What are “Primary Search Results”?
Primary Search Results (PSR) are the subset of all results returned by a search for a given keyword phrase.
When I do a search on Google (for anything) and Google reports, say, 100 million results, what gets returned is more in the range of 500 to 600 results (give or take), as the actual results you see. You may see repeats beyond that.
I had a recent experience where I was trying to resolve a chirping sound coming from the serpentine (accessory) belt in my car. The chirp only happened when the car was cold and disappeared when it warmed up. Very annoying, so I was determined to find out if there was a solution on the web. My wife calls it the “Answer Box”.
In the process of searching for a remedy, I was willing to view hundreds of pages of search engine results. The chirp was annoying!
After clicking the next page a couple of dozen of times (getting into page 60 and 70), I started coming up with the same links I had seen in the first few pages.
Getting bored with clicking “Next” I set my browser to give me 100 results per page (to reduce the mouse clicking and the maximum Google allows).
I did a Google search for “2000 lincoln ls v8 belt chirp”. Google reported 112,000 results.
So with my results set (in advance search) to 100 per page, I got an initial 6 pages of results.
I then clicked on page six, and low and behold, it showed “Page 5 of 399 results”. But I clicked on page 6, so why did I get shown page 5? I expected page 6 of 112,000 results!
Apparently, out of 112,000 results, there were only 399 that made sense (at least to Google, after all they didn’t have a belt chirp in their car).
This made me think about all those pages indexed in the Google index, and although the number of pages can be impressive, I routinely got less than 1000 results out of millions of reported results in some cases.
So are there multiple result sets, primary and secondary and so on?
I figured I’m being shown links in the Primary Search Results. Those Google deemed as authoritative.
So what happens when you get indexed and you miss being listed in the Primary Search Result Set?
Not Found? Not Seen? Just Fabulous…
So this brings me to the topic of SEO and why it’s important.
Having an optimized website means you have done a thorough keyword research regiment to properly theme your web pages and not just put out junk. People know junk when they see it, and the search engines need to be given the components to index.
Providing authoritative content focused on your keyword phrases provides your visitors with valuable information and you become the primary source of information which is what the visitors and search engines like. When the search engines like you, they reward you with good rankings. Good rankings mean you have a better chance of being seen, and maybe someone will purchase from you and that’s a good thing.
Google suggests content needs to be written for the visitor not the search engine.
So you pick your topic, your primary keyword phrase, and begin to write.
Where keyword research can help, is in finding out what terms people are searching for, as they relate to your topic, keeping in mind, 1 – 2 word phrases tend to be informational keywords (think tire kickers), where longer phrases, 3 or more words (long tail keywords) tend to produce conversion or sales. More on this can be seen in the article Buy or Info Keywords What’s the Difference.
An analysis of content written by an expert in a particular field shows a natural flow in language with a number of supporting keywords and keyword phrases related to the topic of the article. The expert knows the related terms to use in support of the topic. Ensuring those terms are being searched is important.
The content should be original, staying away from the desire to copy and paste from an existing article. You certainly want to avoid being tagged as duplicate content and chance falling out of the Primary Search Results group.
A properly written article will develop a natural flow and have a better chance of being indexed with a higher ranking giving the content a better shot at being listed in the Primary Search Results.