September 24, 2008

Goal - SearchMasters Top Ten on for “Marketing”

SearchMasters will rank top ten for “Marketing” on by 31/12/08 and as at 16/10/08, I am THIRD. Out of all the marketing and PR companies of New Zealand, out of all the web development and SEO businesses in New Zealand, SearchMasters is top ten (and this article may create more competition for ourselves).

This is not so much a brag, as a case study of how it takes time to rank, and how its possible to rank for competitive phrases. See, there was a problem. was ranked 10th on for “Marketing” (SearchMasters not ranked top 1000), but on (NZ sites only), SocialMarketing was ranked 8th, UNDER SearchMasters 7th position.

“Marketing” on

“Marketing” on (NZ sites only)

How could this be possible?

What was I doing wrong to not be in the top 1000, yet doing right to be ranking 7th when selecting NZ sites only?

The only missing ingredient was time!

It is interesting, clients want to get to the top, and are sometimes incredibly impatient. I like pointing them to case studies of my clients, and of my own experiences where good things take time.

You need specific pages

I tried, but was not able to get well ranked for “Online Marketing”, nor “Internet Marketing” with my home page. My home page is based around the words in the phrase “Search Engine Optimisation” and its derivatives, and there happen to be no duplication of words between the phrases. I obtained a number of inbound links for the phrases regarding Internet Marketing, but try as I might, no good rankings. So I tried another tack, and created a specific page for the internet marketing phrases on 12 July 2008. With a few inbound links, and within days, the page was ranking well for both “internet marketing”, and “online marketing” on As at September, the page was 3rd for both.

Then I checked Google analytics, and noted with great surprise, that someone had clicked through from the search phrase “Marketing”. Wow - 7th on (NZ sites only)!!! It’s crazy.

The craziest part is that I wasn’t top 1000 on straight

Page created 12 July 2008, ranking 3rd for both internet marketing, and online marketing, yet not ranking at all for the single word “marketing”.

Why does it take time?

There are some phrases and single words that Google considers are competitive, and that it will not let pages rank for until they are old enough and the inbound links are old enough. This is not just talking about the age of the domain. SearchMasters is ranking well (22nd) for the rather competitive phrase “Search Engine Optimisation” on as seen from New Zealand. The nearest NZ competitor FirstRate, is miles away at 94th.

But despite this good ranking, it is not good enough to get a new page ranked top 1000 for a competitive phrase “Marketing”.

For important phrases, Google does not want to just let anyone up there. Your content can’t just be a seasonal article on a page that disappears a short time later, inbound links can’t just be fly-by-nighters.

There are different parts of the algorithm that come into play for phrases. (nz sites only) is not as competitive as the straight search, therefore SearchMasters is able to be let in. For the straight search, not enough time has passed, therefore I am not even in the top 1000. But since enough time has passed for Social Marketing, its been allowed in at 10th. Time is the missing link.

Page created 12 July 2008 + 2 1/2 months = 26 September = not enough time to even get in the top 1000.

Have you got enough patience? This internet game is an interesting one!

Update 16 October 2008 - now 3rd on

As of today, SearchMasters is ranked 3rd on behind Wikipedia, and the Marketing Association of NZ. WOW!!!!!!!

I thought it would take longer.

Rankings on for “Marketing”

Now all eyes are on the rankings on as from New Zealand. When looking at from a New Zealand IP address (ie connected via Vodafone or Xtra etc), there is a bias towards New Zealand websites.

On, SearchMasters is ranked 18th on for “search engine optimisation”. My nearest competitor is 68th It took a full year for SearchMasters to appear in even the top 1000 for the phrase on, then I have been at around the 15-25 mark ever since.

SearchMasters is ranked 106th on for “Marketing”. is ranked 57th. While I am immediately behind on, actually the difference between our rankings is quite large. Yet I would have expected to be top 20. So it will be interesting to see what how time and new inbound links effect SearchMasters rankings on

Yes, time is definitely a factor in ranking on Google, to the top is not instantaneous!