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LinkExchange Daily Digest
"Effective Online Advertising"

List Moderator: Adam Audette

May 11, 1999     Digest # 596

Search Engine Optimization
~ Rod Aries

"...if you think getting a top ranking is hard, try to decipher which company to entrust your web site with..."

From: Rod Aries <>
Subject: Dollar Evaluation of Search Engine Position
Wanda Atkinson wrote,

>...I can put a dollar value to. What about search engine position? Companies hire people to get them placed higher, so I'm sure there is some dollar evaluation, but how would one figure that out?<
How much for the #1 slot? For a top 10 rank? Well, it depends...on a few factors. Like web page counts, value to the client and competition.

- Web Page Counts -
A #1 ranking for your radio call letters," 3wk," versus a #1 ranking for say, "radio," is going to have different values. If you look at the body counts in AltaVista for example: 3wk AltaVista found 1366 Web pages for you. radio AltaVista found about 6,050,887 Web pages for you.

Guess which ranking is worth more...

- Value To The Client -
Another factor to calculate in "what is it worth?" is the value to the client. A number one ranking for, say, "auto insurance," is probably worth a lot more to a client than a number one ranking in say, "sewing buttons." Take Infoseek for example: auto insurance found 6,622,430 Web search results, and sewing buttons 8,430,528 Web search results.

Sewing buttons is "harder" to get a #1 ranking just due to more competition, but I would guess that "auto insurance" will produce far more income for both company and optimizer...

Even "Wanda" found 400,000 many people are going to pay top dollar for a #1 Wanda :))

- Competition -
Next, if you are going to have your web site professionally managed for the search engines, you have to then sort through all the folks, claiming to be able to use a divining rod, read Tarot cards, consult Al Gore, reverse engineer web rankings or whatever in order to determine the algorithms. Gawd, if you think getting a top ranking is hard, try to decipher which company to entrust your web site with...
Ask for a list of clients and RECENT rankings for specific keywords. Look at the words that are ranked, see if they are "hard" to rank words. I once saw a "professional" show how he had #1 rankings for something like "Raleigh-Durham-NC" (yeah, with the hypens) and "realtor/broker/agent" (yeah, with the slashes) both unlikely typed options.

Now, you want to see a competitive field...try "search engine optimization, web page rankings," etc. I have over 250 ranked pages, across the major engines - with numerous web pages, for these terms - email for the url to see for yourself :)

I try and practice what I have I said above. When I determine the investment cost for a clients search engine management needs, I ask for the 10+ words with which they want to be found, then see how "competitive" those words are. I then price according to the degree of difficulty. I then add a performance guarantee to the pricing so I have incentive to perform for my client, and assure them of results.

At your service,
Rod Aries
How To Internet Your Business

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