9 Feb 2020
Number 1 in Google
Getting the number one rank in Google Search is something many companies strive for. With the appropriate SEO measures, it is certainly possible to get closer to that goal.
See our previous article “Basic Tips for Better SEO” for suggestions on what to do.
However, what a lot of people might not consider, is the fact that Google actively promotes and pushes paid adverts for related topics or search terms to sit at the top of search results. For a common user, these paid adverts are so deceivingly similar to real search results, that it becomes very hard to distinguish ads from real results.
A company that’s had enough of the way Google presents paid content before real search results is Basecamp:
When Google puts 4 paid ads ahead of the first organic result for your own brand name, you’re forced to pay up if you want to be found. It’s a shakedown. It’s ransom. But at least we can have fun with it. Search for Basecamp and you may see this attached ad. pic.twitter.com/c0oYaBuahL
— Jason Fried (@jasonfried) 3 september 2019
Inserting ads at the very top gets even more troublesome on smaller screens, where the user in some cases has to scroll down past adverts for a full screen height just to get to the real content.
What Can Be Done?
Apart from creating the best possible conditions in terms of how the website is built and how the content is structured (see our article ”Basic Tips for Better SEO” for suggestions on actions to take), it isn’t possible to force search results to be placed before the paid adverts in Google search results.
Neither developers nor website owners can do anything more than what Basecamp did in their tweet above: pay Google to get a spot higher up on the search results page.
If you as an individual wants to get rid of or at least cut down on the number of paid advertisements that are presented, in order to faster get to the real search results, there are a few options:
These are software that blocks ads on websites, hiding the ads. Since these adblockes reduce the profit search companies like Google are making from showing ads, search companies are continuously working towards making it more difficult for adblockers to function.
Change Web Browser
You can also change which web browser you are using, to try and avoid the obstructions Google has added to Chrome to make adblockers become less efficient. A few alternatives are Brave, Firefox and Opera.
Change Search Engine
Yet another way to avoid search results that are influenced by your previous web history, or to reduce the number of ads is to use a different search engine than Google. For example you could try DuckDuckGo or Ecosia.
DuckDuckGo’s main feature is valuing user privacy by not allowing ads to be based on previous searches or previously visited sites.
Ecosia is running Bing by Microsoft under the hood, branding themselves as eco-friendly by donating a major part of their profit to support tree planting projects.