Kick a man while he’s down! That’s kind of how small businesses feel when it comes to search engine rankings.
If you use Google search as often as I do, you’ll notice that most of the top results are represented by big brand websites. Well, it’s not a fluke that those big brands are almost always in the top 10 for just about any search you run. There’s a reason why big brands are dominating the search results, but it’s not because Google has anything against small businesses.
If you must blame something, then it is Google’s algorithm that you must blame. The algorithm is the program that automatically calculates the search results for every query. Google says that there are over 200 different factors that determine how they rank websites. Hundreds of algorithmic updates occur every year, but once in a while they release a major update which changes the SEO landscape.
There are some reasons why big brands are able to influence the algorithm in their favor:
- Big brands naturally have stronger backlink profiles.
- Big brands usually have aged websites.
- Big brands usually have strong domain names.
- Big brands have the resources to create top-notch content in high volumes.
- Big brands have the money to invest in full-on SEO campaigns.
While the big brands have plenty of positives to help them rank, there are some negatives for small businesses which make it more challenging for them to be found at the top of the search results:
- Google Sandbox effect (part of algorithm).
- Vince algorithm update in 2009 (part of algorithm).
- Lack of SEO / marketing power.
- Lack of resources to regularly add quality content.
As you can see, there are some big hurdles for small businesses to overcome before they can be found and start competing for a piece of the pie. No one said it was fair, but it is Google’s way of rewarding strong/popular sites, while filtering out low quality/spammy sites.
This is just another reason why small businesses need to invest in SEO.