I read many project descriptions and inquiries by clients, which ask for something like that:
We have a website that deals with .../... offers ... services and we want it on the first page of Google. We want it completed in two months and our budget is ... (low).
There is nothing wrong with asking for getting such a service but the problem is that people seem to not understand such a project description is missing a few fundamentals. Which in turn means that even if someone agrees to do the job, you will either not get the desired result or the cost will skyrocket in the process.
What Number of Sites Do You Compete With?
Well, it depends on your market niche, really. But let's start with the fundamentals as most sites do offer pretty common services and/or products to a pretty general audience.
There were 10 (ten) websites online in 1992 and in 1994 we still had no more than 3,000 sites online, including predecessor of today' search engines and online office suites - Yahoo.
Google debuted as a search engine at a time when about two and a half million websites were available on the World Wide Web while when Facebook came to life there were some 52 million websites across the world.
It means that even between 1998 and 2004, when Google and Facebook started operations respectively, your website had to compete for the attention of the average consumer with anywhere between 2 million and 52 million websites. These numbers are growing steadily over time and now even a very niche website is competing on equal terms with dozens of other service providers or product manufacturers who are online just like anyone is. The real figures are quite interesting, by the way.
How Many Sites Are There Online?
When Instagram entered the online space in 2010, the number of live websites was still in the range of 220 to 230 million worldwide. There were still less than 500 million websites online the next year but we never witnessed that number drop below the half a billion mark in the years that follow 2012.
The number of live websites in the world stands at above 1.7 billion for a third year in a row, since 2017. Bear in mind that there are no signs we will witness these numbers drop anywhere soon, especially taking into account that the number of sites doubled from 1 billion to nearly 2 billion within a single year in the period between 2016 and 2017.
So, do you know with how many websites do you compete for that "precious" page one spot on Google's search page?
Can You Find Any Site?
Do you now understand why I shake my head every time I see a project description asking to place one's website on the first page of Google?
A minute ago, I made a search for "cloud computing" on Google Search and Amazon's AWS cloud service was the fifth result from the top (they are the top cloud provider by a margin). Microsoft's Azure cloud service site ranked 10th for the same search query.
The site of Google Cloud Platform, which are the third largest global cloud service provider, do not even show on the first five pages of Google when searching for "cloud computing".
Do you see what I mean? Finding a specific website by using search operators or taking advantage of suggestions by search algorithms that are getting better is possible and fast. This means that a number of sites will also be on the first page of search results for that particular search query. But having your website on the first page of Google in general is impossible.
Think twice before asking for a service to place your website on a top Google spot for a widely used keyword or a search query. You cannot get that by adding a few keywords to a website.
It takes months and years of creating valuable, indexable and searchable content and build authority in your field to even expect popping up as a top search result on Google. Of course, you can always buy a top spot on Google for your website. But will it do the trick?
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