Retailers – Fighting for Search Visibility

How important are you, the consumer, VERY!  All retailers know that if you’re not on page one of search results on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or anywhere else, you’re not going to get much traffic, let alone make any sales.  Over the years the battle for placement has intensified as more competition has shown up.  To compound this, the search engines continue to change their formulas for ranking, as a way to improve the quality of their search results, as they battle each other for your daily usage.

To understand the turf, let’s take a moment to review a traditional Google results page for the keyword truck accessories.

On the right side column, the first area is all the local shops that match your URL location, which in this case is St. Louis, MO.  If you are wondering if Google knows where you are, yes they do.  They are simply looking at the access location your computer that’s getting on line is coming from.  Creepy huh!

Then, below that are companies that paid to have their ads run on this page listing area, and who are bidding for the space through a complex formula based on a number of ever changing Google values.

In the top center are the three main search results.  Usually these are very credible companies who have earned the ranking placement by Google through being very successful at doing what Google cares about.

Next up, we have the map results in detail listed.  Then after that more natural search results, usually seven.  One note here, it’s always good to look at these guys too, because usually they’re the ones that may not be the most internet savvy, but are definitely solid companies.

Lastly at the bottom are related searches for the term truck accessories.

So it’s easy to see why automotive retailers have to fight it out.  After all, there simply isn’t a whole lot of room to have all the main players up front, hence a search total of 36.6 million results.  This is absolutely amazing!

So does our story end there, heck no.  We all know what’s changed everything in the last few years, social media.

So now you have space taken by any of the below.

  • Wikipedia

  • News

  • Blogs

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • My Space


  • Shopping Results

  • Data Feed Results

Hey, it’s a numbers game.  Meaning it’s all about the amount of traffic that’s on a site over something.  High traffic is value rated, which pushes visibility and ultimately ranking in the search results.

So, those same truck accessory sites are now pushed off page one, which is like oblivion for a retailer, just to make room for more highly trafficked results that must be more relevant to a searcher.

Right now, it’s tough being an internet retailer unless you can survive the page space attack, let alone your fellow competitors.