SEOs can’t really agree on anything.
Link building is good. Link building is worthless
Matt Cutts is the devil. Matt Cutts is a saint.
Pages should be 300 words long. Pages should be 1000 words long.
SEO is dead. SEO will never die.
It takes a special type of infighting to argue whether or not your entire industry is alive or dead.
One of the classic disagreements that SEO have is about rankings. Some people say rankings are meaningless and shouldn’t be measured. Others check them multiple times per day and rely on them as a KPI.
To the anti-rankings crowd, rankings represent a short-sighted way of measuring marketing’s impact. Nobody has ever paid a bill with a “ranking” and they are only a small step in a much bigger process.
The pro-ranking people use it to directly measure how well their SEO and link building campaigns are working. Higher rankings mean something is working and is worth trying again.
I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about which side of the fence I’ve been on until recently. The anti-rankings movement seems to have gained traction as the “The best way to do marketing is to not do marketing” crowd grows.
Poke around on Twitteror in forums and you’ll see the inbound crowd say things like “Bro..you still care about rankings? That’s your first mistake. Rankings are worthless in 2014″
This is harsh but true:
If you work in SEO and don’t care about rankings, you are probably terrible at your job.
Sure, revenue is more important than page one rankings. Yes, brand awareness is important. But so many of the numbers that really matter including the cash that pays the bills can be tied back to rankings. Saying rankings don’t matter in SEO is like saying hits don’t matter in baseball because runs win the game.
If you want to make more money, you’ll be hard pressed to find higher ROI than you’ll find from an SEO campaign. For your SEO campaign to work, you’ll need some traffic. Good luck achieving that without ranking on page 1 in Google.
I get it. Focusing only on rankings is idiotic. Rankings do not correlate with overall business growth nearly as well as other numbers. But search traffic doesn’t magically appear to your site. You have to be able to be found.
Rankings matter because traffic matters. And with traffic comes sales and revenue and profit and all of those other metrics that are most important.
P.S. – If you don’t think rankings matter, here’s a little growth hack that will help keep your efforts focused on brand building instead of meaningless.