Ewan Watt

Posted by Ewan Watt


Rank #1 on Google and Go Backwards


Here are 5 genuine reasons why your business could be going backwards even if you have ranked number 1 for the highest traffic keyword in your industry over the past 3 years.

1. The Decline of Single or Short-tail keywords

The amount of search for “single” or “short-tail keywords” (eg. removalist, printing, lawyer, catering) has been rapidly declining over the past 3 years. This is one of the reasons why Google created a new algorithm called Hummingbird for natural language search.

Search Trend Analysis: Home Loans


Search Trend Analysis: Mobile Phones


Search Trend Analysis: Accounting Software


Search Trend Analysis: Road Bikes


2. Local Search Is In; Australia Wide Are Out

The way Google displays local search results has significantly changed since 2011. The first change was when Google displayed different search results for Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, etc.

This means if you were ranking number 1 for “limousines”, rather than receiving Australia wide search traffic, you would only receive clicks from your home city or where you had offices and local pages to support. The net impact would have been a 60-70% reduction in reach and organic traffic.

Furthermore, Google now randomly displays local listing results which can dramatically impact the amount of traffic generated from organic clicks.


3. Google completing your sentences…

Google Auto Suggest has reduced the click through rate on single and short tail keyword search.


4. Mobile paid search results hogging all the screen

Mobile search has grown exponentially over the past 3 years, and the click through rate on paid ads is much higher, little wonder due to the real estate they take up at the top of the results.


5. Ever increasing competition

As people search more specifically and online competition grows, the sales conversion rate on short tail search has been rapidly diminishing over the past 5 years. Find out more about how you can compete.


What is the business impact?

A) Missed Opportunity – emerging keyword search trends represent new sales opportunities for your business

B) You are probably spending more to reach a smaller market

C) There is more competition for those short keywords than ever before

D) Your sales team are chasing down unqualified leads

E) You may be receiving diminishing returns from your sales and marketing

What do you need to do?

  1. Take a fresh look at your online strategy
  2. Think about customer segments and customer intent – not just keywords
  3. Review your website and content strategy
  4. Invest regularly in new AdWords campaigns, test out new customer segments
  5. Measure and review every 3-6 months



  1. Recover from Google Algorithmic Penalties
  2. What is Link Detox?
  3. Keyword Research for 2015 and beyond



  1. Google Trends Tool
  2. Digital Current – An American SEO company on Keywords
  3. Yoast on Long Tail keywords
  4. Search Enging Watch on Long Tail keywords