Search Engine Optimization: Think Beyond Rankings Alone

SEO is about more than just rankingsMany businesses have become romanticized by the idea of using rankings as the key performance indicator (KPI) for search engine optimization (SEO).  While rankings matter, here are seven things you should know about the limitations of rankings.

Google’s SEO Ranking Formula is Constantly Changing

Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving (550 times per year, in recent years), so rankings are just a snapshot in time, not a permanent state.  As the algorithm changes, so will your site’s rankings.  The fact is – No one can control a website’s Google rankings; you can only affect them.


By diversifying your online marketing tactics – with long-tail search terms, content, public relations, social media, and even paid search – rather than focusing on a few “head terms,” you can build an online presence that protects you against future ranking fluctuations.


Google now takes into account a user’s history, preferences, and location to tailor their search experience.  So, even if you’re doing everything correctly, your website still might get bumped out because of a user’s preference or location.

Risk of Penalties

Many companies create tunnel vision by placing too much importance on rankings, to the point where marketers do “whatever is necessary” to satisfy the demands of their clients or superiors, increasing the risk of being hit by a Google penalty.


If all the focus is on rankings, companies will often overlook the value of other tactics, such as website optimization.


Using rankings as the only measurement of success often creates a focus on short-term efforts (link building) rather than long-term efforts (content creation).   Although it takes time, valuable content will increase traffic to your website over a longer period of time than link building.

SEO Ranking Scams

As with any industry, SEO has its share of unethical individuals.  One scam is using terms that have no value to the company in order to simply increase the website’s ranking.

The next time you’re considering the performance of your SEO, it would be prudent to consider more than just rankings. If you need help with your SEO efforts, please Contact Us.

This post is a summarized version of an article by Jeff Quipp – Why You Should Stop Using Google Rankings as Your Primary SEO KPI

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