3 Rankings You Wouldn't Want to Share
I was doing some research for a new client and stumbled upon another SEO vendor's website. I had heard of this company before, but I had never delved too deeply into their site, but today I decided to do just that. What intrigued me the most was finding a page of sample rankings that this company had achieved for its clients. Pretty cool, I thought. Then I started laughing.
Here's a screenshot of the rankings this company achieved in the second quarter of 2005. Now I'll be the first to admit that the SEO landscape is constantly changing, but even with that in mind I couldn't believe that some of these rankings were being used as marketing collateral. Take a look at the red boxes to understand what I mean.
The first ranking I've highlighted is more odd than funny, but it's a good lead in. The data in the first red box seems to indicate a #8 ranking in Yahoo Search Marketing. Another ranking just below it lists just Yahoo as the search engine so they must be different. Assuming Yahoo represents organic results, is Yahoo Search Marketing the paid inclusion or PPC results? How do either of those make sense as SEO rankings?
The second ranking with a red box around it is a #1 ranking. Awesome, right? Not so fast. It's a #1 ranking in Hotbot. No one cares about Hotbot today and no one cared about Hotbot 2 years ago. Did that SEO campaign have nothing better to show for it than a #1 ranking in a soon to be dead search engine? The chuckling began here.
And finally, that brings us to the coup d'etat. Box 3 shows a #2 ranking in AltaVista. Now AltaVista was once the leading search engine, but it was largely an afterthought by 2005. What's even funnier is that the keyword is Enhanced Efficacy Antiperspirant. How could you not get a #1 ranking for such an unpopular term that even 2 years later still has less than 30,000 competing pages in Google!? Outright laughing at this point.
I feel bad for the search engine optimizers working at this company. They were probably told by the marketing folks to provide rankings to be posted to the company website. Then someone from legal probably told them not to give out certain rankings. What they were left with was this collection of largely unimpressive results. These guys must feel like those half-shaved poodles that all of the other cool dogs snicker at in the dog parks.