What? They found me on Page 4 of Google Search Results? Seriously!

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

referral traffic to the authentic storytelling projectSo far this year, just over 21 percent of traffic to my storytelling and content marketing blog here has come from people searching for a topic that I’ve written about.

Some of those searchers went to page 2, 3 or 4 of results to find my blog. I wasn’t even on Page 1.

You’ve probably heard the talk that you have to get to the No. 1, 2 or 3 position in Google search results for people to find you. That of course can be a challenge. It’s a good goal to have – especially when we can achieve that authentically and without using some sneaky search engine optimization trick.

The main traffic sources – social, direct, referral and organic search – are fairly even on the blog. That’s great, but I sometimes wonder what people search for to find this site.

Google doesn’t show us all that many keywords used by searchers, so it’s not as simple as it used to be to find out what people searched for. But it’s still possible. When Google does show me what people searched for to find my site, I pretty much always head over to Google and see where I ranked.

What I found may surprise you. It certainly surprised me. So, I take the keywords, paste them into Google and search. And my post can’t be found on Page 1 of results or even Page 2 or 3. I’ve gone as deep as Page 4 in this experiment.

I almost stopped at the end of Page 1 results thinking Google made a mistake, because, you know, who actually clicks to Page 2? Somebody somewhere made the joke that the best place to hide a body is on Page 2 of Google Search results.

And while many of us – myself included – may hardly ever if not never head to Page 2 of results – some people do. People are searching for the most relevant content out there. If the stuff on Page 1 or 2 isn’t relevant, they keep going.

I suspect – since Google is smart and notices reader action that something on Page 4 is relevant – that when a good chunk of people do this with the same piece of content that it will start showing up earlier in results.

honkenOne example of this is my 2005 interview with death row inmate Dustin Honken. This article showed up pretty low on search results for a while. People kept finding it though and read it. In turn they started linking to it – including media outlets. At the end of September 2015, it was showing in the No. 4 spot on Page 1 of search results. Quite a climb.

What’s the take-away here for all of us content producers?

Keep producing great, unique and relevant content. And while we do have to spend time on promoting and marketing our content, the key thing is this:

Content that isn’t produced, can’t be found. Ever.  So keep producing great content week after week. Some of it will be a hit. Some of it not so much.