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written by Michael Buck One of the trendiest takes on Internet marketing these days seems to be the notion that securing top search engine rankings "no longer works." Where it started, I have no idea.

But rarely does a week go by when I don't see one or more Internet marketing "experts" claiming that search engine positioning is largely a waste of time and should not be a primary focus of Website owners.

Well, as the saying goes, "there are two sides to every story."

But let's not make this article about my side, or your side, or anyone else's side. Let's forget about my opinion and other "expert's" opinions and stick to the indisputable facts, as reported by highly credible third party sources:

=> According to a Forrester Research Media Field Study, getting a loyal audience in the first place is best done by Search Engine Placement. => According to a GVU Users Survey, 84.8% of Internet users use Search Engines to find Websites. => In a study released by ActivMedia Research, Search Engine Positioning was ranked as the #1 Website promotional method used by eCommerce sites.

=> And look what I just found in the Aprilissue of Target Marketing Magazine. (Source: IMT Strategies -

"Top Ways Websites are Discovered"

  • Banner ads: 1%
  • Targeted email: 1.2%
  • TV spots: 1.4%
  • "By accident": 2.1%
  • Magazine ads: 4.4%
  • Word-of-mouth: 20%
  • Random Surfing: 20%
  • Search Engines: 46%

You've now seen the numbers and know that search engine promotion is very much alive and kicking. But let's take this a step further. Let's talk about the *quality* of prospects coming to your Website through search engines as opposed to other advertising mediums.

Every time your potential customers use the search engines, they qualify themselves as *hot prospects* by conducting searches on keywords that are directly related to your product or service. Their choice of keywords is proof that they have a genuine interest in what you offer. These people spend their valuable time exploring the search engines for your type of product or service. Think about that. They didn't stumble upon one of your ads, or wander past a hyperlink to your site. And they didn't get a banner ad thrown in their face. They made the *decision* to actively search the keywords that brought them to YOUR Website. And when they get there, they are ready and willing to do business with you. At the very least, they're seriously considering it!

It should be your goal to achieve Top 20 positions.

How do you get your Website listed in the top 30?

1) You can attempt to gain these Top 30 rankings yourself. However, this can easily become a full time job. (I think this is why so many marketers advise against focusing on search engine positioning.)

2) You can hire a reputable company who can achieve AND maintain your Top 30 rankings for you

3) You can do nothing at all. But as you've seen from the third party statistics referenced above, search engine positioning is something you can't afford to ignore.

Whatever choice you make, I hope that your eyes have been opened to the tremendous profit potential that exists with top search engine placement.

Article ©

Michael Buck is a marketing consultant and Director of Marketing for

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