The Complete Idiot's Guide

Growing Your Business With Google
By Dave Taylor

Why don't I rank highly for all relevant searches?

I have a free lising with Google. I don't understand why my listing only appears if someone does a search on Google (Cheryl Ann Floral Design Conshohocken PA) If I elimanate the town and state which is Conshohocken PA I am not listed. I don't know how to fix this. I would like to be listed under (Wedding Flowers Philadelphia PA)
(Flowers Conshohocken PA) (Flowers Montgomery County PA) etc.

You're asking an extraordinarily broad question, actually, and one that's at the heart of the future of business online and off, Cheryl. First off, I think you'd get a lot of value out of reading my book Growing Your Business with Google so you can understand how search engines work and prioritize search results.

At a more general level, though, you need to remember that each search you do at Google or any other search engine is completely different and that the results you receive are completely unrelated to any other search. You can test this: Search for "floral design pa" and then search for "pa design floral" and you'll see that even by changing the order of the words in the search you can get different results.

As some less reputable search engine marketing companies have realized, the more specific the search, the easier it is to be in the #1 slot. If you have a pizzeria in sleepy Colby, Kansas and want to be the top search result for 'wheat crust pizza in colby kansas free delivery' that's actually quite easy to accomplish. Indeed, there probably are no more than a few matches for that search across the entire Web.

If you want to rank for 'pizza kansas' or 'pizza', however, you've got a massive challenge because now you're competing against literally millions of other pages relating to that topic. (Google estimates about 49 million matches for 'pizza'). You'd be in the list, note, just in slot 18,303,201, say, instead of #2.

So rest assured that you already are listed for searches like "Flowers Conshohocken PA", you're just not ranked high enough to gain useful visibility for your business. For searches where the words don't all appear on your site (like "Wedding Flowers Philadelphia PA") you probably aren't listed, but then again, do you explicitly state on your site that you deliver wedding flowers to Philadelphia?

I think you'd find my book a huge help in figuring all this out and understanding what strategies you can utilize to gain the visibility and business you seek from the online community, Cheryl, and that's my recommendation to you.

I hope this is helpful!

Reprinted with permission from Ask Dave Taylor Tech Support, where it appeared as Why Don't I Rank Highly for All Relevant Searches?.

Category: Google Q&A   (Article #5240)
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Inside The Book
Foreword, by Guy Kawasaki
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Increasing Your Business Visibility (chapter 1)
The Benefits of Increasing Your Visibility (Chapter 2)
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Content, Content, Content! (Chapter 15)
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Advertising Your Business with Google AdWords (Chapter 18)
Making Money with Google AdSense (Chapter 19)
The Advantages of Affiliate Programs (Chapter 20)
Avoiding Dumb Online Promotional Mistakes (Chapter 21)
Growing and Expanding Your Content (Chapter 22)
The Future of Findability (Chapter 23)

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Note from the Google AdSense Team
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New Google AdWords Keyword System Released

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Google Adsense Update: Section Targeting
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