Measuring success via search engine rankings isn't completely useless, but it's getting to be, and fast. There have been a number of times I've been on the phone with a client when they wanted to discuss their rankings. Of course, when we both perform the same searches on Google we'd get a different set of results. We've had similar things happen even from multiple computers in the same office. So what does this mean? It means that search engine rankings aren't what they used to be!

Bill Slawski had put together a great post covering the many ways in which search results may vary from person to person. Here's the list, but you'll have to jump on over to Bill's, SEO by the SEA blog to get the explanations:
  1. Filtering of duplicate, or near duplicate, content
  2. Removing multiple relevant pages from the same site
  3. Based upon personal interests
  4. Reranking based upon local inter-connectivity
  5. Sorting for country specific results
  6. Sorting for language specific results
  7. Looking at population or audience segmentation information
  8. Reranking based upon historical data
  9. Reordering based upon topic familiarity
  10. Changing orders based upon commercial intent
  11. Reranking and removing results based upon mobile device friendliness
  12. Reranking based upon accessibility
  13. Reranking based upon editorial content
  14. Reranking based upon additional terms (boosting) and comparing text similarity
  15. Reordering based upon implicit feedback from user activities and click-throughs
  16. Reranking based upon community endorsement
  17. Reranking based upon information redundancy
  18. Reranking based upon storylines
  19. Reranking by looking at blogs, news, and web pages as infectious disease
  20. Reranking based upon conceptually related information including time-based and use-based factors
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Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > When Do Search Engine Rankings Become Useless?

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.