To be or not to be (number 1)?

Barry (rustybrick) over at Search Engine Roundtable pointed out an interesting thread taking place on Search Engine Watch Forums. The title of the thread is The importance of your own firm’s rankings?

The thread begins with an SEO who has just started his business though he says he has “spent time at one of the larger SEO firms where the entire business model was based on incoming leads from their top search engine keyword rankings” and is now skeptical about the wisdom of relying on that since the company in question lost all their rankings and subsequently their revenue stream.

Is it important, he asks, to rank for SEM companies to rank for SEM keywords?

The prevailing wisdom in the thread seems to be no. Various reasons are cited for this, including:

  • Too busy optimizing client sites to focus on own
  • Too busy optimizing client sites to want the attention that comes from being top
  • Too much hassle from unqualified leads
  • Most leads come from referrals and articles not search engines

And so on.

It’s an interesting discussion but one-sided so far. I’m really curious about the companies who do rank well. What is their side? Personally, I would expect a good fashion designer to dress well, a good dentist to have sparkling teeth and a good SEO firm to have strong rankings. If you’re not using your own recipe, it raises the question–why not?

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