Would someone please clarify all the talk of "ranking" for me, one more time?
Jill, I learned from you first about how SERPs are relative and can depend on the computer you're on, what you've searched for before, your physical location and other things.
But I STILL see people who talk about where they rank for a particular keyword.
I see people teaching you how to write better for all the changes to Google, so that you will "rank better."
I read posts by people saying that they created a post yesterday or last week and it's "already ranking number 3 in Google"...or 1st or on page two or whatever.
Once and for all, I just want to feel like I'm straight on all this ranking stuff. I blow most of it off because of what I've learned here and from Jill.
1. Can you ever really know where you rank for a keyword? I suppose you can do a search in an incognito window in Chrome, but how reliable is that? And isn't it still relative?
2. Does it really matter in this day and age? Jill has taught me that really, you should look at your conversions and if your traffic is increasing, etc. Things like that.
3. In a related note, how is "keyword research" really much use anymore? Yes, you can get an idea of whether people are searching for something or not, but the typical way that people have taught others to do keyword research seems really antiquated at this point.
4. I've always looked at the overall search rankings for keywords that Google Analytics (GA) provided. Now that the "not provided" keywords are all we have, I know that you can still get the search queries data from within Google Webmaster Tools. I realize that nothing is totally accurate but this is better than nothing. Comments?
For instance, it's been standard for people to put a keyword in the title of the post. But Google frequently replaces the searched for keyword/term with synonyms, (something I witnessed just lately though I know isn't new) so that your keyword title is essentially useless on some level.
To me, it seems like there is just soooo much noise, and what I'm really starting to see is that most all of the noise is worthless.
I'm really beginning to just put blinders on and put earplugs in and concentrate on just writing engaging content that people want to link to or share on social media or comment on. That seems to be the reality and I think always has been, if I'm not mistaken. It's just that the changes Google has made and the rise of social media have made it obvious. No more games.
So Jill and anyone else...please set me straight once and for all so when I hear people talk about rankings I know the real skinny!
Edited by squidjam, 01 October 2013 - 12:21 PM.