Google Gives #1 Rankings for Free

Thanks to Google, there’s a page on one of my websites that constantly is in the top 10, if not #1 for phrase x; and Google handed me that phrase on a silver platter! I didn’t have to spend hours researching keywords and search phrases. I didn’t have to mess with Google Analytics. And I didn’t have to pay a dime for an Adwords campaign.

What’s so special about me and my site? Nothing really. The key is what is not-so-special about the other sites competing for that phrase.

Before we move on here, I realize that for the most part all rankings on Google are free. We do not pay Google directly to rank well for our targeted keyword phrases. It would be so much easier if Google would tell us ahead of time what keyword phrases are easy to rank for. It’s too bad we couldn’t ask Google the topics where they can’t find relevant information. It’s too bad there wasn’t a list somewhere we could check.

We all know how it works. People visit Google, Yahoo! and the many other search engines, type in a search phrase, and if we rank well for that term; we get traffic. The problem is that Google, like all of the other search engines, relies on computers to determine if a site has relevant content for that search phrase. As we all know, sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t.

In a recent blog post by Tim Nash entitled In search of relevancy – or why you should be buying Venice Etchings, he uses a few simple examples to show how complex our language can be and how hard it can be for even humans to determine relevancy. While this inability to comprehend meaning by the search engines is most often a problem, it can easily lead to opportunities.

Yes, I’m finally getting to the part about Google giving me a #1 ranking for free.

Google was sending a page of my main business website hits for a particular phrase and a number of its variants. The page topic did not relate to that keyword phrase and the phrase only appeared on the page one time. Doing my own search for that phrase (I’ll refer to it as phrase x from now on), I found there were indeed several results that did actually talk about that topic. But, my page, with one instance of the keyword phrase, still outranked them!

The first time this happened on one of my sites, I wondered if I could write a targeted article for phrase x that could easily assume the top spot and stay there.

It is a wonderment how sometimes two seemingly unrelated events come together. Some time prior to when Google began sending me these hits, I had happened to buy a short book on the very topic of that phrase. It had been on the “we can’t get rid of these, so we’ve marked them down to almost nothing” table in a local bookstore and I thought it would make a good addition to my library.

Anyway, I used that book and my own knowledge to craft an article specifically geared for the phrase Google was already sending me traffic for and added it to a different site of mine. A handful backlinks later, the article steadily worked it’s way to the top position and stayed there.

Oh, but that’s not the end of this story. In my excitement to get this article online fast and see how my idea worked, I missed a spelling error. The page, with one of the words of phrase x spelled incorrectly was also ranking high in the SERPs. Hmm, could it be I was just handed another freebie? After a little research, I realized that non-native English speakers often make that same misspelling. So, once again I grab my trusty keyboard, add a new paragraph for my foreign friends with the misspelling and boom – another top 10 ranking!

It’s been over a year and that page consistently receives the most traffic of any page on that site. As I write this blog entry, the site is #1 for the two main variants of the phrase, #1 for one version with the misspelling and #4 for another.

At least three #1 positions and a fourth place position handed to me for free by Google. Yes, there was a bit of work on my part; after all, I did have to write the article.

The combination of Google’s inability to determine relevant sites for the term and the apparent weakness of the sites already competing for that term handed me what many consider the Holy Grail when it comes to SEO – the #1 position in the SERPs! Gotta love it when that happens. ๐Ÿ˜€

I’m off now to check my site logs. Maybe Google’s given me another freebie!

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9 Responses to Google Gives #1 Rankings for Free

Great congratulations on that! I will leave a comment regarding a suggestion I’m giving you ๐Ÿ™‚ at your blogengage submission!

If I leave it here i’ll fell like I’m spamming you HAAH

I hope you take it and also, you should still use all the google tools seeing you won’t always get this lucky!

Best of luck!

Comment by blogengage on

I did see the suggestion on BlogEngage and am looking into it. Thank you. For anyone who’s interested, Blog Engage ( is a site worth looking at if you want to drive more visitors to your blog and exchange ideas with other bloggers.

I agree that one should never stop using all of the tools at their disposal when it comes to competing for search engine rankings.

It just seems that so many neglect to capitalize on the opportunity that is freely given to them when Google says, “psst, over here, this keyword phrase is available, wanna grab it?”

Comment by Michele on

You are so right I did exactly the same with one of my web pages ๐Ÿ™‚ Well of course SEO is what you need at this kind of situations, but still searching for the right keyword is the key ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again for the article ๐Ÿ™‚

Comment by Asdfing on

Great article. I’ve learned alot from it since I just started out blogging. Thank you so much!

Comment by noelevz on

Excellent essay. It is very useful for me. I digged you. Thank you very much

Comment by jimmy on

Did you know that Google sometimes tells you great keyword and keyword phrases that are easy to get the number one ranking for? And that they give that information to you alone and for free? Read about how I took one of these phrases and turned it into multiple #1 rankings as well as the most visited page of one of my websites. Chances are you already have the same information and are just not taking advantage of it.

Comment by on

Very nice read. I have to agree on the untapped potential that you are referring to here: I am pretty much a newbie to the whole blogging realm, and one of my blogs about an upcoming Summer movie has actually gained about 85% of its SERP traffic to date from a ‘typo’. Instead of searching for ‘blank movie’, I am getting a lot of hits for ‘blankmovie’ (all one word). I actually rank #1 on Google for it: the official movie website ranks #2 (and thats only because of their URL)!! When I saw through my statcounter profile that I was getting this traffic I went back and tweaked the relevant pages to boost it and so far it has worked, so you have really hit it on the head with your post.

Comment by Captain Canuck on

Thank you everyone for taking a moment to comment. I am glad you found my article helpful.

Captain: Don’t you just love those typos? When I first noticed that I was getting traffic for that misspelling, my pride was severely injured for making the mistake. When I realized that mistake was leading to a sizable amount of traffic, I saw potential and grabbed it.

That’s a big accomplishment to rank higher than a movie studio for their own movie. I love it! Congratulations.

Comment by Michele on

Great article, you got my digg.

Comment by Colin on

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