits of black new yorkers.

This james vanderzee is still very much alive and kicking. that james vanderzee died in the mid 1980’s.

So what? I hear you ask.
now I know in the grander scheme of things I’m certainly not as significant a contributer to society as my name sake, but it got me wondering nonetheless…

Surely, with my professional experience and industry contacts, and as a purely academic exercise, I could change all this and get myself up to the top of the search engine rankings.

Okay, we’ll entertain this – how are you going to do that?
well as I’m sure you already know, there are 2 ways to get onto the first page of google:

1. pay for it
2. get there organically

My first option is paid (pay per click or ppc) advertising on google’s adwords programme. to do well you need a budget to pay for those clicks, plus the time to manage your campaigns.

As you can see from my first screen grab, this would be a pointless exercise as, at time of writing this, there is only one competitor. with that in mind I’d be looking to pay around 5p per click, and where’s the skill in that?

Exactly. I want a challenge!

My second option therefore is the one that interests me more and relates to what marketers call “natural” or “organic” search and, according to big mouth marketing at least, this accounts for up to 70% of all search engine-generated traffic.

Okay technically this “search engine optimisation” (SEO) option isn’t free, as it needs time and/or money on this too (in terms of allocated people hours, content development, link generation, etc.).

It’s also supposed to be a very long, drawn-out process, but therein lies the challenge:

Whether you’re doing ppc or not, it’s evidently beneficial to be top of natural search!


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