SEO

8 Strategies to Get Multiple First Page Rankings on Google

Remember “the good ol’ days” when Google search result pages were clean, simple pages with 10 results and a few ads? For better or for worse, those days have disappeared like Severus Snape being confronted with shampoo.

While some users may lament the more cluttered search pages, the “new normal” does offer more opportunities to achieve multiple first page rankings. Controlling multiple first page rankings allows marketers to exert greater control over their brand, reach more searchers, and present a stronger brand to searchers.

This screenshot shows how SEOmoz is able to exert more control over its online brand by controlling 11 of the 13 organic links on Google for its name:

image0015 8 Strategies to Get Multiple First Page Rankings on Google

What about multiple listings from the same domain?

In some cases, Google will give a site more than one distinct ranking on the first page of results. This screenshot shows tripadvisor.com controlling the first three distinct listings for “new york attraction reviews”:

image002 8 Strategies to Get Multiple First Page Rankings on Google

This phenomenon, called domain crowding, is more an exception than a rule, though. Our recent domain crowding data shows that Google may be working to reduce domain crowding, so the strategies presented in this article are a more dependable option than working to get multiple Web listings for your main domain.

Image

As shown in the below screenshot, Google often includes image search results on search engine results pages (SERPs). Users that click on an image will often end up on the webpage the image is found on. Traffic from image search usually has lower engagement than Web search traffic, but keep in mind that:

  • Image SEO is ignored by many websites, resulting in lower competition.
  • Image search visitors can be very relevant in some niches, such as recipes or travel.

To learn more about the optimization and ranking factors relevant to images, watch this Whiteboard Friday on Image SEO.

Local

Local results are integrated into search results in a variety of ways, including map displays, local listing packs, hybrid results, and single local listings (as shown in the above screenshot). Local listings are most useful for businesses with a retail storefront and/or businesses that are primarily targeting a specific geographic area. Local listings are ranked based on a combination of factors related to:

  • The Google Places listing
  • The website
  • Offsite factors (backlinks, structured citations, etc.)

The best source we know of for understanding these ranking factors is David Mihm’s Local Search Ranking Factors.

Video

Google most often shows YouTube videos in search results, but you can also get video listings for videos that are embedded on your site. The former is more likely to give you an extra listing, whereas the latter is more likely to enhance your existing listing. The below screenshot shows an example of a YouTube video and an embedded video being ranked among Google search results.

image0032 8 Strategies to Get Multiple First Page Rankings on Google

Want to get a video listing? Start by reading these guides:

News

For newspapers, high-quality blogs, and other content sites, Google News offers an excellent opportunity to gain additional organic listings and traffic from The Big G. Google News has a specific set of quality and technical guidelines; if your site meets those guidelines, you can submit your articles for inclusion. Google often displays recent news articles for relevant queries, before, after, or in the midst of the Web results:

image0041 8 Strategies to Get Multiple First Page Rankings on Google

Sitelinks

Google supports two basic types of sitelinks: expanded sitelinks as shown in the above SEOmoz screenshot and standard sitelinks as shown in the above Amazon screenshot. Both types of sitelinks give you more SERP space, more links, and more exposure—win, win, win!

How does Google choose which pages/sites to give sitelinks? Unfortunately, we don’t know a lot about this algorithm. Some items we do know are:

  • Google recommends that “for your site’s internal links, make sure you use anchor text and alt text that’s informative, compact, and avoids repetition.”
  • Unwanted sitelinks can be demoted from within Google Webmaster Tools.

Shopping

Google’s shopping results are not actually organic, but they look organic and are often presented in the organic results column. (Remember Bing’s Scroogled campaign?) Here is an example of extra listings gained from shopping listings:

image005 8 Strategies to Get Multiple First Page Rankings on Google

Third Party Sites

As demonstrated in the SEOmoz screenshot, high-authority third-party sites can be an effective way to gain another listing in Google search results. There are countless sites that you can use to publish content on to gain rankings; we suggest you start with the high-authority sites that will be most useful for your users. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Create/optimize your Facebook page, Google+ page, and/or Twitter profile
  • Guest blog on prominent blogs in your industry
  • Business profile sites such as MerchantCircle
  • Sites in your industry that will provide a company profile page

Additional Domains

This, perhaps, is one of the more controversial methods, since it’s been used to game search results many times before. Our advice is to ensure that your “additional domains” strategy is driven first by users, secondly by SEO. Here are several examples of additional domains that have gained extra search listings, but make sense for users:

  • Separate domains for specific products, such as SEOmoz’s OpenSiteExplorer.org
  • Separate domains for different countries, such as google.com and google.co.uk
  • Separate domains for different product lines, such as yamahaoutboards.com and yamahaproaudio.com

Most websites won’t be able to use all eight strategies effectively, but just implementing a couple of these strategies could result in doubling your exposure and traffic. What’s not to love about that?

324a0bfbead642a2625f1e80a77bb2f2 64 8 Strategies to Get Multiple First Page Rankings on Google

Chris Ainsworth

Senior SEO Consultant at High Position
Chris Ainsworth is Senior SEO Consultant at High Position, a leading UK based digital marketing agency. With 9 years experience within the online marketing sector Chris has a deep technical knowledge of SEO. For more info, follow Chris via @chrisains or Google+.
324a0bfbead642a2625f1e80a77bb2f2 64 8 Strategies to Get Multiple First Page Rankings on Google
324a0bfbead642a2625f1e80a77bb2f2 64 8 Strategies to Get Multiple First Page Rankings on Google

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23 thoughts on “8 Strategies to Get Multiple First Page Rankings on Google

  1. Yeah, just what users DON’T want – a search engine result where all they really get is one company regurgitated in multiple ways. I get so annoyed when I see results like this, I immediately dislike the company that has insinuated itself into all of my results. When search engines are able to rid their results of junk like this, they will finally be able to deliver what searchers really want to see..

    1. Scott – the general gist of the post is about securing brand SERP real-estate (hence the SEOmoz example at the beginning). If you’re searching for a brand then I would say it’s EXACTLY what you want to see.

    2. Absolutely! Diversity in the search results is very important for the user to get quality results from different sources rather than many low quality or sometimes many irrelevant results from the same source. A site must get multiple listings (at max 2 listings) on search results page only when the site has lot of keyword related, relevant and helpful articles. Domain Crowding is a concept which Google should avoid and might already be focusing on.

    3. Hi Scott, thanks for your comment.

      Diversity in search results is of course of upmost to any searcher, but diversity comes in many forms. Here we’re looking primarily at brand real estate as Ben mentioned, in which case multiple brand related search results are relevant and legitimate. The main company domain, local search to find your nearest store or branch, news results to find up to date material about the company/brand/products, shopping results to find their products, social profiles etc etc – surely all relevant to a brand related query?

      In other instances, the integration of blended/universal search offers many benefits to a searcher; therefore to categorise this as ‘regurgitation’ is a little naive. Yes there are a lot of malicious people/organisations which try to game universal search and use underhand techniques to produce what could potentially be described as regurgitation, but if utilised correctly it can provide multiple benefits to fulfil the search query, providing relevant and meaningful results.

  2. Thanks Chris – another interesting and pertinent post . Although I am finding ‘content marketing’ a bit of a parody of itself currently, your conclusions support the need for diversity and quality within content strategy. Couple of points: how important do you feel branded social profiles are in brand SERPs visibility? We see a couple of the SEOMoz results are for social profiles, is there any reason why you did not include them as one of the eight strategies? Also when you talk about additional domains, often domains under the same brand, even if they are linking between root domains, often share a blog or news feed on a subdomain often on the main root domain creating high numbers of links between the sites, Do you consider this to be a conflict of interests, or does it depend on server configuration?

    1. I don’t see a conflict of interest by brands interlinking different root/sub domains but it really depends on the rationale behind it. If it’s to have multiple domains targeting the same non-brand search terms and offering essentially the same product then they will come a cropper, but if they have distinct commercial offerings then they’re perfectly valid IMO.

      Server configuration will certainly come into play in some circumstances so it’s worth getting a professional involved for sure.

    2. Sorry for the late reply, I’ve been away.

      It looks like the points which you’ve raised have already been addressed. But to add my comments, social profiles are certainly an a great method of obtaining multiple brand rankings and, as Adam said, is indeed mentioned within the ‘Third Party Sites’ section of the post.

      Regarding the domain/sub-domain query which you mentioned, I agree with Ben. If the use of multiple sub-domains is commercially viable, offers value to a user in terms of distant commercial offerings and not configured purely for SERP domination for identical non-brand search queries then yes it’s valid. It ultimately depends on the purpose of the sub-domain.

  3. Chris

    Thanks for the insight. For someone who uses the internet for almost all of my marketing but doesn’t really understand it, I love useful information like this.
    I’m a Realtor, in case you’re wondering.

    Thanks
    Keith

  4. Hi Chris. Good post. Maybe Google will change all the organic results to an “organic” tab you have to click on at the top of the screen (like maps), thus transforming the first page of regular search to pure ads/news/shopping. :) Wouldn’t be surprised.

  5. Thanks for the insight., But can this also be possible with sub domain and Low ranking /traffic website. why also high traffic website show s multiple results . like tripadvisor and other .

  6. Thank you for the article. I especially like your point about video. Since Google owns YouTube it’s always a good idea to be active there and get multiple first page rankings. Great ideas here.

  7. Using images to get a first page spot on Google is a strategy that is much underused. Taking the time to tag your images is vital to Google including them in their search results. Image search pages also have a lot more results per page than links making it easier to appear higher in the results for an image than for a page overall. Added to that, Google loves images and gives pages that use them well extra kudos.

  8. Thank you for this article. I have a question, I have a new website 4 months old. Of course it’s PR 0 but alexa – 395k and mozrank – 3. So I want to know, how many days google need to give page rank for new website? How often they update the rank?
    Please let me know. Thank you

  9. Hi krishnaTORQUE,

    If you’re talking about Toolbar PageRank (TBPR), which I assume you are, then the frequency of updates is irregular. Generally Google update TBPR every quarter, but that’s not an exact science. Checkout Hobo Webs list of PR updates for more insight into TBPR frequency – http://goo.gl/WF5Nm

    That said, if I were you I would not be too concerned over the TBPR of your site. Use that effort to focus on things that really matter, like traffic!

    Chris

  10. Hey

    Nice share it is but i was expecting to have some tips and tricks which can effectively help us to get site links in search result or get more than one listing in the SERP.

    Can you share any such tips for us?

  11. Hi Ash,

    Unfortunately there is no way in which a webmaster can directly obtain sitelinks. Sitelinks are determined algorithmically; they are not something which a webmaster can manually configure to appear within search.

    Generally speaking, it is understood that overall trust in the domain is a factor in the appearance of sitelinks; therefore all the “standard” SEO factors such as domain age, history, backlink credibility etc will influence the trust which Google places in your site. Other things to consider include ensuring the structure of your site allows Google’s algorithm to spider the site and identify relevant sitelinks. Factors such as the use of anchor text within the top level navigational structure may also influence your sitelink visibility.

    Checkout this link for more info from Google concerning sitelinks – http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&topic=8523&answer=47334

    As for “get more than one listing in the SERP” I assume you are referring to dual listings from a single domain, as opposed to a natural listing with an image listing and a video listing etc? Dual listing are dependant upon the search query and the relevancy of landing pages within your site. If you happen to have two pages which Google deem as relevant to a particular query then Google may opt to rank both of those pages within search. This generally occurs when either your pages are über relevant or when there are no other worthy pages to rank for the query.

    I hope that helps!

    Chris

  12. Loved your example where you showed SEO Moz controlling 11 of the 13 listings. It shows that the company not only talks the talk but walks the walk.

    When it comes to ranking, SEO’s tend to have a very one sided approach to things. And things like knowledge graph, author bio search snippets, Google local, authorship, images have really changed the scenario.

    Most people don’t optimize for images or social profiles, so that gives you a better chance of outranking your competition.

  13. I read your article with interest. I agree AND disagree with your strategy
    I recognise the importance of spreading a site out to gain No1 on the SERPs, everybody’s dream is to be out there at the top everywhere. I also agree with Scott McKirahan where it is very irritating to get the same company cropping up on your SERPs when you are trying to find a variety to choose from, this is when top-of-page can have a negative effect on the company’s image among internet users
    I came across this excess when browsing about running cars etc on hydrogen-generating dry cells and it got very annoying when I kept getting the same guy with his own opinion cropping up
    Personally, when I doing a search, I like to get a variety of results so that I have the choice to make up my own mind
    Thanks for a good article Chris, there is positive in what you say. We have to work every strategy we can to get ahead in this highly competitive field

  14. Hi Ivan,

    Thanks for your comments. I agree that a variety of results for non-brand queries such as your hydrogen-generating dry cells example is generally what a user would expect to see; however I think what you are referring to is domain crowding as opposed to receiving results from different search verticals.

    For branded search queries a user would generally expect to see results related to that brand; therefore using the methods above to control SERPs for your brand is not an attempt to damage the user experience, instead it’s an attempt to enhance it by providing all relevant routes to that brand.

    For non-brand queries, the method above will inevitably help to list your brand within search verticals for which is may not have been previous visible i.e. Google Merchant Center; so again this should (theoretically) broaden search results by adding to the variety of brands visible.

    The methods in this post are not malicious ways to “dominate” search results for all queries related to your business; they are methods to ensure your brand is visible when/where applicable in all of the relevant search verticals.

    Chris