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 Ranking survey 2003-4

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Choosing the right Search Engine Optimisation partner

In January 2004, Google listed 86,900  UK sites when searched for "search engine submission". Which of those make the most valid and useful partners?

For the last 2 years I have reviewed the top Search Engine Optimisation suppliers in the UK based on their performance in achieving top rankings for themselves. This year I find it more difficult to be fair when the top firms now have a longer record of practical client service, and differences in simple measures can be marginal.

Google themselves of course rank the sites in, what they consider to be, the most relevant order. Due to the current dominance of Google, those companies that achieve first page rankings there clearly have a performance to boast, because the competition should be at its greatest. Here are the results at 5th Jan 2004:

Rank Website
1 www.oyster-web.co.uk
2  www.submitexpress.co.uk
3 www.search-engine-uk-optimisation.co.uk
4 www.searchenginespy.co.uk
5 www.searchquest.co.uk
6 www.optimizer.co.uk
7 www.searchengineserious.co.uk
8 www.makemetop.co.uk
9 www.greenlight.co.uk
10 www.bigmouthmedia.co.uk

Google made a significant change in their ranking algorithms last November that had a particular impact on SEO companies. So the companies listed above have survived a particularly tough test.

Congratulations are due to Search Engine Serious and Make Me Top. They are the only 2 to have appeared in the same list at the end of 2002. The other 8 are not new to top rankings either; but have simply improved their Google performance. I believe any company ranked highly now and in the surveys I did in previous years can justly claim effective performance so long as they continue to appear in some first page positions. Click below to look at earlier rankings.

So why is Web 4 Marketing not listed in these rankings? First because, given the level of competition, I made no attempt to optimise for this key phrase. Second, because these experts serve in the main clients with significant web marketing budgets. My forte is not the details of leading edge SEO techniques, but rather the application of sound marketing strategies for small businesses.

What these surveys do show is that it is still possible to achieve first page positions consistently even on the most competitive keywords - at least in the UK where the market is clearly less competitive than the Global or US markets. You should not of course base all your strategy on maintaining such positions.

My conclusions were challenged by one company. For a revised survey, look at 'Survey Challenge'

If you want to see the full data from past years, click on the links below:

2001/2

2002/3

If you still want to look at alternatives, browse this list of Web Marketing Professionals.

If you want personal service and a low cost solution, ask me.

Web 4 Marketing (UK) Ltd, 16 The Vineyard, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6AN - Tel: 020 8948 1022

in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames