3 Reasons Why You Aren't Ranking Number One On Google

Written by
Digital Marketing
Time to read: 4 min

Say Sayonara To Ranking Number One

Yup, you heard me. Having the goal of “ranking number one" for certain keywords is a thing of the past. This article is meant to change your ambitions of ranking number one. Let's replace them with a more practical alternative for 2017 and beyond.

Reason #1 Why You Aren’t Ranking Number One = More Competition

We hear this typical scenario all of the time:

Business owner: “I was ranking number one!”

Was is the key word here. The chances are their success was a couple of years back. Let’s put 2014 into our time travel machine and go back to that time. As you can see, the digital marketing world was just shaping. Keywords were meant to be thrown in as organically as possible and the marketing world was cranking out content into the internet.

  • 33% of traffic from google’s organic search result went to the first result listed. (Social Fresh)

  • 71% of businesses were going to increase their digital marketing budgets. (Econsultancy)

  • While internet advertising was predicted to take up 25% of the ad market in 2015. (Social Fresh)

Now, let’s just assume this all happened in 2014. That means a lot more businesses have taken to digital marketing over the years. That is a lot more competition, right?

Reason #2 Why You Aren’t Ranking Number One - Google’s Algorithms

This is the Achilles' heel to everyone in the digital marketing field. Google changes constantly.

Here is a short list of what’s happened since 2014:

  • Page layout penalization
  • Panda 4.0
  • Pigeon
  • HTTPS update
  • News box results
  • Panda, 4.1
  • Penguin 3.0
  • Pirate 2.0
  • Mobile update (Mobilegeddon)
  • Quality update
  • Panda 4.2
  • RankBrain
  • AdWords
  • Mobile-friendly update 2
  • Pack results update,
  • Image results
  • Penguin 4.0

 Those are just some of the confirmed updates. Each one of these updates changes Google’s algorithm making it more precise and user-friendly. We as experts keep watch of this and change our plan accordingly.


It's all about location

A huge change I’ve noticed in my years of following Google’s changes is their new emphasis on location.

Google uses where the user is Googling now, more than ever. You might have the BEST most popular pizza place in your state. But, when a person Google’s “pizza” the pizza places near them will get the highest rank. It makes sense right? If a person searches for a service (without including a location in that search) the nearest services will get priority.

You will see something like this:


So can you rank #1 for your service? Yes, but most of the time that is only possible if that user is Googling your services in the radius of your location. We as experts cannot trick Google into thinking your business is the most relevant result now. Google is smarter than that.

Think about it: You probably ranked and reached a larger amount of people than a year or two ago.

Reason #3 Why You Aren’t Ranking Number One - Content

If you were making content a couple of years ago, hats off to you! That is awesome. The truth is, keywords overload won’t work anymore. A page that has more keywords won’t outrank a page with less. It the quality of the content that matters.


Quality > Keywords

For example, I have a piece that is ranking extremely well for my clients. It is about tree removal (super interesting, right?). They rank in the top 3 for a large variety of tree removal keywords, from “tree removal service cost” to “average price to remove a tree”. Out of 36,600,000 results, my article was successful with  “tree removal” in there 7 times.

The piece itself is extremely helpful and because of that, it attracts a lot of users, which in return Google gave it a good rank. That is how you need to think when it comes to content nowadays.

In 2014: More than half (53%) of marketers said content creation was the most effective SEO tactic .(NewsCred)

In 2015: 72% of marketers said content creation was the most effective SEO tactic according to a report from Ascend2.(Source: MarketingProfs)

Some businesses let their website sit stagnant on the internet. If that’s the case, it’s no wonder why you aren’t ranking well.

Want to have success?

It’s simple, don’t get hung up on rank. Focus on increasing organic traffic with content & social tactics. Make sure your site is attractive, up to speed, and easy to navigate as well.  

In order to have success, you must put in the time and hard work, or be willing to hire someone that will. This is the new age of marketing and it is only going to get more intense.

Thanks for reading!

Written by Chelsea Hennen

Chelsea Hennen

As a digital marketing specialist, I help businesses flourish online. I excel at creating traffic, increasing conversions, and growing brands. Your success is my success. Feel free to reach out!

Have a suggestion?

We'd like to hear it. Drop us a line

Email us a suggestion

Like what you read?