One of the many things I love about life is seeing how other people view the world. Today a potential client came down to our Wheeling, WV office to discuss how they could use SEO for exporting. We started off the conversation by doing some Google searches together in the conference room where I once more regretted getting A. a 37″ flat screen instead of a 60″, and B. old.
I pointed out the differences between pay per click ads and natural results to make sure we were on the same page. That’s when he said something about search results I don’t think I had ever heard phrased exactly this way before, which is saying something considering I’ve been in search since 2001 and speak with clients, prospects, and partners all the time about search. He was worried that they didn’t show up for keyword searches related to their non-branded products not being found by potential clients that had never heard of them (well, that, too), but because of potential clients that had heard of them. When he looks online, he figures that if a company doesn’t show up on the first page, they’re not real, so he doesn’t buy from them.
To him, search engine visibility equals credibility / reputation. Google has become a 21st Century reference check. Even though my job is to sell people on search engine marketing (and doing it with us), I don’t personally take this extreme of a view. I’ve seen some very good businesses that don’t know the first thing about SEO and not rank for anything but their name. In some cases, not even that – of which I do get suspicious.
But how many other people do? How much people have already heard about you and are crossing you off their potential vendor list because you don’t show up for any products or services you sell? Something to think about.